Dear Dawn

I’m selling my apartment and have had three offers all from seemingly respectable buyers who have been vetted by my agent. But each buyer has changed their mind a few weeks into the sale and pulled out. Is there anything I can do to protect myself from this happening again?

Worried Seller

Dear Worried Seller

Buyers changing their mind a few weeks into a purchase is something that happens on a regular basis because, sadly, the UK system does not become legally binding until exchange of contracts.

Also online: Buyers flock to Kent to avoid London prices

Buyers really call all the shots at the beginning as, even though they may have agreed a purchase, it is not unusual for them to still keep their eye on the market and to pull the plug if something they fancy comes up.

Increasingly I have noticed a trend in buyers making multiple offers at the same time on a selection of properties to see what they can get for the best price.

They often string a few sellers along then deliver the bad news to the agent a few weeks later when the property they’re abandoning has already been removed from the market losing it valuable exposure.

Your agent can pre-approve the buyer before putting their offer in and, these days most buyers are quite prepared when they come to the market with agreements in principle from a lender as well as a good-sized deposit.

But you can’t guarantee anything. I would suggest, however, that the property stay on the market until a survey is booked and cash is spent.

Dawn Sandoval is the owner of Dawn Sandoval Residential in Canary Wharf.