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Woolwich Mortgage Research Reveal the Top 10 Dealbreakers for Buyer Pull-Out


Moving house is one of the most stressful elements of modern life, up there with divorce, but new research from the Woolwich ( ) reveals that purchasers won’t hesitate to drop a deal if the circumstances are not right.

The top ‘dealbreakers’ are led by contaminated land where a massive 86 per cent would withdraw from the sale if they found out the new home was nearby, 84 per cent would withdraw if it was in a flood area and troublesome neighbours would account for 80 per cent pulling out. Other areas such as subsidence (78 per cent), asbestos (76 per cent) or a landfill site nearby (67 per cent) would lead to most dropping the deal.

Andy Gray, head of mortgages ( ) for the Woolwich, said: “With more than one in ten buyers pulling out of a chain, moving house can be a stressful experience. A home buyers survey may show up some of the key deal breakers like subsidence but other issues won’t appear at all, such as troublesome neighbours, therefore it’s important the new neighbourhood is checked out. However, hopefully home information packs, which become compulsory next year, will enable homebuyers to have more information upfront potentially reducing the number who pull out of property chains.”

The research also looked at survey related reasons where homebuyers ( ) would use their bargaining power to negotiate money off rather than pull out of the sale entirely. More than two thirds would negotiate up to £10,000 off the asking price if the survey report highlighted key issues such as dodgy electrics (70 per cent).

Top 10 ‘dealbreakers’ (% of buyers who would pull out)

1. Contaminated land 86
2. Flooding 84
3. Troublesome neighbours 80
4. Subsidence 78
5. Absestos 76
6. Landfill site 67
7. Rights of way across garden 63
8. High power cable 61
9. Noise unsociable hours 57
10. Rising damp and timber/dry rot 47

Top negotiating points (% of buyers who would negotiate money off)

1. New roof needed 77
2. Dodgy electrics 70
3. Rising damp and timber/dry rot 50
4. Length of leasehold 42
5. Conifers dispute 35

Top tips for homebuyers – know what you’re buying:

1. Introduce yourself to your neighbours: Make an excuse to pop round – ask them about the area, or what the local amenities are like
2. Vary the time of your house visits: Visit any prospective house at different times of the day and both during the week and at the weekend to get a rounded view of the neighbours and the neighbourhood.
3. Probe the home seller about the neighbours: Do they keep themselves to themselves? Are they quiet and peace loving like Coronation Street’s Emily Bishop? Or are they high drama like Eastenders’ Slater family?
4. Look for signs of homeowner pride in the neighbourhood: A well-tended garden, clean windows, or any signs of expansion or improvement are often seen as a positive sign.
5. Check crime figures: This will give you an indication of the tone of the neighbourhood
6. Go to the pub: Chatting with a local landlord or shopkeeper can be a good way of finding out about the neighbourhood.
7. From the survey identify whether it is something which can be fixed. If it can be fixed, consider negotiating money off the asking price. When negotiating remember to keep your goal in mind, if you know that the roof will cost £7000 to repair, aim to knock £7000 off the asking price.
8. If it is an issue out of your control, such as flooding, evaluate the impact it could have on your home life and your insurance premiums.
9. Enquire with your local council where landfill sites are located
10. Research local newspapers to find out about the community life, local schools, crime.

For further information please contact:
Emma Austin / Ruth Drysdale
PR Manager
Tel 020 7116 6145 /


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