The property market is in extraordinary shape. The latest data from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) shows that there were 147,050 transactions in February. That’s an increase of an incredible 48.5% year-on-year, and 23% from January. Clearly even a global pandemic can do little to quell the desire to buy and sell property in the UK.
Inevitably, however, things don’t always go to plan with a home purchase. There are occasions when the deal that you think is in the bag ends up falling through. And what’s more, it appears that the number of purchases that collapse is on the rise. A recent study by research firm TwentyCi found that there has been a notable jump in property sales falling through of late. It found that in January and February the fall-through rate – which normally stands at around 22% – spiked up to 28%.
There is no shortage of reasons why those sales can fall through. Gazumping is apparently on the rise, with homeowners turning their backs on an agreed deal when a new buyer, offering more money, appears on the scene. This perhaps isn’t a huge surprise given the number of would-be buyers desperate to get a home purchase completed before the stamp duty holiday comes to an end in September. In additions, transactions can also collapse due to down valuations, required repair work identified by a surveyor, or a simple change of heart leading to one of the parties walking away from the deal.
A property transaction falling through is a distressing experience for all involved. It’s difficult not to get carried away early in the property journey, to start dreaming ahead to life in your new home. When that dream is snatched away – for reasons that may be beyond your control – it is deeply upsetting.
There can also be a big financial impact from the sale falling through. The money spent on the surveys, valuation and legals can quickly add up to a four-figure loss, making the collapse of that purchase all the more painful.
It doesn’t have to be that way though. At eConveyancer we have partnered with the insurer Surewise, which provides homebuyers insurance to protect would-be buyers in precisely this position, delivering payouts to cover those lost legal and valuation costs up to as much as £2,250, with policies costing just £45.
That’s substantial peace of mind for a relatively small outlay.
Delivering greater value
For any business that works with brokers, it’s important to provide these sorts of additional services. Yes, you have to get the core offering right – no broker is going to put up with a second-class conveyancing experience for their clients simply because of the range of added extras they can offer to their clients.
However, it’s crucial that we go the extra mile, and help brokers develop more comprehensive and long-lasting relationships with their clients. Brokers can and do provide far more to their clients than simply identify the best mortgage for their next purchase – protection products like life insurance and income protection are a standard part of the advice process for most advisers today, and rightly so.
By partnering with the right businesses, brokers can provide their clients with even more services, from protection against transactions falling through to digital wills. Those services aren’t just fluffy extras either. They can not only help their client’s long-term finances, but also ensure that those clients keep coming back to the broker for life.
Karen Rodrigues is sales director at eConveyancer