This week we had a comment from a frustrated buyer who found that on more than one occasion they had found a property of interest on our web-site at and when they contacted the office were advised that it had a contract on it.

SOLD signWhen the property was still there a week later they expressed their frustration. Very understandable.

90% of contracts of sale are conditional on various things. Whether it's finance approval, a building inspection, the sale of another property or a host of other 'conditions'.

The vast majority of these 'conditional' sales go on to become unconditional and settle. A small percentage do not. Again, this could be for any number of reasons - whether the buyer can't raise the finance or the building inspector finds a fault with the property that the buyer won't accept etc.

From time to time where a second buyer would like to buy, we write up a contract that is 'subject to the first contract not proceeding'.

It is standard industry practice that a property is viewed as sold when the contract is unconditional and the agreed deposit has been paid. Until then we continue to show the property as being for sale. Whilst some companies take a different view we feel they walk a dangerous path.

Frustrating, yes sometimes it can. The alternative however, is somewhat more frustrating. Particularly for the seller who may remove the property from the market for weeks (thinking that the property has sold) only to find that a condition of a contract has not been met and they need to unpack, undo their moving plans and start the process over again.

When we advertise a property as being sold, there is no confusion. Sold means Sold.

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