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How often do buyers back out at closing?


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Residential Sales – Selling Your Property

In our experience, about 1 in 20 sales will fall through before closing. Once contracts are signed, buyers very rarely back out.

The other time prospective buyers tend to back out if they are uncertain is when their offer is accepted, and a booking deposit is required. Thus, properties should not be considered sale agreed until the deposit has been paid.

In the time between when the deposit is paid and contracts are signed, we find buyers only back out for a reason, such as excessive delays, issues with title, boundary issues or survey findings. 

The 8 steps we take to avoid a buyer backing out

Before listing a property for sale, we try to identify and resolve any issues that may cause a sale to fall through. 

  • If we are concerned about boundary or right-of-way issues we will ask the seller to obtain land registry compliant mapping before listing the property.
  • If the property has been extended or modified we will ask for confirmation that the works comply with planning or are exempt from planning, and also comply with building regulations applicable at the time the works were done.
  • If a property is in a multi-unit development we ask for confirmation that the development does not suffer from significant fire safety issues or defects. If it does we will market the property accordingly.
  • We advise sellers with a mortgage to requisition the title deeds from their mortgage holding bank before listing the property for sale.
  • If a property sale is subject to probate, we advise the sellers to wait until probate is granted before putting it on the market.
  • If a seller owes more on the mortgage than the property is likely to sell for, we ensure there is an agreement in place with the mortgage holding bank for a negative equity sale.
  • We are aware of the significance of the Family Home Protection Act and the need for a spouse or former spouse to sign off on the sale in the circumstances covered by it.
  • Our experienced agents look carefully at the property being sold and ask questions about any apparent defects which may cause issues with the survey.

We commit to do everything in our power to ensure such issues are foreseen where possible and dealt with promptly and transparently if they do arise. Thus, we have one of the best completion ratios in Ireland. 

Unfortunately, life events out of the blue, such as illness, death, unexpected pregnancies, redundancy etc… do inevitably undermine some sales. That is life, and nobody can prevent these type of events from happening. In our experience, about 1 in 20 sales will fall through for such reasons.

OUR ATTITUDE – We believe properties are listed to be SOLD. If we do not think we can sell a property for a price sufficient to satisfy the vendor, we will not take on the listing. If we see something which makes a property unsaleable, and which cannot be resolved, we will pass on the listing. We are aware that every listing takes time and costs us money. If a sale falls through or a property does not sell, we may also have lost other opportunities while handling that property. 

OUR APPROACH TO BUYERS – We treat buyers and sellers with respect. This necessitates being truthful and being good communicators.

WHEN A SALE IS AGREED – We work constructively with all parties to try to complete the transaction as agreed, as quickly and as smoothly as possible. We stand on the high moral ground making clear to all parties that, while there is no legal commitment, they are making an agreement to buy/sell the property at the agreed price – the equivalent of shaking hands on the deal. We let the buyers know that we take a stand against gazumping and ask them to cease looking at other properties and withdraw any other offers they may have made.  

GOOD COMMUNICATION – We are approachable and maintain good communication throughout the whole process, until the sale is completed and the keys are handed over. Quite frequently we spend more time resolving issues after a sale is agreed than we spend actually selling the property.

Phil Thompson

Phil Thompson, Sales Director.

I get asked by South County Dublin Home Sellers how to get the best price for their home all the time!

So, if you are struggling to know what your home could achieve in the market right now and would like some clarity, fill out the form below for a 10-minute call.

What Phil’s happy customers say …

“…which literally added tens of thousands to the price achieved


We achieved a sale price far in excess of what we expected


“… helping us achieve the best possible result for the sale


There is no obligation to engage our services once you receive your phone property consultation from Phil

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