Vendor being threatening or normal?

(15 Posts)
lampshady Fri 16-Oct-15 11:57:40

We're first time buyers of a flat. As far as I'm aware we're working to normal time scales and put the offer in end of July and are now close to exchange.

There are still outstanding solicitor's queries on our side, but the vendor has communicated unless we exchange in two weeks (week and a half left) he will push back exchange until January.

Is this normal when it gets to this stage to hurry things along? We've had a lot of pressure from the agents too. Our solicitor has told us not to exchange until all queries have been resolved, which we agree with, but it exchange is delayed we will pull out.

Does anyone have any experience? I know the agents are working for the vendor, and I think our solicitor is giving us the right advice, so would you pull out if they delayed exchange? The flat is a good price but nothing special and there is plenty of housing locally.

Fizrim Fri 16-Oct-15 12:04:33

My Estate Agents always said around 12 weeks to get the legal side sorted and move, so it seems in line with that really. So the vendor is not pulling out of the sale, they just don't want to move close to Christmas?

The outstanding queries - are they questions that you have asked the vendor? Are they likely to cause any problems (eg planning permission)?

Hope it gets sorted soon for you. But if you want to pull out you are free to do so before exchange, you'll lose the money you have spent on the survey etc, though.

ENtertainmentAppreciated Fri 16-Oct-15 12:06:37

If they want to hurry to exchange then they need to answer the outstanding queries. Feedback that they are holding things up, not you.

lampshady Fri 16-Oct-15 12:19:40

The queries are surrounding the management company of the flat as it's done internally by residents, and the mortgage company that the vendor's mortgage is with. Seems it doesn't exist (??) and our solicitor is concerned that there will be a negative impact on credit rating and the vendor will not be removed from the land registry. At least, that's how I understand it. There are also some petty ones regarding general bits and pieces.

The seller isn't pulling out and we knew when we put in an offer that je wanted to move quickly, however he has never communicated a timescale or deadline. From our side, we appointed solicitors straight away, got mortgage and survey etc sorted and have never been anything other than 'keen'.

In some ways I think I'd be cutting my nose of to spite my face as had a look on rightmove and couldn't get like for like within 20k, but also it's left a bad taste in my mouth and we're fucked for housing if it doesn't go through as our lease runs out end of November.

Fizrim Fri 16-Oct-15 12:36:32

Ah, sounds like the solicitor is querying the legal status of the management company. Can you counter-claim that as your lease runs out in November, if you need to delay exchange it will have to be for six months (or whatever your new lease is?). I can understand if you are just fed up with the vendor, though!

lampshady Fri 16-Oct-15 13:27:04

The counter claim might be the only thing we can do, but I know the vendor will just stick two fingers up and walk away.

There's no way we can stay in our current rental as it's a health hazard. I definitely put all my eggs in one basket with this flat, and perhaps naively, thought it'd be pretty plain sailing!

wowfudge Fri 16-Oct-15 13:28:19

You can go onto a rolling contract if you are renting and give a month's notice when you have exchanged and have a completion date. It would be pretty rare to end your tenancy and move into the new place with no overlap.

This sounds as though it is a communication issue as much as anything. Ask your solicitor for a proper explanation and ask the EA what the vendor has said which makes him believe things are being unnecessarily delayed.

lampshady Fri 16-Oct-15 13:52:47

Honestly, we can't stay here. It's horrendous. When we moved in the boiler was broken and didn't get fixed for two months, and I had to take two days off work so lost money there. There's paint peeling off walls, the stairs aren't secur, there's damp in the bedroom and everything leaks. We were told this would all be dealt with before we moved in but it wasn't. My son's asthma and allergies are really bad because of the paint flaking everywhere like dust storms. It's really, really grim.

At worse we'll have to rent somewhere else but I know we'll be given a poor reference because we've complained about all of the above. They still haven't done anything about it though.

specialsubject Fri 16-Oct-15 14:19:12

please report your landlord to environmental health. As of October 1 they can't evict you while there is an outstanding complaint.

jevoudrais Fri 16-Oct-15 17:22:32

I wouldn't exchange before queries are done, and if you need a mortgage, your solicitor may be unable to. Your timescales aren't particularly fast though (ours were, offered 14th Aug completed 25th Sept and had been ready for two weeks by then).

It might just be that the vendor was expecting you to go a lot faster. You don't know what the EA said to them when putting offers forward and such. Sounds like you have most of the work done but perhaps vendor has a reason why they can't exchange until later, see if you can find out what perhaps?

I wouldn't hold off exchanging until then though, I would worry they would be taking viewings and trying to get a better offer in that time. If there really are lots of other properties and you don't mind losing the money you have already spent on searches/surveys tell them that and see how they react.

ENtertainmentAppreciated Fri 16-Oct-15 17:51:49

OP, as the block is self managed by residents it is absolutely imperative that you're provided with the last set of annual accounts, the current up to date financials, including reserves and at least four sets of minutes of meetings, so you can be fully appraised of how things are being run.

As a caution, I have been involved with a share of freehold property where the block was self managed via a management company of all the owners. One flat's owners were a director and the company secretary. They'd not been paying service charges, there was tens of outstanding maintenance issues and lots of problems. They lied and said there hadn't been any meetings so the issues were kept hidden until after completion. There was little in the reserve fund and jobs costs thousands.

Despite not having evidence of the above, we did have strong suspicions and in our case still wanted the property. If the same is the case for you though, it may come as something of an unwelcome shock and an expensive hit.

I can fully understand the urgency you're feeling, but remember, once contracts are exchanged, you're no longer in the driving seat like you are now. It's up to you to instruct your solicitor and for him or her to manage the situation, together with the other side's, to a successful conclusion.

lampshady Fri 16-Oct-15 19:00:49

This all seems very overwhelming!

What makes things go faster between offer and exchange? What I don't understand is if there were time scales, why these weren't clearly communicated. We were really lucky with what the vendor would accept, but also the survey came back with a few bits and pieces we weren't aware of. It feels like a bloody minefield!

I was really happy with how it was going and the vendor knew we'd handed in our notice, so to spring this feels quite shitty when he knows we have no where to go.

ENtertainmentAppreciated Fri 16-Oct-15 20:47:56

It is a minefield and it is overwhelming.
The secret when your vendor starts playing hard ball is to play harder ball back.

Tell your solicitor to inform the other side that you are ready and willing to go, just as long as the vendor fulfills their side of the contract viz questions raised.

Fizrim Fri 16-Oct-15 21:45:16

It is always surprising when (only with a few weeks to go usually) one side of the house buying equation starts trying to speed things up. If the other side pulled out at that point, they would be looking at another three months at least to get a new buyer on board throwing money around. And if they just answered the questions then you'd be sorted!

Our last house sale involved someone in the chain who was renting, and we took it as read that there would be a 30 day gap between exchange and completion to allow them to give/serve notice.

lampshady Sat 17-Oct-15 22:46:13

I'm going to phone the estate agents on Monday and try and find out what's going on. I don't want to antagonise the vendor but am hoping he'll be willing to hang on until November because this has come out of the blue.

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