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6 weeks between offer being accepted and completion - am I mad?

(16 Posts)
ireneadler101 Mon 15-Feb-16 18:30:13

Hi all,

We put an offer in on a vacant house two weeks ago, which was subject to us completing by 31 March (for tax reasons). Two weeks later the vendor is still thinking about it - they are happy with the price but are not sure about the completion date as they think they need longer to clear the house (they are going through something quite a traumatic at the moment and a quick sale isn't really top of their priorities).

We've made all sorts of suggestions to the agent (renting the house back to them for a month or two to give them time etc) but the vendor is still not sure. They also won't consider a price reduction if we complete after 31 March.

Am I mad to think that this could still happen, if they come back to us this week accepting our offer? Is 5/6 weeks enough time (assuming that the vendor gets on with their side of things). They are not in a chain and as I said, the property is vacant. In theory, it should be quite straightforward. We've already got the mortgage application in and they're just waiting for the green light to do the survey. Our solicitor is a friend of a friend who we've used before and they are very good.

Should we just give up now?!

specialsubject Mon 15-Feb-16 18:37:17

how long will your searches take?

why not offer to clear the house for them and put everything in storage for a certain time - worth your while to save stamp duty?

whattodoforthebest2 Mon 15-Feb-16 18:38:44

It is feasible to exchange in 4 weeks and complete 2 weeks later (or even exchange and complete simultaneously), but it sounds as if you're entirely at their mercy in this case. If they aren't in a hurry, presumably they'll just put it back on the market if you withdraw your offer.

You could try giving them a deadline, ie your offer will be withdrawn if you don't get a decision by Friday this week, but it doesn't sound very hopeful. It's really up to you to decide if you're prepared to hang on until after the end of March for this house.

BackforGood Mon 15-Feb-16 18:39:00

I don't know about 'mad', but very, very, very, very optimistic IME.
I've never heard of a solicitor moving at a faster pace than a snail on weed.

Takemymeditation Mon 15-Feb-16 18:43:04

Viewed the house I'm buying on 18th January.
Exchanged last week.
In can be done, if the solicitor is willing to order the search asap.

Bearbehind Mon 15-Feb-16 18:49:56

You are bonkers to even consider this- you don't hold any cards here- the vendor doesn't want to move so soon- the fact they haven't even agreed to the sale is evidence they have no intention of moving before the end of March.

I'd look elsewhere.

ireneadler101 Mon 15-Feb-16 18:56:33

Sadly there is nothing else suitable on the market and this house is perfect for us - we want to be close to family as MIL is having chemo at the mo and it's a 10 min walk from her house. If there was something else around that would work, we'd be on it like a shot as this vendor is too flaky by half...

We're the only people to have offered the vendor what they want and nobody else seems in the frame at the moment - and they are apparently very particular about the money they want for it. So I suppose the only card we hold is that we are offering them what they want...for now.

I guess our only option is to hold our nerve until the end of the week, and let them know that the offer will have to be reduced after that...

...good to hear that other people have managed it in a tight time frame though (albeit with a willing vendor no doubt!).

Bearbehind Mon 15-Feb-16 20:09:11

I guess our only option is to hold our nerve until the end of the week, and let them know that the offer will have to be reduced after that...

But you've already said in your OP that they won't consider a lower price for later completion so that's not going to help.

Your issue isn't about whether it's possibble to complete in such a short time frame- it is possible if both parties push for it but that isn't going to happen- your issue is that the quick sale of a house you really want is not a priority for the vendor.

i think you need to resign yourselves to the fact that you'll need to pay the extra stamp duty if you really want the house and agree a mutually convienent completion date.

sarah2011 Mon 15-Feb-16 20:11:24

We did it in 7 offer to moving in. It was the basis of my offer that we complete in 6 weeks and I also made it clear to the conveyancer that I used that I won't be interested in using him unless he can work quick, he was excellent

RockNRollNerd Mon 15-Feb-16 20:16:47

We bought a new build with 5.5 weeks from signing to completion (with Exchange the week before). We were part-ex so effectively also had nothing to sell. Assuming the vendor will become cooperative then it's doable but you have to be mega organised and basically resign yourself to spending most of your time making it happen. Things we did:

- had everyone lined up ready to go on our say so - so we'd fully briefed the solicitor and agreed the fees etc, chosen the surveyor and got confirmation they would be able to get things done in time etc.

