Nearly three out of 10 home buyers have had their purchase fall through in the last two years, losing an average of almost £3,000 as a result, a survey has found.
The poll found 28% had seen their offer accepted but then fail, with an average of £2,899 spent on conveyancing, survey, mortgage valuation or brokerage fees, Which? Mortgage Advisers said.
The survey of 2,000 people who bought their home in the previous two years found the process took more than four months on average, from starting a property search to having an offer accepted.
However, many fell through after that point, with the main reasons including the seller deciding to stay put after all (27%), the buyer's own property sale falling though (21%), the buyer finding somewhere else to purchase (21%) or the buyer being 'gazumped' (21%).
David Blake at Which? Mortgage Advisers said: "No one wants to see their dream property slip through their fingers, particularly if it leaves you out of pocket, but there are steps you can take to ensure you are in the best possible position.
"The best way to protect yourself from your purchase falling through is to avoid a lengthy chain.
"With the right preparation and research, including getting your finances in order prior to making an offer, you can avoid complicated chains and improve your chances of success."