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Urgent advice needed: Buyer, buyer's mortgage broker and buyer's solicitor are driving me mad

(24 Posts)
Sally1723 Sat 25-Jul-15 20:09:44


This is extremely long but it's complicated. I am grateful in advance to anyone who takes the time to read it and advise me. I am getting pretty desperate.

We accepted an offer at the start of June on the house. EA said buyer was in rented and had mortgage in place. Like a fool, I instructed Countrywide and have had to complain formally to them. My case has since been passed to a solicitor at CW who appears to be proficient.

I told the previous twerp in the first conversation with him in early June that I would not be prepared to proceed to exchange without a deposit from the buyer. I also told him that in order to make the whole process quicker, we were going to move into rented. We are moving across the country, so I also told him we would need some four to five weeks between exchange and completion to find somewhere to rent. I am certainly not about to take the risk of paying out on renting until we have the buyer's deposit at exchange.

My solicitor - the first one - would not speak to buyer about dates, so I got the EA to do it on 16th July. Finally, last Monday, buyer agreed to exchange soon as, with completion on 1st September. On Wednesday, buyer's lawyer says buyer's mortgage offer expires on 21st August and can't be extended. As we are moving a distance, removals have told us it will be cheaper mid-week, so I proposed a completion date of 19th August. I made it clear that I can only agree to that completion date if we can exchange - with buyer's deposit in place - at the start of next week.

Buyer's lawyer came back at close of play last Friday and said that owing to a 'transaction' on which the funding of the buyer's purchase depends, buyer can't exchange until 31st July. They were kind enough to tell me that it's up to me whether we exchange on 31st July or after bank holiday, 4th August. Buyer's lawyer had gone home so no explanation forthcoming. Instead we have been left wondering all weekend.

My timescale is being squeezed more and more with the buyer's camp setting and then resetting the dates. They are putting me at risk with their demands, and the constantly shifting timescale is making our position impossible. It will be a push to find rental at the other side of the country with only two weeks to go. If I go with the timescale the buyer is demanding, and if I don't find rented in time, the costs will be huge - temporary accommodation, cattery, and I work from home so will lose business if I am holed up in the Travelodge for weeks on end.

I am entirely ready to rent to bring the sale to completion which is surely where the buyer wants to be as well. However, I am concerned because there is clearly to be no negotiation, no consideration of my situation, only the buyer's lawyer dictating the terms. My own solicitor, the second much-improved version, is saying that they don't want to nag as buyer's lawyer may dig her heels in.

On top of this, what the EA is passing on to me from the buyer's mortgage broker and the buyer and then what buyer's lawyer is saying to my solicitor regarding the deposit is different between the two and it changes daily. I have been told that buyer is remortgaging another property for the purchase - yet she had a valuation on my house. I have been told that the deposit is there with the broker ready for buyer's lawyer to request, only to be told a day later that the buyer is having to raise it from her business. Despite having asked last Monday, I still have no idea how much the deposit will be.

I need advice PLEASE. Has anyone else come across a buyer doing this kind of thing? Is it just me who thinks the buyer's finances sound dodgy? Can anyone shed light on what they are doing? If anything? Other than being plain inconsiderate, that is.

Also, advice please on what to do regarding the buyer and the buyer's lawyer. Do I tell them that exchange with the deposit happens this coming Monday or Tuesday or the deal is off? We don't want to lose the buyer but the situation is becoming untenable and I am running out of time because the buyer has determined when completion has to happen.

I need to take control of this ridiculous situation so advice on how best to do it, PLEASE


LIZS Sat 25-Jul-15 20:14:47

Where are you that has a bank holiday early August ? The deposit is a red herring as it is paper money . Proceeds of one sale/remortgage funds the next. The mortgage offer should be good for about 12 weeks and becomes live at exchange so not sure if that really fits with your timeline.

DelphiniumBlue Sat 25-Jul-15 20:24:23

Sounds like the deposit is coming from buyer's remortgage, and then the balance on a mortgage with your house.
I'm wondering why the mortgage offer can't be extended. Is it a question of an extra fee?
I'd ask your solicitor to get confirmation in writing of the amount of the deposit. You do know that the deposit is not normally released to the seller until completion?
Other than that, it doesn't sound as if there is much you can do about the timescale, seems like the buyers hands are tied. Can you at least go and look at rented properties prior to exchange so that once exchange does take place you are in a better position to proceed quickly with the rental?
It does all sound hugely frustrating, and you are right not to commit yourself to a rent agreement until exchange has happened.
I'd be worrying about whether the buyer will actually have the deposit on time- doesn't sound too reliable, and that their position has not been transparent from the outset.

