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Works between exchange and completion

(10 Posts)
harrietm87 Thu 02-Feb-17 18:53:57

Has anyone done this? We've offered on a house that is currently a blank canvas "needing modernisation" - ie the sellers have stripped out all the old crap (and it's vacant - probate sale) but nothing has been replaced/redone. It will need to be rewired and seems like it makes sense to do this before we move all our stuff in. Is it feasible to see if we can do this before we complete?

RedBugMug Thu 02-Feb-17 18:55:14

no you can't (probably)
before completion it is not yours.

ItsNiceItsDifferentItsUnusual Thu 02-Feb-17 19:00:09

Yes, we did this. It's called a key undertaking and a separate contract needs to be drawn up to cover all parties. Shouldn't add extra to legal bill, it basically stipulates rules such as time of day you can be there, that you can't move anything in prior to completion, and importantly lists exactly what works you will be doing that the house and covers each of you if one pulls out between exchange and completion - i.e. They will recompense you for the work undertaken if they pull out, you will recompense them for any work /damage made if you pull out. It's important you get this as otherwise someone unscrupulous could pull out once you've modernised their house, and then re-list it for more money.

harrietm87 Thu 02-Feb-17 19:01:10

It's open to the sellers to agree to it, and I understand it happens fairly often. Obviously the risk is that if you don't complete then the sellers benefit from the works you've done. I just wondered if anyone had real life experience of this - did you make special arrangements re insurance? What was the value of the works?

harrietm87 Thu 02-Feb-17 19:02:06

Thanks itsnice that's exactly sort of thing I wanted to know! What did you do and how much did it cost?

harrietm87 Thu 02-Feb-17 19:02:37

And how long was your gap between exchange and completion?

ItsNiceItsDifferentItsUnusual Thu 02-Feb-17 19:18:48

We had a month between exchange and completion, and we replaced all floors, skimmed the ceilings, re-painted throughout and ripped out the kitchen. The most stressful part of it was that I had to schedule the different trades for a particular few weeks without knowing 100% that we would be exchanged by then, because obviously trades get booked up months in advance. It was annoying and a headache, but given everyone co-operates and communicates, it's possible. Probably also depends on the length of your chain, we had ftb purchasing our house and the sellers of the house we were buying didn't have an onward purchase, so that made it a lot easier.

It didn't add anything extra to the legal bill, but we went with a solicitor who charged a flat rate for the sale and purchase process, and they knew up front that we'd need the key undertaking drawn up. I think they had existing wording as a template, I just asked them to add something in about protecting us should the seller have pulled out, as initially it was more about protecting them and their property (fair enough, but we were spending a lot of money so needing protecting too)

harrietm87 Fri 03-Feb-17 15:54:58

Thanks so much - that's exactly the kind of stuff we need to do. Will speak to our solicitor!

ThroughThickAndThin01 Fri 03-Feb-17 15:59:54

We have done this from the buying point of view. I would be very reticent from a sellers point of view of in case my house was ripped apart and then the buyers didn't complete for some reason.

Double standards I know, but I'm not sure I'd allow it. Maybe if it was just surface stuff.

harrietm87 Fri 03-Feb-17 16:15:02

The property has had everything ripped out of it - no floors, no kitchen, needs rewired etc. It's vacant and totally uninhabitable- any works we do will add value, so that won't be an issue!

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