The number of deals that are falling through has risen from approximately 20% in the middle of 2007 to the region of 40%.

Stacks Property Search and Aquisition recommend the following top tips:

* Be realistic with price, and what it includes
* Don’t be intransient when it comes to including extras, and don’t allow small things to become a sticking point. If including something is going to you’re your buyer happy, then be magnanimous
* Be co-operative with regards to access – re-visits, measuring up, surveys etc. Don’t make the buyer’s life difficult
* Provide as much information as you can about the property – this will make the buyer’s solicitor’s job easier and allow the sale to progress quickly
* Keep feeding the buyer with information that will make them feel good about buying your house – perhaps old photographs, information about the local community, useful information about schools, church, local events etc
* Avoid gazundering by keeping channels of communication open – don’t allow time to pass without anything happening
* If a chain looks like falling apart because of a price reduction at one level, try and keep it together by negotiating at other levels of the chain
* Be a proactive seller – keep in touch with estate agent and all professionals involved with the sale, and if you see that something is holding up progress, take action, don’t just wait for someone else to sort it out

Charlie Comber of Hayman-Joyce estate agents (01386 858510) adds: ‘Don’t take a stand on a point of principle. If the surveyor comes back saying there’s some damp, and they renegotiate the price, don’t argue with the surveyor, throw your toys out of the pram, and jeopardise the sale. Count to ten, take a deep breath, and remind yourself how much work and energy it’s taken to get to this stage. It must be fair on both sides, but sometimes it’s worth being philosophical rather than going for outrage and destroying the relationship.’

Stacks Property Search & Acquisition: www.stacks.co.uk; 01594 842880

Hayman-Joyce estate agents: www.haymanjoyce.co.uk; 01386 858510

* Country houses for sale