Sally1723 Sat 25-Jul-15 20:26:43

Hi Lizs,

Thanks for your reply but I don't understand what you are saying.

Why is the deposit a 'red herring'? Surely it protects me should the buyer pull out after exchange?

I understood the buyer was in rented and had a mortgage in place, so according to that she has no sale to make. She was 'sold' to me a a first time buyer.

All hey have said is that the mortgage offer expires on 21st August so we have to complete before that date.

Thanks for any help.

DelphiniumBlue Sat 25-Jul-15 20:27:54

And sorry, I don't agree with Lizs, in that mortgage offers usually expire 3 months from the date of the offer. I've not heard of an offer becoming 'live' at exchange. However I have been out of that line of business for a few years.

LIZS Sat 25-Jul-15 20:30:47

As long as the deposit funds are accessible they do not have to physically have moved account. If they default your solicitor will be able to access it but that is unusual. There is no bh on 3rd August in England so I wonder if the system near you may differ. Why is it an issue to exchange 31st then move 2- 3 weeks later.

LIZS Sat 25-Jul-15 20:33:31

Sorry not clear, I meant the expiry date of the offer is the deadline for the exchange not the completion date. The mortgage paperwork and funds have to be in place at that point.

Thetruthshallmakeyefret Sat 25-Jul-15 20:44:57

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Thetruthshallmakeyefret Sat 25-Jul-15 20:45:46

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Sally1723 Sat 25-Jul-15 21:20:34

Thanks so much for the advice. It is certainly extremely tricky to decide. Until I know otherwise, this buyer is a fish on the hook but I can't afford to be messed around.

LIZS - are you absolutely certain about only exchange - and not completion - having to be before the mortgage offer expiry date? If so, clearly they are trying it on or their or the broker solicitor doesn't know what they are doing.

And we need 3 weeks to find somewhere to live in order to avoid significant cost. I was absolutely prepared for all the potential costs, but the buyer is increasing the risk of those costs coming to bear by constantly shortening the timescale. Short term lets are increasingly difficult to come by - six months is the norm now as it affords the landlord more protection. But I was nevertheless prepared to bite the bullet. If I am prepared to rent rather than make them wait until I found a property to buy, then I think the least they can do is at least negotiate on dates and be straight about their finances.

Thanks for anything further you have to give me.


achieve6 Sun 26-Jul-15 17:11:18

bear with me as I might be confused.

You are in Scotland I'm thinking, otherwise how do you have a bank holiday?

If the solicitor would not speak to them about the date, they are useless, which rings alarm bells.

Is you pulling out of the deal an option? I agree it's better for you to do this than wait for them to do this. I also think they sound like useless buyers who may cause trouble till the last minute.

But my understanding was that Scottish law made it harder for either party to pull out?

What outcome do you want? I realise your first choice is for this to go through as planned but I can see this going wrong, sorry.

Apologies again if I've misuderstood. But shortening the timescale so you don't have any notice for finding somewhere isn't great. In fact, if you do pull out, next time I'd suggest telling any buyers that there has to be 3 weeks between exchange and completion.

Sally1723 Sun 26-Jul-15 17:35:53

Thanks Achieve6,

No I am not in Scotland - that was my mistake from reading my diary without glasses. We are in the UK.

I know Countrywide have been useless - no surprises there! I have someone much better and far more responsive at CW now dealing with the conveyancing.

I tried my best this time to let the buyer know that we needed time, it just has not been communicated or it has not registered with them.

I agree the buyer is useless and has not been honest from outset. If she is still having to raise the deposit at this late stage, she did not have the funds in place for the purchase at the outset which is what we were led to believe. More to the point, how did she get the mortgage without a deposit. The EA says her mortgage is with a company who deal with people with poor credit - should I be concerned?

One last try tomorrow with our solicitors and hers - I am not hopeful just now. I am also going to get EA to pressure her by telling her we are not happy and will not tolerate any more messing about.

Wish me luck, I am so tired of all of this now.


LIZS Sun 26-Jul-15 18:04:40

Tried to get a reply from dh who has worked in Finance but even he was vague! You could argue the mortgage offer is only fulfilled when the funds are drawn down at completion. However that wouldn't work for, say, a new build with early exchange and delayed completion. Could your ea advise?

