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Selling a property to a friend, without an agent. What is fair and correct?

(61 Posts)
QuintShhhhhh Sun 20-Sep-15 15:44:46

We had the house valued this spring, and friend is willing to pay the valuation price. She is keen on the house, so we thought we might as well not use an agent and not put it on the open market, seeing as she is keen.

We were thinking of getting a solicitor to do the conveyancing / sale to ensure everything is done properly. Take a 25% cash deposit from friend, and let her move in prior to completion. (she first suggested we swap houses till hers is sold - she is pregnant and naturally keen to settle asap) We are keen on porting our current mortgage and buy a smaller flat, and this needs to tie in with completion on both properties falling within a 30 day period.

She is putting her house on the market, wants to paint to get better offers, and she therefore wants access to both properties so she can repaint hers and put a new kitchen in mine, and she wants me to come with her to the notary to sign her up as co owner for our house, in exchange of her deposit.

To be honest, on hearing this I just think it easier for us to take our chances and just put in on the market and follow the normal process. It has gone from us making it easy for her due to pregnancy, and she wanting ownership of our house in exchange of paying deposit, and us totally out of the way.

At the same time I wanted to sell to her because she is a friend, and I did not want the hassle of having it on the market, but this sounds like much more hassle than it is worth.

fraggle84 Sun 20-Sep-15 15:50:05

Sounds like a nightmare id avoid, don't make anyone a co owner of your house!!

ChristineDePisan Sun 20-Sep-15 15:53:20

This has big alarm bells ringing!

If you want to sell to her, follow the normal selling process as closely as possible, including her not getting the keys to live there until the financial side is completed

LIZS Sun 20-Sep-15 16:00:06

I think you will lose a friend. While selling to her is not in itself an issue , the types of favours and concessions she is mentioning already could be. You'd need a legal access agreement and permission from your mortgage company , if there is one , and insurer. What if she didn't sell in time so could not proceed but had started work , or she caused damage before exchange/completion. She might string the whole thing out through circumstances and I suspect that prices will have risen already since valuation, let alone in a few more months.

TondelayoSchwarzkopf Sun 20-Sep-15 16:01:06


DLADilemma Sun 20-Sep-15 16:01:54

I've sold a house to a very close friend without an agent, but no way would I let her move in before completion or sign her as co-owner before this - sounds very dodgy!

Roseandbee Sun 20-Sep-15 16:20:29

If your already worried about it being a hassle, trust your instincts.
Not sure why she wud suggest you swap houses, surely this is great for her & a huge inconvenience for you? Also some houses stay on the market for years

wowfudge Sun 20-Sep-15 16:31:37

No, no - a thousand times no. The only difference between sale to friend without an agent and a 'normal' sale is that you are not using an estate agent.

Yes, you need a solicitor to handle the conveyancing. As a pp has already stated, you do not give access until completion. Your mortgage company will not agree to a house swap surely?

Although she is pregnant both you and she need time to complete the chain - her to sell and you to buy.

SoupDragon Sun 20-Sep-15 16:33:42


Was exactly what my brain screamed as I read more of your post.

YellowDinosaur Sun 20-Sep-15 16:39:03

<joins FUCK NO bench>

LyndaNotLinda Sun 20-Sep-15 16:42:39

Quint, you are a lovely, kind friend but FUCK NO.

I wouldn't even let her move in before completion. What's in it for you? Nothing

RumAppleGinger Sun 20-Sep-15 16:44:50

Not a chance in hell would I be signing someone else as co-owner to my house.

Selling your house without an agent, cool. All the other stuff. Fuck that.

YonicScrewdriver Sun 20-Sep-15 16:48:41

Good lord, no.

Go back to her and say you are happy to give her a reasonable window (3 months or whatever) of exclusivity, after which you will market the house in the normal way if she is not in a position to buy.

But only do this if it's worth it for you!

YonicScrewdriver Sun 20-Sep-15 16:50:47

Oh, I'd probably let her stay a couple of days whilst the painting and airing of her flat was being done but I'd do that for any pregnant friend.

Definite no to new kitchen before she moves in! I suspect she hasn't discussed her ideas with her mortgage company at this stage,

MerdeAlor Sun 20-Sep-15 16:53:57

Holy shit NO

So what happens if she becomes co-owner, you have a falling out and she doesn't pay you the remaining 75%?

Anyone who even suggests this is sorely lacking in boundaries - not someone you want to make yourself vulnerable with.

Why not just say no, it makes you uncomfortable to do it the way she suggests?

Any solicitor worth their salt will be alarmed by her suggestion too.

Fairenuff Sun 20-Sep-15 16:54:42

No way.

Do not let her move in until completion is signed.

WhereYouLeftIt Sun 20-Sep-15 16:57:45

Another FUCK NO with a side-order of suspicious glances at OP's friend. Where on earth did she get the idea of being a co-owner shock or swapping?

"We were thinking of getting a solicitor to do the conveyancing / sale to ensure everything is done properly."
Of course you need a solicitor!

How long have you known this friend? How close are you?

Zucker Sun 20-Sep-15 16:58:41

Besides the other tomfoolery she wants, why in the name of all that is sensible would you be thinking of handing her over co ownership of your house once she's paid her deposit? Why does she even think this is okay to ask for!

anothernumberone Sun 20-Sep-15 17:00:06

Let her rent your house until sale is complete. That is what we did.

Mrsjayy Sun 20-Sep-15 17:01:55

Tell her yes once her mortgage is in place there is no way i would do this you are open to all sorts of stuff go to a solicitor im sure they will tell you the same

thegiddylimit Sun 20-Sep-15 17:02:32

Sell to a friend without using an estate agent: FINE. Using a solicitor: IMPERATIVE. Doing what this hormone addled woman is suggesting: FUCK NO.

Mrsjayy Sun 20-Sep-15 17:03:15

Yes rent it to her.

greenfolder Sun 20-Sep-15 17:07:56

This is the point at which you say
" we have taken legal advice and we will need to do the conveyancing conventionally to protect us all. We will allow you until x date to get a firm offer/complete chain on your side, after which we will sell on the open market."

We sold my pils house to the next door neighbours, it was empty and they had a key, which we were very happy about so they could check for leaks etc. this gave our solicitor the heebeegeebies though and a letter was sent reminding them not to do any work ahead of completion.

YonicScrewdriver Sun 20-Sep-15 17:10:45

I don't think you should rent it! Presumably you don't want to become landlords, get gas safety certificates, tell your mortgage company etc etc - and if she never comes up with the money to buy, she might be a nightmare to evict given her boundary issues so far!

mumofthemonsters808 Sun 20-Sep-15 17:11:18

Put in on the open market, it does not sound like she is even in a position to make an offer on your property, if she has not yet sold her house.

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