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Pre-contract deposit

(8 Posts)
fuctifino Sat 16-May-15 12:02:43

As a buyer, we have been asked to pay a £15,100 deposit as a pre-contract deposit.

Can we refuse? What happens if we do?

lalalonglegs Sat 16-May-15 13:36:11

Yes, you can refuse. I've heard to £1k or £2k deposits to show that you mean business (and which will cover the seller's legal costs if you pull out) but £15k seems excessive.

I think it is very unlikely that your solicitor would advise you to proceed if you were being held to ransom over this but, of course, the seller could equally refuse to deal with you if you won't pay up. I suspect s/he may have difficulty finding someone else who will though.

feesh Sat 16-May-15 13:41:55

There was an article in the Guardian about this very recently (possibly last week) - have a look under Money-Property and it should be fairly easy to find. The gist was, it's illegal.

lalalonglegs Sat 16-May-15 19:35:49

Well spotted, feesh, it does contravene the Ombudsman guidelines article here. Sadly, when the buyer featured in the article refused to pay, the house was sold to someone else...

fuctifino Sun 17-May-15 09:48:13

Oh dear sad. Maybe it's just us but we don't have 15k hanging around.

My plan of action is to speak to the solicitor before the agents. I have already spoken to the vendor, it's not on her instructions, she referred to them as money grabbing!!

lalalonglegs Sun 17-May-15 17:02:21

If the agents aren't acting on the orders of the vendor then they can FOTTFSOF. Seriously, the vendor has a very good case for binning them entirely as they are in danger of jeopardising the sale of her house. If they get shirty in any way, join forces with the vendor and report them to the Ombudsman.

fuctifino Mon 18-May-15 21:10:48

Reporting back.
Spoke to solicitor, she said absolutely not to pay it.
Rang agent, told them wouldn't pay it on advice of solicitor. She said nobody had ever refused to pay and she'd have to discuss with manager. She came back and said fine and asked me to forward our mortgage in principle to her.

So, all's well that ends well smile

Conchitaperon Tue 19-May-15 20:12:20

I was asked to pay 3% of the purchase price by the agent as a pre contract deposit that should be given to the seller. I refused and I transfer just half of it.
Weeks later the estate agency went bankrupt, and the seller never received the money. I decided to team up with the seller and had chase the agency for months.
You could get in touch privately with the seller and agree a reasonable amount as a pre deposit.
Hope it helps.

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