It sounds as if the purchaser had a mortgage offer in principle a few weeks before they made an offer on your property as that is when the time (typically 90 days) is triggered from. That would have been based on affordability and a specific loan to value. It may be this was revised when she found your property and had a valuation survey done. However there would always have been a need for a deposit. The faffing about now would make me very wary that they wouldn't try to renegotiate just before exchange or withdraw.

achieve6 Sun 26-Jul-15 18:05:28


oh, so it's just 4th August then, no BH involved?

I don't recall my mortgage provider actually checking where my deposit was - that is, they asked me and I had to sign something I think, saying what I had, but no one actually asked for proof. I might have forgotten though.

" The EA says her mortgage is with a company who deal with people with poor credit - should I be concerned?"

I would be, yes. Also, raising the deposit against a business sounds dodgy.

Let us know what you decide. I can't help feeling you'd be better off at square 1 with someone who comes with less faff. In the current climate there are cash buyers around, that would be easier.

Sally1723 Sun 26-Jul-15 18:31:01

Hi again,

My question about the poor credit issue was almost rhetorical in that the same answer came into my head as I typed it!

Trouble is we have had an offer accepted on the house we really want - small village, no other properties available, prices rising in the area sharply. I really don't want to lose it and fear vendors may put it back on the market if I tell them our sale has fallen through.

At the same time, I want to tell the stupid buyer and her broker and her solicitor to fuck off with their totally unreasonable demands. It seems to be all about me considering the buyer's circumstances whilst not one of them is bothered about mine.

Ah well, will chill out now and wait for tomorrow. I am hoping that my insisting we exchange by Tuesday and that I will not countenance any more of their nonsense will bring buyer to her senses. For god's sake, she has given notice on her rented property already and her mortgage offer expires on 21st August. Why doesn't she want to get this stitched up?

Any ideas on why the buyer and/or her team are delaying?


achieve6 Sun 26-Jul-15 19:43:18

are you looking to move into that property right away or rent?

re your buyers, is it possible they're just hideously disorganised?

Sally1723 Mon 27-Jul-15 10:00:43

Hi achieve6,

The offer on our purchase property was only accepted a couple of weeks ago, so things are very early on in the process. The buyer's deadline of 21st August will mean we have to go into rented.

It is possible that my buyer and her team are totally disorganised, of course. I have told the EA to make her understand that she has much more to lose than us - poor credit with mortgage offer about to expire, notice given on rented property and has to be out by 17th August.

Let's see what today brings.

Thanks again for the advice, reassurance and empathy!

Stubbed Mon 27-Jul-15 10:16:39

I think you are getting too involved and being a bit fussy with the buyer. They have things to organise, too. Just state your requirement of your dates and stick to them. Don't give in to their demands unless you want to, and don't get involved. Do everything through your solicitor.

You might lose the buyer but apparently this is less important to you than the dates which is a bit strange but up to you.

Sally1723 Mon 27-Jul-15 11:44:05

Thanks Stubbed. Of course I am involved - my house is my biggest investment. I am doing everything by the book including communicating through solicitor and EA. Losing the buyer is a huge concern to us but the dates matter too as I have to make arrangements, find somewhere to live and so forth. I also need to keep the costs of all of it right down.


achieve6 Mon 27-Jul-15 12:43:24

Sally, I've been in the position where losing a buyer wasn't a big deal - in London and plenty of interest.

Not sure if you would be in that position of course.

Sally1723 Mon 27-Jul-15 12:54:53

Thanks achieve6,

Losing our buyer is a big deal to us as we really don't want to loose our purchase property. And she is a fish well and truly on the hook as they say in the property programmes.

But, I have to be responsible for myself in terms of what I agree to - I cannot be homeless or faced with huge hotel bills.

All the time, I have a horrible fear that buyer's lawyer is being unreasonable just because she can.

Still no response to email from my solicitor this am at 9.15!

Ah well....

GammonAndEgg Sat 08-Aug-15 09:08:46

How did it go?

BoboBunnyH0p Mon 10-Aug-15 23:33:52

I'm curious too, hope it all got sorted out.

Sally1723 Tue 11-Aug-15 11:00:11


Sorry for the delay in replying but we have been very busy. In the end we had to pull out as the exchange was dependent on buyer's deposit being raised. With the completion also imposed by the buyer's side, we would have had 10 days to find rented and all lettings agents I spoke with - a lot of them - all said we were going to be seriously pushing it. And that was even if they had properties to show us.

We decided that we had to think of ourselves - wellbeing and finances - and of our cat.

We put the house back on the market on the following Saturday and it had sold again by the following Tuesday.

Thanks for everyone's advice through what was a very stressful time.


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