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buyer wants a deposit, is this normal?

(36 Posts)
wailywailywaily Sun 27-Mar-16 18:47:07

I am starting to feel like I'm being really unreasonable so I could do with some reassurance.

We have made an offer on a house a couple of doors down from us, it was not on sale with an estate agent but we knew they wanted to sell and we really like it so put in a fair offer. They accepted so we instructed our solicitor. Now the sellers are starting to be a bit odd - they haven't instructed a solicitor yet as far as we know but they keep texting us and trying to get us to put down a deposit. Eventually we said yes to a refundable deposit and that our solicitor will sort it. They don't want to do it through a solicitor and don't want to make it refundable. Now they want to make an offer on a house they have found and want to put down a deposit so they have been badgering us again to sort out a deposit.

Its only a year since I last sold a house and it never occurred to me to ask for a deposit before contracts had been drawn up and exchanged, have things changed a lot in that time?

I am not prepared to hand over £10,000 to the seller with no contract and no refund on cold feet but they seem to think that it is a perfectly reasonable demand.

We are in Cornwall so not a massively volatile market.

snowspider Sun 27-Mar-16 18:49:35

no it's not normal

i would walk away

wowfudge Sun 27-Mar-16 18:55:58

God no. Tell them either they instruct a solicitor and you proceed normally or there's no deal. Based on their behaviour so far, I suspect they could be a nightmare to deal with though.

engineersthumb Sun 27-Mar-16 18:58:50

5years since I bought but it sounds livery unusual to me and I would be syspicious.

wailywailywaily Sun 27-Mar-16 19:02:08

I want to walk away, DH is stubbornly negotiating still.
Thanks for the reassurance

Ditsy4 Sun 27-Mar-16 19:17:36

No way. If you go ahead only go through the solicitor.

Lighteningirll Sun 27-Mar-16 19:18:54

Totally normal to have a deposit but only via a solicitor they sound mad I would refuse

specialsubject Sun 27-Mar-16 19:25:45

run away. This is a great way to donate £10k, which I presume is not the idea.

Wailywailywaily Sun 27-Mar-16 19:28:06

Is it totally normal to give a non refundable deposit though lighten?
I think they are bonkers

Wailywailywaily Sun 27-Mar-16 19:29:09

Nothing is happening our end without a solicitor I haven't completely lost leave of my senses

HoggleHoggle Sun 27-Mar-16 19:29:11

Do not give them any money! Deposits are only passed on exchange of contracts and done via the legal channels. I don't actually understand why they're saying they want one?

Lighteningirll Sun 27-Mar-16 19:31:43

Yes I think so first person in chain gives a non refundable deposit on exchange held by solicitors this is normally then passed up the chain. Solicitors have special rules about holding it. I certainly had to first house I bought and when we paid cash for a btl in dh name.

Wailywailywaily Sun 27-Mar-16 19:31:48

I think it's because they are broke and see us a cash cow. They want a cast iron guarantee that we will complete. We will but only if the searches and survey are good

MrsSteptoe Sun 27-Mar-16 19:32:05

No, you don't give a deposit till you exchange contracts. I believe there may be a trend towards refundable deposits as an expression of good faith earlier in the process -- I have heard of such things in London -- but I imagine such things are done via solicitors so that there is protection for your money, and certainly not a non -refundable deposit. You are quite right to refuse.

Fizrim Sun 27-Mar-16 19:32:06

Are they wanting to make an offer on a new property which will need a deposit ASAP?

You will need to give them a deposit but not at this stage and certainly through a solicitor! But even then it's non-refundable.

FeckOfffCup Sun 27-Mar-16 19:32:26

They don't want to make it refundable - that tells you everything! Don't do the deal.

RememberToSmile1980 Sun 27-Mar-16 19:35:05

Tell them you are not willing to move forward without them instructing a solicitor - it all sounds very desperate on their part!

lcoc2015 Sun 27-Mar-16 19:35:34

They want your deposit to pay their deposit i think!

Wailywailywaily Sun 27-Mar-16 19:37:59

I thinks so too ICoc

snowspider Sun 27-Mar-16 19:39:56

I would also be concerned that they are broke re their house ownership/mortgage company/debts etc

Wailywailywaily Sun 27-Mar-16 22:08:00

So, the latest text says that they are going to assign a solicitor. They are not offering a deposit on the house they are making an offer on but they want us to sign a contract that stipulates that if we pull out of the purchase then we have to pay them £1000 a month for every month that they have lost when they could have been selling to someone else. DH has sent the same text back pretty much every time "we will talk to our solicitor about it on Tuesday". Meanwhile I'm jumping up and down yelling "no,no,no!"
We have bought and sold several houses with no estate agent in the past but I'm starting to see the merit of having one to hide behindgrin

Fizrim Sun 27-Mar-16 22:15:40

I would be very reluctant to deal with anyone directly for a house purchase as it is so stressful. Tbh, I am suspicious about anyone using online-only agents too as I assume it is a decision made on a financial basis (although if you live in an area where houses sell quickly I can see the attraction).

I would not be interested in buying their house as I think they are going to give you a whole world of pain. Will you need to sell a property yourselves to finance this purchase because delays do seem to happen? How much are they going to pay you if anything goes wrong on their side?

I hope the solicitor knocks some sense into your husband, although I would expect an invoice from your neighbours for the time you've 'wasted' to date!

CityDweller Sun 27-Mar-16 22:21:39

£1000 per month for every month lost when they could have sold to someone else?? That is total insanity. How could they even prove that they would have sold it to someone else in that time? I'd be utterly amazed if their solicitor followed through on this. They sound bonkers and a nightmare to deal with. Unless you can get any sense via solicitors I'd back away now.

fuctifino Sun 27-Mar-16 22:25:00

We had this with the house we are in now. It was the agent's asking for the deposit.
Our solicitor categorically told us not to do it.
We didn't place a deposit and told them if they weren't happy to proceed with us as buyers we'd graciously withdraw from the deal.

MyKingdomForBrie Sun 27-Mar-16 22:28:21

Oh my god no!!! Utterly utterly unreasonable. Deposit on exchange only and it is of course refundable if they fail to complete and not if you fail. Do not agree to anything else.

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