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House buying issues -Scottish Law

(5 Posts)
Glimmerberry Wed 10-Jul-13 00:17:36

Have bought and sold a lot over the past 10 years (4 big moves) without any problems. Currently trying to buy a house which should be our longterm home but it just doesn't seem to be ticking along well. Grateful for opinions.

Will try to bullet what's happened so far:

Viewed house twice in April/May -on the market for 14 months.

Suddenly, while we were thinking about making an offer we were told the sellers had already accepted an offer, despite it not being marked under offer or being told before viewing. Bit annoyed but no great loss yet...

Then contacted by sellers agent to say existing offer not binding and not progressing, invited to make an offer. We made our best offer, it was declined but it really was our best offer so we had to walk away.

Contacted again by selling agent, could be put our offer up even a tiny amount. We did (just 3k more) and it was accepted alongside our proposed entry date. Our offer was subject to survey as the home report was >12 months. Offer made and agreed in principle mid June.

Survey done and we were just waiting for our mortgage company to give the all ok, financials agreed in principle before we offered, so really just review of the survey. This bit took about 2 weeks but still >6 weeks to go until the completion date.

During this two weeks, sellers agent started pestering us to make a clean offer (without the subject to survey bit) ahead of mortgage company saying all ok. Then said they wanted to change the entry date -a few days later then a few days before.

Today, everything sorted with mortgage and we can make the clean offer. But we got an email from the selling agent saying that given all the delays they now want to delay the completion date by several months. This several months is extremely inconvenient for us and might force us to pull out -and we think the sellers know that.

My feeling is that their original offer has now been improved, probably by ability to complete timeously, we already know it was for about £10k more than we offered and they are trying to put us off/pull out after we have paid for a survey and other legal costs. I don't think anything has happened from our point of view that could be described as anything other than normal process...certainly it hasn't seemed to us that there has been anything going on that would constitute any unreasonable delay or problem -we've always been on track to complete by the date initially agreed.

Annoyed as we have booked annual leave on the basis of dates agreed, booked DS into a new nursery local to our anticipated new home, given notice to his current childcare and expended energy on dozens of other little tasks as well as spending money to progress matters to this stage.

Is there anything we can do other than get annoyed about the general unfairness and lack of ethics here. 3 days ago one date was agreed, today we get an email saying that unless the new date is acceptable and agreed by this Friday they are concluding their business with us and returning the house to the market. (And I presume going back to their better offer).

This is all Scotland BTW, so no legal gazumping etc here.

MmeLindor Wed 10-Jul-13 00:23:44

They are being utter arses.

What does your solicitor say?

What are you other options, if this doesn't go through? Can you stay where you are and keep searching.

intarsia Wed 10-Jul-13 00:32:53

The problem is that house buying in Scotland has changed over the years. Offers used to be accepted subject to "concluded missives" and this used to happen quite quickly even if moving- in date was a while away. It made the agreement binding.
Trouble now is that the conclusion of missives is being delayed, often by sellers hoping for a better offer,until almost moving-in date which leaves it all rather up in the air.

MmeLindor Wed 10-Jul-13 14:00:27

You might get more replies in Property/DIY topic, Glimmer

Erlack Thu 11-Jul-13 08:32:06

Glimmer, I think your solicitor should be advising you here but I am afraid that until the missives are concluded you are leaving yourself open to this kind of thing. You really cannot absolutely plan on a sale going through until that point so unfortunately while I totally sympathise your need to make some arrangements (moving nursery etc) I personally wouldn't have done any of that until I had concluded.

It doesn't sound to me like matters have been unreasonably with the timescales you describe. When I sold recently it took the buyers five weeks to sort their mortgage offer, during which time I became twitchy but that was because they weren't being up front about the delay.

I am a little surprised the seller expected you to pay for the updated survey given the Home Report was so out of date- did your solicitor ask them to refresh it?

If the original offer has come back on the scene from the other potential buyers, you are effectively being gazumped here (or at least there is the threat), which is a total no-no if the property is under offer. The difficulty is that because you've not been in a position to make a clean offer, it makes it hard to argue that it is under offer at that point.

Can you ask your solicitor get a bit more clarity about why they now want to delay further?

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