By using this website, you agree to our use of cookies to enhance your experience.
Graham Awards


What leads to a fall through? A property firm investigates…

A bulk quick buy company has surveyed purchasers who have been deterred from continuing their transactions to discover what the biggest turn-offs are for potential buyers.

It transpires that almost all of the problems are those discovered on surveys and in local council searches - relatively few are visible to the layperson.

Yes HomeBuyers discovered that subsidence is the worst, with some buyers saying it would be the equivalent of knocking 20 per cent off the value of a home on sale. 


Second on the list is Japanese Knotweed, the destructive plant that can grow up to 10 centimetres in a single day - although there is debate over precisely how common it is in the UK. 

Third comes poor upkeep of a property or its garden, followed by the presence - current or proposed - of power lines, mobile phone towers, or wind turbines.

Following those come nuisance neighbours and flood risks or water damage.

Other turn-offs in the league table include random structural issues, the presence of local power stations, and then more traditional low-level issues - damage or odours left by pets in the home, unsightly clutter, damp and mould, and woodworm. 


Yes Homebuyers founder Matthew Cooper says: “Many of these buyer turnoffs can be easily and cheaply fixed, a process which should be well worth the effort and money thanks to the value they will restore to your home. 

“Some of them, however, can be very expensive indeed. Severe damp issues and subsidence, for example, could cost as much to rectify as the value they restore. Furthermore, they can take an awfully long time to fix.”

  • Rob Hailstone

    I take issue with the local search statement. In my 30-year career at the coal face, very few matters revealed by a local search resulted in a purchase not proceeding. In fact, there are very few legal problems that cannot be resolved with some lateral thinking and some patience. Any current coal face conveyancers, agree or disagree with me?

  • Daniel Hamilton-Charlton

    Not a coal face conveyancer but a Search supplier and I would agree with you Rob; tempting though it may be to say otherwise.
    However, environmental reports that are ordered at the same time are a different story and do contain data that can seriously impact on someone’s decision to buy.
    These are invariably returned within 2hrs to 2 days and are one of the reasons why we encourage vendors, or at least buyers to source then as soon as possible in a transaction, given that they can contribute to a fall through decision. Better to tackle things head on before much time and money is wasted.

  • icon

    Can be a million reasons

  • icon

    One thing missing from the research is the non property matters that can result in fall throughs. Such as loss of job etc. These are reduced by quicker exchamges.
    The one thing that can be done is to gather this information at the start of the marketing period and share the information with potential buyers before they offer, so there are aware of any issues.


    So you would be happy for someone who loses their job to be stuck with a big mortgage then?


Please login to comment

MovePal MovePal MovePal
sign up