- shuffled money around so that it was all in the right place ready to transfer well in advance of sols needing it

- turned every single goddam bit of paper around within 24 hours - basically in an evening when we got in from work, I would go through the post and deal with it all, DH cooked dinner and then after dinner we would sign anything that needed signing, scan and email and put hard copies in the post/drop off by hand first thing the next morning. Our sol was great and would start working on a scanned signed copy so we weren't losing a day every time we sent stuff to her

- had a shared google spreadsheet and diary fully up to date so that at a glance we could both see exactly what was happening and if one of us was in meetings, the other could take calls, chase etc.

- had removal men tentatively booked for target completion day so there was no question of not being able to move once it was confirmed

The one issue you might have is if your survey throws anything up - we knew ours would be ok as it was a new build and the sol had acted for another property a year earlier.

We also arragend completion for 1 or 2 days before our deadline so that if anything went wrong (eg funds not released) we still had a safety net.

RaphaellaTheSpanishWaterDog Mon 15-Feb-16 21:46:34

We've done three purchases where it's taken between five and seven weeks from offer being accepted to completion.

First time (5 weeks) the vendors were going into rented before completion and second time (7 weeks - would have been less but a fire in our buyer's buyer's sol's office destroyed their mortgage offer which slowed things down a tad!) the house was empty as the vendors had moved in with her elderly/sick mum. Current house was also empty but our buyers' searches held things up a bit so it was six weeks as opposed to the four we were all hoping for.

On all of these occasions we/our buyers/their buyers etc regularly chased the solicitors involved and generally made ourselves unpopular. We also hand-delivered paperwork asap, dealing with enquiries our end as a matter of urgency. We told our solicitor from the outset we were looking for a fast turn around - last time our chap threw his toys out of the pram as he thought we were being unreasonable and suggested we find another conveyancer, before backtracking and apologising!

Definitely needs everyone to be singing from the same hymn sheet though. Last time our buyer's buyer worked overseas and as a result took an age - in comparison to the rest of us - to get things signed/returned etc.

If your vendor hasn't yet accepted your offer it seems doubtful - albeit not yet entirely impossible - that you can pull this off by your deadline.

Spickle Tue 16-Feb-16 07:34:18

Just a thought.... is this a probate sale? If so, have they actually got the Grant of Probate? If not, you won't be exchanging until then....

Littleelffriend Tue 16-Feb-16 08:45:55

5-6 weeks is totally normal? I had an offer accepted and am completing in 3 and a half

LittleBearPad Tue 16-Feb-16 08:53:05

Depends on the searches and any mortgage company(?) but tbh it would appear they don't need to sell quickly and you want to buy quickly for tax purposes. They hold all the cards here so I doubt they will do as you want.

Quodlibet Tue 16-Feb-16 09:15:10

On repossession sales, 28 day completion is usually a condition of buying, so it's perfectly feasible.

Sounds like your vendor has suffered a bereavement possibly, and is having trouble letting go of the house? As others have said, what is technically possible is one thing, what is emotionally possible for your vendors is beyond your control.
A friend who bought under similar circumstances offered to physically pack up the house and move it into storage at his expense to get the sale turned around. It did work.

I suggest that you need the estate agent to gently make the case to the vendor that if they lose a buyer now, they may not get another one at asking price for a while, as the market may well cool down a bit once this March window closes.

ireneadler101 Tue 16-Feb-16 09:35:48

Thanks for all of your comments - really helpful. Yes, bereavement is involved which is making the sale emotionally difficult for the vendor. I have been promised an answer today and have my fingers crossed...

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