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Options to delay exchange

(10 Posts)
r3dh3d Fri 21-Oct-16 15:59:47

Bit of an odd situation.

My Mum is downsizing and has some incredibly specific requirements (pretty much "it must be a flat in this building" ... where about 1 flat sells a year.) We're helping her with the whole thing because my Dad always used to do this stuff and she's a bit lost without him. By luck, a flat in the right place has come up and after a bit of dickering we've managed to get offer accepted. So far, so good.

Obviously we don't want to lose this flat because heaven knows when the next will come along. But in an ideal world she'd have found somewhere in a few months time, not now: the logistics of downsizing a lifetime's clutter into a small flat are daunting for her, plus there's some debate as to how to fund the purchase (she has the money, it's just a question of what to sell and what not to, and it is taking a while to work through).

It now turns out that the vendors don't have anywhere to go, despite having the flat on the market for nearly 6 months. The EA is telling me they had somewhere and it fell through, but she's giving me increasingly vague and flustered stories. On the one hand I'm suspecting that they are right at the edge of their budget and didn't want to even start looking till they were assured how much money they could get. On the other, maybe they are just utter flakes? Or maybe they have some other problem - I did ask whether the property (being very much a retirement flat) was subject to probate, which of course the EA said it was not, but it would make sense - it could easily be taking longer to get through probate than they expected.

So. I was thinking of proposing that we all delay for a couple of months: that we will hold our offer if they undertake to remove the flat from the market so we won't be gazumped. That will give them lots of time to find somewhere else and tbh if they haven't come up with anywhere after that time they probably aren't going to. The EA won't like it - I'm sure they would rather we exchange contracts with an infeasibly long completion date, and so lock in their commission - but getting to exchange is a bunch of work and hassle and I'm not sure the vendors have enough skin in the game at present to do their side properly, or indeed actually sign on the line when it comes to it.

Has anyone done anything like this before? Or maybe got some insight as to what is happening on the other side of the transaction?

lljkk Fri 21-Oct-16 16:05:10

It's word of honour, you can ask, but you may not get. Or talk may be cheap. They may say yes now but let you down later.

If your mom really wants THAT flat, then better to exchange now, but then pressure is on your ma' to sell ASAP, and will she definitely get price your mam wants?

lalalonglegs Fri 21-Oct-16 16:11:25

To be honest, if it's a rarely available flat and your mum wants it, I would be absolutely prepared to exchange with a long completion. No way the vendors can back out then and you will have a lot more certainty. I don't understand why taking it off the market is an advantage.

ThroughThickAndThin01 Fri 21-Oct-16 16:15:49

If it's the only flat your mum wants I'd definitely exchange. If the vendor agrees. Completion on or before a date x months in advance.

MovingOnUpMovingOnOut Fri 21-Oct-16 16:18:12

There is no certainty until exchange. If she wants it that much that must be the plan.

r3dh3d Fri 21-Oct-16 16:28:39

So you can do an exchange with delayed completion with an "on or before" completion date? I hadn't realised that, that might work.

My gut feel is they won't find anywhere before Christmas. So if we set a waay long completion of before end March, that gives them till mid Feb to find and exchange on somewhere themselves and still 6 weeks to complete. But if they pull their fingers out it could be less.

lalalonglegs Fri 21-Oct-16 17:03:14

Yes, perfectly feasible to do a long completion (although solicitors aren't always that keen because, legally, I believe the buyer is responsible for the property from exchange so you may have to insert various clauses about the vendors - or whoever is living there - having to keep up insurance, service boiler four a week before completion, pay for any upkeep etc).

JoJoSM2 Fri 21-Oct-16 17:56:55

Are you sure that they are looking for another flat? People often move from retirement properties straight into a home. Is that the problem? Perhaps the sellers were planning on that but they are now feeling better and can carry on living independently and they just got stuck? I'd try to speak to the vendor directly to understand the situation. It might be that both parties would prefer to complete in a few months. With Chinese whispers through the EA it'll just get confusing. You proposing to put things on hold will probably be seen as hesitation and half backing out. I'd also prefer to exchange and agree a long completion date. BTW, once my MIL became committed to moving to a retirement flat, she managed to de clutter and downsize from a large farmhouse to a retirement flat in about 1-2 months ;)

r3dh3d Fri 21-Oct-16 18:30:53

I believe the scenario is that the parents have either passed away or already moved into a home and the children are trying to sell the property. They seem to be relocating to the seaside so possibly taking early retirement themselves.

thanksamillion Fri 21-Oct-16 19:25:30

It sounds a bit strange that they aren't in a rush is no-one is living there. I thought there was often a clause about leaving retirement properties empty and presumably they are paying fees on it. Are they thinking of living there themselves perhaps?

Could you find a solicitor who will do a no completion, no fee deal (I think there are some) and make a start with a longish exchange date. And get started on the downsizing and decisions that you need to make.

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