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Can You Pull Out Of A House Sale?

The housing market is currently in a somewhat sensitive state, with estate agents, prospective buyers and people looking to sell all looking to see which way the pendulum will swing.

According to the House Price Index, the housing market is standing surprisingly strongly, with prices increasing due to increased demand.

Estate agents in Sutton reported similar confidence, with house prices on average being seven per cent higher than in 2022.

However, with a variety of economic pressures, cost-of-living concerns and increasing layoffs

affecting prospective buyers in different ways, the complicated connections between different buyers and sellers in a property chain, and the sheer length of time sales take, sometimes one or both parties want to pull out.

If that is the case, then up to a point, you can pull out of a house sale, but how easy this becomes depends on the progress of the sale and whether contracts have been exchanged, which turns an offer into a legally binding agreement.

If you want to withdraw an offer before contracts have been exchanged, contact your estate agent and/or your solicitor, depending on how far into the process you have gone, and ask them to withdraw the offer.

They will contact the buyer and let them know they are pulling out, as well as any other relevant

parties involved.

You can withdraw an offer at any time, but you may have to pay fees incurred during the buying process such as surveying fees, conveyancing charges and the time taken by the solicitor.

A seller can also take the house off the market if they are not interested in selling but if they have accepted an offer they must also pay any relevant fees that are outstanding.

After the contracts have been exchanged can be more of an issue, as you are breaking a legally binding contract and are subject to penalties as a result.

At best, you will lose your deposit, but depending on how long the sale has gone on for you may have to pay damages for depreciation in value, and there are situations where a late-stage sale withdrawal has gone to court.

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