Private sale how to ensure its legally binding etc

(14 Posts)
nell15 Wed 21-Sep-16 15:28:00

Hi after almost two years of looking and being let down on several houses. We have found a house through putting leaflets out around our chosen area. Our house is already sold and the buyers don't want to move til xmas which gives us a bit of leeway.

The house we are after is owned by a couple who have split up so there's no chain. How do we agree to buy the house and ensure its binding?i was thinking that we could type a letter up setting out the sale details and both parties sign It and both seller and buyer keep copies and leave copies with our solicitors how does that sound?
Has anyone bought privately - how did it work out?
Thanks

StepAwayFromTheThesaurus Wed 21-Sep-16 15:29:49

You can't make it legally binding until you exchange contracts. That's true whether it's a private sale or handled by an EA.

Sleepybunny Wed 21-Sep-16 15:30:26

I'm not sure, do you need a mortgage? Your lender may require a solicitor to do the conveyancing in order to release funds.

willconcern Wed 21-Sep-16 15:33:49

It can never be legally binding until exchange. All you've done is miss out the estate agent to find a property. That's the only difference between a private sale & sale through an estate agent. You need to instruct solicitors as normal, sort out mortgage offer if needed as normal, get searches as normal etc etc.

Teamoaktree Wed 21-Sep-16 15:35:21

You'll need to run the sale exactly as if you had bought it through an estate agent.

So, instruct the solicitor and advise them how much you are buying it for. The seller will need to do the same. You will need local searches on the property, which your solicitor will obtain regardless of whether you need a mortgage. The solicitor will do the rest. The estate agent just progress chases and chivvys all parties along.

StepAwayFromTheThesaurus Wed 21-Sep-16 15:35:41

We bought privately. It was exactly the same as doing it through an EA, except that we had to negotiate price directly with the vendors. After that the solicitors dealt with all the conveyancing.

But as I said, it's the system that means people can pull out at any time before exchange. That's just how it works.

Sprig1 Wed 21-Sep-16 15:36:09

Just instruct your solicitor as normal and ask for details of theirs. Your solicitor can then send them a memorandum of sale, which is what the agent would normally produce and says 'X agrees to buy the property for £££ from Y'. Things would then proceed as per any normal sale.

ThroughThickAndThin01 Wed 21-Sep-16 15:37:56

Just put it in the hands of yours and their solicitor.

Anyone can pull out before exchange; any old reason right through from a redundancy or simply because they've changed their mind and don't want to sell/buy any more. No reason needed.

Superstar90 Wed 21-Sep-16 15:40:40

Contact your solicitors to do this! This is the biggest purchase you will make - don't mess about with something you don't understand. Your solicitors job is to do this - you don't seem to have a clue what you are doing so don't!

nell15 Wed 21-Sep-16 16:42:38

Thanks everyone. We don't need a mortgage - as we're downsizing. And, yes we would then instruct solicitors. This way we or the vendor avoids estate agent fees. Yes I understand about contracts and exchange, I suppose what I meant is if they agree to accept our asking price can we ensure they don't take someone else's offer. I don't suppose we can can ensure this and it's ultimately about trust and goodwill etc.

elfofftheshelf Wed 21-Sep-16 16:51:00

Its trust and goodwill, exactly the same as if an estate agent handled it. As others have said, nothing is binding until you exchange contracts.

sm40 Wed 21-Sep-16 16:54:15

We did a private sale. Although we were doing a house swap do in everyone's interest it all worked! If you have estate agents it's in their interest too for the chain to work so they may get involved. Get solicitors details etc. You might also need to do some more chasing than normal. But no matter how you buy it can all fall through. Also if private sale, they are not paying Ea fees so we did a deal on the price (think got half of Ea fees as discount!).

specialsubject Wed 21-Sep-16 19:20:00

Under the england/wales system there is no way you can guarantee what you want, agent or not. So make sure they are serious and that you have a solicitor who doesnt work at a glacial pace. That is all you can do.

Optimist3 Thu 22-Sep-16 06:29:13

No only exchanging contracts is binding.

Be speedy with solicitors searches valuation. Could be done within a month if there's no mortgage and no chain

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