Advise For A House Sale That’s Just Fell Through – Scotland

Armchair in cozy living room

Having a house sale fall through can be an incredibly stressful and disappointing experience. You’ve likely spent months going through the process of finding buyers, negotiating offers, instructing solicitors and booking removals, only for it all to collapse at the last minute.

It’s understandable to feel frustrated, upset or even angry when this happens. However, it’s important not to panic. With the right approach, you can get the sale back on track or find new buyers without too much delay. This article will provide practical tips and advice for sellers in Scotland whose house sale has just fallen through. We’ll cover reassessing your property’s value, re-marketing the home, considering legal options, managing the financial implications and looking after your emotional well-being during this tricky period.

Reassess Your Property’s Value

The first step is to try and objectively understand why the sale fell through in the first place. In many cases, this can boil down to the property simply being overvalued. The buyers may have decided to pull out after a survey highlighted problems that you were unaware of, which will have knocked thousands off what they originally offered. Or they may have found another home that was either cheaper or better suited to their needs.

Whatever the specific reasons, take time to honestly re-evaluate your home’s value in the current market. Look again at the prices achieved for comparable properties sold locally in the last few months. Research asking prices for similar homes currently for sale. Consider getting a second valuation from an independent surveyor. This will give you a clear idea of a fair asking price that is more likely to result in a successful sale this time around.

Refresh Your Marketing Strategy

Next, focus on developing a refreshed marketing strategy to promote the property’s best attributes at its revised price. Your estate agent should advise on the most effective techniques and channels in your area. You may need professional photos taken to showcase the rooms in the best light. Consider 3D floorplans and video walkthroughs to give online viewers a detailed virtual tour. Maximise exposure on property portals with enhanced listings.

Ensure the property description is engaging and highlights key selling points like gardens, off-street parking or countryside views. Be prepared to invest in targeted advertising too, and have an eye-catching ‘For Sale’ board installed outside. Little touches like keeping the home pristine for viewings and baking bread can also help make a great impression. The goal is to generate excitement and competition amongst potential buyers to secure a quick sale.

Weigh Up Your Legal Position

It’s also prudent to have your solicitor review the details of why the sale fell through, and your purchase contract, to understand whether you have any grounds to pursue legal action. For example, if the buyers pulled out for a spurious reason at the last minute, you may be entitled to retain their deposit or seek compensation for losses incurred.

Your solicitor can advise if pursuing this route is worthwhile, or likely to be successful. Be aware that legal action can often be costly, time-consuming and stressful. So in many cases, it may be better to simply accept the sale collapsed, learn any lessons, drop your asking price accordingly, and focus efforts on finding a new buyer. But it’s still worth exploring your options here.

Manage Finances and rebook Removals

On the practical side, you’ll need to get your finances in order and make alternative arrangements following the collapsed sale. Notify your lender if you have a mortgage offer on the property, as this may need extending or updating now. Contact utility companies and insurance providers regarding the change of status too.

You’ll likely lose some non-refundable costs like surveys and solicitors fees. But speak to conveyancers and removal firms, as they may be willing to defer their charges if you book them again once a new buyer is found. This can limit your lost expenses. Finally, adjust your budget planning to account for ongoing costs like mortgages and maintenance for a while longer.

Look After Your Well-being

As mentioned initially, having a sale fall through can negatively impact your mood and emotional well-being. You’re bound to feel deflated and frustrated after getting so close to moving, only for it to be suddenly derailed. Don’t bottle up these feelings – acknowledge that it’s a difficult situation.

Confide in trusted friends and family for moral support. Take time to relax and recover your energy through exercise, hobbies or a weekend break. Share the load by delegating tasks to your agent, solicitor and others where possible. Most importantly, keep perspective on the bigger picture. There will be solutions and other buyers out there – this is merely a temporary setback on the road to selling your home successfully.


The collapse of a house sale just before completion can be disheartening. Take time to reflect on why it happened and put in place a revised pricing and marketing strategy targeted at finding the right buyer for your home. Explore any legal options available, but be prepared to move on positively too. Handling the practicalities well, being adaptable, and looking after your emotional health will all help you navigate this challenge successfully. Additionally, consider any necessary capital gains calculations. With resilience and a proactive approach, you will get your property sold in good time.


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