Buying - what would you do in our situation?(13 Posts)
We are in the process of buying and have been so for over three months now and still no exchange of contracts. I have a few questions on how to deal with the situation.
- The vendors are being extremely slow and not forthcoming in providing us requested information and / or documents. Our solicitor has been very good at chasing them up, but to no avail.
- Subsequently structural foundation issues were disclosed to us. We have been waiting for more information from them on this - on what exactly these are, what the insurers did, but we have not obtained anything so far.
How should we deal with the situation? I feel that having the solicitors in the middle is affecting the chain of communication. Is it ok for us to request to speak directly to the vendors?
Also we wonder whether we should start considering other properties. If so, what is generally the process of pulling out and looking around again. Are we required to first pull out before viewing / putting in any other offers?
Thanks for reading !!
As far as I understand, it's considered bad form to communicate directly with the vendor yourself, though I'm not really sure why. In your position, I think I'd get the vendor's estate agent to chase it up. The solicitor has no real vested interest in pushing the sale along but the estate agent wants their commission.
I would want to let the vendors know that you are beginning to lose faith in the sale (and I would be looking at other properties). If they don't want to lose their buyer, they will act (sounds like they havent found what they want to buy??) but if they don't act on it, that tells you what you need to know and says they're not really serious about selling.
Thanks. We have already asked the EA to chase up and the only thing this has achieved is, another letter from their solicitor stating they are trying to provide us the documentation we have requested, but no further information. Its almost silence from them.
They say they have found something else to buy etc etc, but perhaps you are right and they are no longer interested in selling.
I will probably start to arrange some viewings now - as our mortgage offer will expire otherwise. Do we have to formally pull out of the deal before we put in our offer elsewhere? I wonder if we pull out and then we don't find any other property either !
I would look at other properties now, you are perfectly entitled to. If you find another one you are interested in I would speak to your estate agent and get them to give the vendors a deadline for exchange of contracts (unless you actually prefer the new one in which case you could make an offer on it, if it is accepted you can then pull out of the original one). They have mucked you about, I wouldn't worry about doing the same to them!
Start looking, it may give them the kick up the backside that they need. You will soon find out if they are serious or not.
I would speak to the vendor. When we bought our place we thought everything was going fine. It was only when the seller called me direct and asked me about lots of delays that we realised our solicitors were useless and had been messing everyone around.
Tell the estate agent you want to speak to the vendor direct and then put your questions to them - at the very least it will give you an idea of how committed they are. Plus, if they think they may lose a buyer it may be the kick up the backside they need.
As a related question, the structural issues were not picked up by our building surveyor - he didn't investigate the particular area in the house stating "the room was full of stored items, so could not look there". Do you think we should raise this with the surveyor or is this his get out clause i.e. he didn't look there and hence did not pick up the issue?
I would contact the surveyor, and also ask your solicitor to hassle the vendors solicitor daily.
we had similar problems with a house we wanted to buy - but the structural issue had been picked up by the surveyor, and the vendors couldn't provide sufficient paperwork to enable us to get a mortgage on the property. We had daily conversations with our poor solicitor (who was utterly wonderful the whole time!), and she nagged the EAs (who were shit) and the vendor's sol (who was REALLY shit).
we also found that speaking to a different person at the EA and say we were having doubts about the property really put the fear into them, and got things moving - the EAs were so utterly desperate to make the sale!
the sale ended up falling through as we just couldn't get our mortgage company to lend on it, and we moved into a different house 3 months later, where all the paperwork was in order, and the vendors were mainly lovely.
You could just ask to view the property again on the pretext that you need to take measurements for furniture or something and then speak to the vendors that way if they seem amenable. You could then see if they would be willing to swap phone numbers with you. I wonder if the vendors have asked the solicitor to drag their heels because they haven't actually found anything to buy. If it was me I would be pursuing it hard through the EA - finding out how the vendor's purchase is progressing (that way you'll know if they really do have one), asking for proposed completion dates etc. I'm a big fan of making EAs work for their money (even though it's not you paying their bill).
The furniture measurements idea is excellent ! At least it will help to verify whether the vendors are dragging their feet or if it is their solicitor who is being slow.
Thanks for sharing your experiences. I can see now that putting pressure on the EA makes sense. I had thought that once the offer has been accepted the EA was cut out from the picture [you can see we are ftb and not much experience in how things work!].
No, EA does a lot of work after the sale is agreed. They are the only ones who can talk to both sets of solicitors and the other set of EA's, so should be talking to them both on a regular basis to try to sort any hold-ups out. They only get their commission when the sale is exchanged so they should know exactly what is going on - although buyers/sellers rarely realise what work goes into it. (Am an ex EA by the way)
Definitely hedge your bets by looking elsewhere. If your mortgage is about to expire, you will be left in a pickle, all because you wanted to be polite to some people who are either messing you about themselves, or are allowing you to be messed about.
Check out your mortgage agreed-in-principle situation. It may not 'expire' completely if you contact the provider in the few days before the 'end-date' and confirm with them that your financial situation has not changed and you wish the agreement to continue for the next period of time. We had that sort of thing with ours (FirstDirect) but let it expire anyway as we're staying put for now.
Your situation sounds troubling. You haven't exchanged? So under no obligation to anyone at all apart from yourselves and finding a great home without worrying issues.
Check situation with your lender, let vendors EA/solicitor know you are looking elsewhere (not threat, just update) and get out there and look at other places.
Best of luck.
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