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5 months and no move in date - pulling out?

(26 Posts)
WytebordMarker Fri 21-Feb-14 19:49:11

My hubby and I put an offer on a property in London 6 months ago. We got the survey and searches done. However the seller keeps delaying it by not progressing with the lease extention (part of the conditional offer), no contract has been exchanged. We did not know what went wrong until last week, that the estate agent finally told us that they are buying a house that is left in a will, the probate process is long. They have young children so they are not willing to move to a rental accommodation. We are first time buyer with no property to sell.

They cannot tell us how long it will take for them to move out, seller is also considering looking for another property.

We ditch the previous pathetic solicitors who ignore us completely. Ended up going to the legal ombudsmen.

Shall we pay another few thousand £ to appoint another solicitor? Do you think we should pull out?

The idea that we do not know when we can move in after exchanging contract is scary. The property prices have been rocketing in London. We missed out on many potential properties. Anyone have experience on this? Is it normal to wait for 6+ months to buy a property? If they suddenly decide to buy another property, it will take at least another two months. With the vendor's unique situation - an affordable house in London that they can house all their children, in the same area, it will take them a lot time to find another suitable property.

Please advise sad

deste Fri 21-Feb-14 20:09:24

We have been selling a property outside London. It should have completed in November but the guy upstairs flooded ours plus the two downstairs. I am aware they have been waiting a long time but at the moment they are happy, god only knows why. As the property is having every room replastered and painted, two bathrooms retiled and refloored I suspect the property will be worth more than we are getting. We don't know when our work will be completed so we can't tell the buyer either. I agree that it is a nightmare.

redshoespurplehat Fri 21-Feb-14 20:16:28

I think I would be pulling my hair out by this stage! I do feel for you! I would be temped to write a letter saying that you need a decision and some dates from them as you have seen another property that's available that you are now wondering if you should withdraw your offer, as it wasn't intended to be a limitless one! 6 months is terrible!!

WytebordMarker Fri 21-Feb-14 20:16:48

deste - I would be happy to wait it I was the buyer! It is like getting the property redone. As you are honest with them, they would feel more secure and willing to wait. Refurbishment would complete in a few months. A probate can take years. It is apparently children vs step mum.

specialsubject Fri 21-Feb-14 20:18:14

your sellers consider you the little people and so are happily pissing you about. Set a deadline after which you will give up. It won't kill them to go into rental with kids.

BTW conveyancing fees should not be a few thousand!! a few hundred at most!

WytebordMarker Fri 21-Feb-14 20:21:24

A few hundred for conveyancing? shock
Where did you get your quote from? We have spent at least a thousand so far on conveyancing.

specialsubject Fri 21-Feb-14 20:41:22

happy to PM you the firm's details. Used them three times now. Quick, efficient, helpful, and half the price of the high-street dinosaurs.

Conveyancing should be about 0.01% of house value, plus searches of course.

notallwhowander Fri 21-Feb-14 21:09:15

confused.com- I've obviously been getting quotes from the wrong places. How can 0.01% be right? On a £300k house purchase that would mean fees of only £30? That's impossible? Or have I missed something???

BellaI Fri 21-Feb-14 23:59:36

My legal fees to buy are £750-800 + search costs. Roughly similar for a flat sale including legal advice on a lease extension. We had to extend a lease as a condition of sale. I would say that part took about 6-8 weeks. Assuming they can agree a price with the freeholder and the freeholder has own lawyer it shouldn't be that time consuming.

WytebordMarker Sat 22-Feb-14 00:10:30

update: 6 months ago, a previous buyer pull out, they said it was due to financial issue. Thinking back, maybe the previous buyer pull out because the seller piss them around hmm

They always make it sound like it is our fault and we are being cruel to "force" them into rental. Seller just sold two BTL London properties. They should have sufficient funding to rent a decent house.

Btw, What is the average cost of conveyancing. I cannot find any deals below £1000. PM me if you know any good and reasonably priced solicitors.

lessonsintightropes Sat 22-Feb-14 00:43:20

My legal fees to sell are about £600 for what it's worth - my solicitor is based in Wales so cheap (and a family friend) but half his work is in London so understands the market.

OP what a crap situation, I am sorry. We were in a not dissimilar one recently; we had sold our house and offered mid-November on a flat in Crystal Palace. At that point the estate agent did happen to mention that she was disabled and therefore might take a bit of time to find somewhere, but we lost patience at the end of January when she still hadn't done any viewings. Unlike you though we didn't cough up for a survey as we were a bit worried about it all. We lost about £400 in legal fees when we pulled out as our solicitor had been quite active on our behalf trying to find out what was going on (as the estate agents acting for her sale, who are also selling her house, had stopped communicating with us).

Thank God our FTBers have not lost patience with us - we have communicated frequently with them to reassure them that we are serious about the sale, and been quick to guarantee that we will not put the price up (a very common tactic down here) in the meantime. They are relieved we've now pulled out of the previous purchase and have found something else that we should hopefully be able to exchange on fairly soon. My biggest dread is that they will lose confidence and go elsewhere, but good comms seems to have sorted this out (but many a slip twixt cup and lip, so I'll only believe it when we've all exchanged).

Best of luck and I hope it works out for you.

lessonsintightropes Sat 22-Feb-14 00:44:30

PS have PMd you about solicitors.

