Buyers and sellers changing their minds lie behind almost a third of fall-throughs - the single biggest reason why transactions collapse, according to a new survey.
The sample for the study is small - just 574 customers of a comparison website over the course of a year - but buyers and sellers changing their mind lie behind 29 per cent of fall-throughs, with survey problems coming second and accounting for 17 per cent.
Then mortgage problems, chain issues and gazundering and gazumping come next.
Some 67 per cent of the buyers and sellers surveyed by the firm reallymoving believed that Reservation Agreements would have benefited them.
The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government says the Reservation Agreement concept will be trialled in the New Year with some buyers in two pilot regions of the country being obliged to pay £500 to £1,000 in the form of a non-returnable deposit.
This would be to see if fall-throughs for these properties dropped significantly from the current 25 to 35 per cent level discovered by MHCLG research.
Reallymoving says some issues leading to fall-throughs - such as a would-be buyer having difficulty obtaining a mortgage - shows the importance of estate agents vetting potential buyers to ensure they have a mortgage offer in principle before committing to a sale.
“The system for buying and selling property in England and Wales is fundamentally unfair … To save the millions of pounds wasted through collapsed deals every year and to foster renewed trust between buyers and sellers, change is urgently required. Reservation Agreements … would undoubtedly prompt people to think hard about their commitment to the process, which can only be a good thing” says Rob Houghton, the chief executive of reallymoving.