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First time buyer- just exchanged contracts BUT...

(13 Posts)
chocochoco Wed 08-May-13 16:08:38

...there was a mistake on the contract.

Our offer was accepted back in January for £192,500. There were a couple of other buyers making offers (apparently) and this was the lowest they would accept.

Anyway, when we received the contract from the seller it said the price was £190,000. We signed it and our solicitor said it wasnt his place to tell them of the mistake.

We have just exchanged and nothing has been said. Have we just bought the property for a lower price?? Or is this going to cause a problem at completion or before??

LIZS Wed 08-May-13 16:11:11

were there any fixtures an fittings sold separately ?

fresh Wed 08-May-13 16:13:36

If you've exchanged, that's the deal. If the other side's solicitor has messed up then I feel sorry for the vendor but they'll have to take it up with their solicitor. They may ask you for the extra money and then you'll have a moral decision to make, but legally you've contracted to buy the property for £190k.

chocochoco Wed 08-May-13 16:37:58

The seller included the washing machine in the sale but nothing sold separately.
Am i right in thinking that the seller would have seen and signed the contract and must have failed to notice the wrong price?

fresh Wed 08-May-13 17:14:32

Yes, the seller would have seen and signed the contract so if they've missed it that's their mistake. Legally they can't come after you for the extra money on completion.

specialsubject Wed 08-May-13 17:23:54

as I remember there are two different physical contracts. They should be an exact copy of each other - but are they?

BeanoNoir Wed 08-May-13 17:34:06

Personally I would feel bad about taking advantage of this mistake to pay less money than I agreed to pay when the offer was expected. Regardless of the legal rights and wrongs I don't think I'd feel very comfortable with myself unless provided a chance for it to be rectified. It's your choice though, and I suppose you know whether or not you'd feel bad about it.

we currently in the process of buying/selling, and no matter how frustrating and expensive it seems, I'd like to come out of the whole thing with a clear conscience iyswim.

BeanoNoir Wed 08-May-13 17:34:45

I'm not sure if you're talking legalities or 'moralities' though.

lalalonglegs Wed 08-May-13 17:36:06

We recently sold a flat and the two contracts had different prices on them - our solicitor spotted it at exchange when the 10% deposit didn't add up. Afaik, exchange is purely theoretical, the sellers will have signed a contract which is meant to be identical to yours but, I imagine, could have the price agreed on it. If push comes to shove and the contracts do have different prices then I imagine there would be a paper trail back to the original price offered and, if there was no record of any subsequent reduction, then I guess you would have to pay the original price. If both contracts state £190k, then the sellers can't do anything.

BeanoNoir Wed 08-May-13 17:37:19

accepted not expected and we are not we. I'm sure you understood what I was trying to say though.

racmun Wed 08-May-13 18:29:00

As a solicitor when you do an exchange you should according to Law Society Rules use a specific method by which to exchange. Most are done under a process called 'Formula B' which is when each solicitors holds their client's signed part of the contract. In all the contracts I ever exchanged (hundreds and hundreds) you would run through the basis details to check all is correct so a discrepancy would come up.

I don't want to worry you but does your mortgage offer (assuming you have one) refer to a price of £192k if so your solicitor should theoretically report the price drop to the mortgage co. they will potentially want to issue a new offer which can take a while.

you are best off speaking to your solicitor first thing tomorrow, they may, and i'd be very very surprised if they are not worried about the mortgage company (in which case they are potentially negligent to their mortgage client ) if they are concerned then you really don't want to delay completion over this as it will be 'your fault' and you could have to pay interest etc for late completion if your revised mortgage offer doesn't come through in time.

If you're happy to pay the £2k then that may be the easiest solution, legally you don't have to but you need to ensure you can complete on time.

Hope that helps

AuntLucyInPeru Wed 08-May-13 18:32:06

Hurrah for you! Congratulations in your £2k windfall. How are you going to spend it grin

BeanoNoir Wed 08-May-13 18:45:23

Really? You'd just pocket two and a half thousand pounds with a sort of 'well, you should have checked it properly shouldn't you?' attitude?

If that was us who was selling to you it might mean we wouldn't have enough deposit for our next mortgage.

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