Anniegoestotown Sat 22-Feb-14 00:51:51

The idea that we do not know when we can move in after exchanging contract is scary.

When you exchange contracts a date is set for completion. If either party does not complete on the due date then penalties are incurred.

JackieBrambles Sat 22-Feb-14 08:14:03

How annoying for you op sad
I think 6 months is excessive.

We accepted an offer on our flat (se London) in early November. Found somewhere about 3 weeks after that. We are now in a chain of 6 (!) which has slowed things considerably but are due to exchange soon for move in march, so that's 4 months and our buyers (bottom of chain) have been extremely impatient and hassling us like mad because of the chain delays!! You have been more than patient.

I think you need to give a date and then pull out if they don't hurry up. If they want to hold onto your sale they will rent. If they lose your sale they will no doubt find another quickly (as London is ridiculous), they could probably even get more money. In our area prices have gone up about 20% since Oct!!

I would start viewing properties again, get your hand back in to see what's out there in your price range now!

Orangeisthenewbanana Sat 22-Feb-14 08:27:53

I would start viewing properties again. Are you sure you have exchanged contracts, not just signed them? As
PP's have said, a date for completion is set when you exchange contracts and there are then penalties for pulling out/not completing on the agreed date. To give you an idea, we signed our contracts at the end of May, other parties pissed about weren't ready to exchange contracts until mid-August and we completed end of August. My SIL/BIL complete in 2 weeks after a very similar thing.

If you haven't exchanged, give your seller a date for exchange & completion and say you'll pull out if the timings aren't met. They can't seriously expect you to hang on for possibly years until the probate is sorted.

WytebordMarker Sat 22-Feb-14 09:39:02

I looked briefly online, the prices have gone up by 20% since Oct 2013! Now we have to pay more for the same property. It is in Canary Wharf so the seller can find another buyer quickly.

I am quite cross with the agent that they are hiding the fact that the buyer is in a probate sale. Our solicitors were rubbish, not contactable, did not have anyone to chase this up for us. Agent told us eventually last week because they think we will find out with the new solictor angry.

If I knew that they are in a probate sale, I would not put an offer on the property.

Thank you for the PM smile

WytebordMarker Sat 22-Feb-14 09:44:29

We have not exchange contract due to them delayig it using the lease extension issue. We refused to sign the contract because my name is not on it. Perhaps the agent / their solicitors assume women don't own properties, although my name is on the mortgage and we did say to them that we are buying it as a couple?!?

specialsubject Sat 22-Feb-14 12:49:45

apologies for badly misplaced decimal point! Fee on a £600k sale was £500, plus searches, survey, land registry fee, etc.

truelymadlysleepy Sat 22-Feb-14 13:03:26

Could you suggest an exchange with a long completion date? if they say no, it would suggest that they're not as serious as you thought.
Ask the same EA to show you other properties, they'll get the message that you're losing the will.

Viviennemary Sat 22-Feb-14 13:14:29

This nonsence really annoys me. It happened to us. Person said no problem moving out and she would move in with her sister and then when the time came she wouldn't. We went for another house in the end and she phoned up in tears and got DH who wasn't sympathetic. blush

But you can't exchange contracts and not move in it would usually have to be exchange contracts = vacant possession. In your shoes I would absolutely go for another house. Because in the end they could get a higher offer and keep you hanging on for many months and you still might not get the house.

PigletJohn Sat 22-Feb-14 16:36:00

look for another house. If the one you have been waiting for actually becomes available before you are suited, you could still buy it.

If not, not.

Cinnamon2013 Tue 25-Feb-14 04:14:36

We were in a similar situation. You have my sympathies as it's a really tough one. We had an offer accepted on a property (in North London) last March, six months (and a newborn) on and there were still looking for the right property and dragging their heels on the legal process. I wanted to pull out but we decided to stick with it. They came back to us then and demanded an extra £35k as prices has risen - the worst outcome. We pulled out and within two months had brought a nice chain-free property which was a refreshingly straightforward process. Without wanting to alarm I'm glad we got out when we did, we bought the last property on the market that we could afford in our chosen area, a month later we were priced out. I don't know what to advise you but I think the increase in London prices is very important to take into account. Also being sure that they are completely committed to buying a house soon even if their current one falls through. Good luck and hope you see progress soon.

Cinnamon2013 Tue 25-Feb-14 06:49:57

A few people have suggested giving deadlines, getting EA to show you other properties etc In London at the moment my view is this is not the way to handle it - the seller is in a stronger position and could potentially gain from you pulling out ( as they could then put back on market at new higher value).

specialsubject Tue 25-Feb-14 09:57:27

true, cinnamon123, but the buyers have to weigh how much they want the property against all this hassle. And without exchange there's no guarantee they won't get gazumped anyway.

so glad I don't live in London!

BranchingOut Tue 25-Feb-14 21:16:40

We recently sold in London and unfortunately the seller is in a far stronger position, especially once they get their lease issues sorted out. They will have other buyers at their fingertips.

Why not consider a sale and leaseback option? You would buy the property but the sellers would rent it from you in the meantime under a time-limited 'license to occupy' until their purchase is sorted out. However you would need to get a good solicitor to sort this out - bargain basement is a false economy when you are buying and selling your largest asset.

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