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Help! Who decides on time between exchange and completion?

(11 Posts)
Sally1723 Wed 01-Jul-15 17:55:28

I hope someone out there can help. We have sold our house to a buyer who is in rented accommodation. We are looking to move to another part of the country, so we have decided to rent whilst we look around.

The solicitor dealing with the sale has advised us not to outlay deposit or rent in advance on a rented property until we have exchanged and the buyer's deposit is paid. That makes sense to me.

Letting agents we are talking to are telling us we should allow 4-5 weeks to find a new property, do all the contracts and so forth and move in.

I have spoken to our estate agent twice about asking the buyer to allow us 4-5 weeks between exchange of contracts and completion. However, the agent is saying that he has never heard of that long between the two and clearly does not want to talk to our buyer to put our request to her. Our agent just keeps saying we should look for temporary lets until we can get into something more permanent. Only problem is we are moving to Devon so all temporary lets are already let for the holidays.

I have also been told today, that our buyer's solicitor is likely to have advised her that she should not give notice on her rented place until contracts have exchanged - again for the obvious reasons. And that she will be required to give one month's notice. So, it's possible that 4-5 weeks between will suit her too.

It seems to me that she won't give us time to find somewhere to rent, we will have to look for somewhere to buy which will either add 8-10 weeks for legal stuff if we can find a no chain property or add a lot longer if we enter into buying a property that is in a chain.

Please help - we don't want to lose our buyer or mess her about. I am truly at my wits end!


Wildpoppy Wed 01-Jul-15 18:02:06

We had a month between exchange and completion. Just told our solicitor that is what we wanted and they sorted it. But our buyers were first time buyers.

GiddyOnZackHunt Wed 01-Jul-15 18:05:52

Plenty of people have longer exchange to completion time lines. Put it through solicitors rather then EA though.

Sally1723 Wed 01-Jul-15 18:15:02

Thanks - my god that was quick! Giddy, why do you say put it through solicitor? I have suspected that agent just wants sale to go through quickly, do you think the same?

titchy Wed 01-Jul-15 18:17:52

The estate agent is acting in their own interests - they don't get paid till you've completed. The solicitor gets paid regardless of whether you complete or not so they'll be acting more in your interests than their own.

specialsubject Wed 01-Jul-15 19:29:52

you can negotiate between all parties in the chain. Tell your solicitor what you want and ask them to propose it to the buyer via their solicitor.

it is entirely right that no-one should give notice on a rental or commit to a rental until exchange.

BTW depending on references time you can be in a rental property under 2 weeks from agreeing to take it. And worst comes to the worst; stick your stuff in storage and book a week in a travelodge. Not fun but not fatal.

Sally1723 Wed 01-Jul-15 20:37:26

Thanks so much specialsubject for the confirmation about renting and notice. I know the travelodge wouldn't be bad - only thing is we have a little cat. I know that is also likely to make renting difficult.

Resolving to be more positive tomorrow!

GiddyOnZackHunt Wed 01-Jul-15 20:43:26

Yes as titchy says, the estate agent has an interest in getting the sale done and dusted as they only get their fee if and when it happens. Your solicitor would be best placed to conduct negotiations about this stuff. Basically once you've got your offer the EA is useful for running around keeping the deal together but not for the legal advice.

SometimesItRains Wed 01-Jul-15 20:47:58

As a property solicitor I second everybody above. It is down to the parties to agree to the time period between exchange and completion and you can agree between you whatever you like. I would explain the situation to your solicitor and ask them to agree a long enough period with the buyer's solicitor. We had a five week period between the two on our latest move. Ignore the agent, he's just after his money.

Esmum07 Wed 01-Jul-15 21:05:52

Second and third everything on here. Solicitors have a load of work to do between exchange and completion so they prefer 4 weeks and anyone currently renting will need to give a month's notice so ignore the estate agent. Once the property is beginning to move I'd always go to my solicitor. The only time I've got an estate agent involved is when my solicitor was having problems getting information from the vendor's solicitor and I got the estate agent to inform the vendor that their solicitor was about to derail the whole move by crawling along. They hadn't even been asked for the information by their solicitor. Other than that, exchange/completion is solicitor work, not the estate agent's.

As far as the rental goes, get in touch with as many agents as you can. Explain about the cat. I've rented with a cat before, it does slow things up but it's doable. Find out what deposit you need, what references and what financials you need and put everyone who will provide them on 'high alert' so that, as soon as you find a place everyone is moving fast. My sister is moving from abroad back here and managed to get the house they are renting signed for in a week because she and her DH had all the paperwork and reference providers set up. Is it possible, also, to put your cat into a cattery for a couple of weeks if you have a wait to move into a longer let property? That way, although you'd be living out of a suitcase for a few weeks, at least you wouldn't have to try to find a holiday let that could take a cat.

Hope it goes well.

Sally1723 Wed 01-Jul-15 21:10:36

Just to say that my son recommended Mumsnet to me - everything he said about the useful advice and kind people is true! I feel ready to approach tomorrow knowing exactly who I need to talk to - the solicitor - and what to say to him.

Thanks so much to all of you.


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