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Withdrawing from property purchase at late stage?

(18 Posts)
Bettycheese Wed 26-Apr-17 09:48:15

My Fiancé and I are in the process of purchasing a property. Our offer was accepted in early March, and we’ve had our mortgage offer etc and are nearly at the point of exchange – pending documents and information still outstanding form the seller.

Due to various reasons, including (very briefly) issues/concerns highlighted from the survey, and opinions from a builder on the level of work required, and what we might find when we start undoing all of the terrible DIY/bodge work, we are now very seriously considering withdrawing from the sale.

We were aware that the house needed work, but not the extent of it. Our solicitor has requested documentation relating to electrical and gas safety which the sellers seem to be prevaricating on (or can’t supply), the fixtures and fittings list excludes all white goods despite us making it a condition of our offer that white good be included, and the property information document is incomplete with fairly important questions left blank (e.g ‘will the property be sold with vacant possession’!). That our solicitor has sent it on to us like this and not gone back to the vendors solicitor is frankly ridiculous – what are we paying them for?! (An issue for another post I think!) yet the estate agent is pressuring us to exchange contracts.

We’ve viewed two other properties in the last few days, both of which interest us for different reasons (and in different ways are both far less financially risky, despite one being more expensive, but not needing work).

We live in a very expensive part of the South-East so we’re not talking about insignificant sums of money.

Does anyone else have experience of withdrawing from a sale at this late stage? I keep worrying about letting the vendors down and am even worrying about the estate agents reaction(!) and I know I’ll feel terribly guilty, but as my Fiancé reminds me, we have to do what’s best for us and our long term financial future/happiness.

Opinions would be welcome please.

goldangel Wed 26-Apr-17 09:58:54

Pull out, cut your losses.

We went through a purchase despite reservations, after completion I knew we'd made a big mistake, exchanged moved in, did our best to like it but hated it, caused tonnes of stress & anxiety. Fortunately managed to rent it out after 6 hellish weeks there and tenants ended up buying it from us 2 years later so we were able to buy what we wanted.

Do what's best for you.

wowfudge Wed 26-Apr-17 09:59:10

The EA won't know where things are up to so them pressuring you to exchange is something to ignore.

We had vendors who didn't complete the forms properly - sadly you cannot compel people to do so. But, it sounds as though you have very good reasons to pull out. Do it. You don't want to take on something you can't afford to put right.

chickpeaburger Wed 26-Apr-17 10:12:21

This is too big a decision to be pressurised in to and you certainly aren't happy. You need to pull out. It happens all the time for lots of reasons.

Your vendors sound very unreasonable so I wouldn't feel too guilty at all.

CampervanLady Wed 26-Apr-17 10:17:02

Do what's best for you. You have good reasons to pull out (in my opinion).

I'm currently selling and waiting for exchange. Only your solicitor will know if and when you're ready to exchange so please please ignore the EA.

Choose a more thorough solicitor next time too.

Good luck flowers

Spadequeen Wed 26-Apr-17 10:17:35

Definitely pull out but tell them why.

And find a different solicitors for your next purchase.

PippaFawcett Wed 26-Apr-17 10:32:39

What Spadequeen says. We underestimated how much work our new (to us) house is going to cost to refurb it and now there are so many things about it that drive me crazy and we can't afford to fix things yet. I wish we had proceeded more cautiously and taken that into account when we offered the full asking price.

RoganJosh Wed 26-Apr-17 10:37:04

I would probably try and address the issues first. So I'd tell the vendors they have 5 days to get certificates, correct fixtures and fittings list and questionnaire etc.
You could also ask for a price reduction for the extra work, but I would probably would think that was my issue tbh.

Bettycheese Wed 26-Apr-17 10:44:31

I would add that part of what the survey uncovered was that the downstairs toilet/utility and en-suite bathroom don't meet building regs due to loack of extractors. If (and that's a BIG if) we did decide to go ahead, would this warrant trying to negotiate a price reduction?

EssentialHummus Wed 26-Apr-17 10:50:47

we have to do what’s best for us and our long term financial future/happiness.

I agree with this. If it were me, I'd let the white goods go - unless we're talking about a £10,000 Aga you can replace them easily enough, and it isn't worth a battle over.

The building stuff - get a builder in, get a quote for the works needed, add a third to that amount as a continency, and decide whether you still want to go ahead.

You can ask for a reduction, but only for stuff uncovered by the survey that you didn't know before, IMO - otherwise why would they agree?

EssentialHummus Wed 26-Apr-17 10:50:57


Bettycheese Wed 26-Apr-17 11:04:22

Thanks EssentialHummus.

We've already had a builder and building surveyor round, hence we have a good idea of what work's needed.

I agree that white goods aren't a deal breaker but as cash is pretty tight, every penny counts, and spending potentially 1k on appliances is a cost we could do without on day one.

housesellingrant Wed 26-Apr-17 11:43:18

I'd be concerned if they have cut corners that you can see, what else have they done shoddily. We looked at a hpuse a weekend which had cheap bathroom put in, made us look more closer at other things they'd renovated and work was shoddy.

wowfudge Wed 26-Apr-17 12:41:43

What are the other issues aside from extractors? That shouldn't be too difficult or expensive to resolve depending on how far they are from an outside wall and the roof for venting.

johnd2 Wed 26-Apr-17 13:39:55

Extractors isn't a problem at all, but if they didn't do that I'd be asking for a lot more info from them on what's hidden inside the walls.

Spickle Wed 26-Apr-17 13:46:28

I think you'll find that the Property Information Form is sent to you as it is, so you can see for yourself what the seller has advised. If your solicitor hasn't spotted that it hasn't been completed properly (and he should have), then bring it to his attention so that he can raise additional enquiries with the seller's solicitor. However, an enquiry regarding vacant possession most certainly will be queried as your solicitor will want to know if the house is being sold with a tenant in situ or whether there is a lodger who will need to sign the contract to confirm he/she will vacate.

The issue regarding extractors should be easily resolved - your solicitor can query this also and request that the work is done by the seller prior to exchange or that an allowance is made for you to do the work after completion.

You can't really renegotiate the price of any works which you can see on an inspection visit. In any case the seller can always say no, if the price you are paying is reasonable for the type of house, area etc.

specialsubject Wed 26-Apr-17 14:01:09

Pass that list on to the vendors, saying what you want to happen including any price reduction, and when. Or if you have decided to pull out, do so.

And find another solicitor.

Oly5 Wed 26-Apr-17 14:04:43

I'd try and address the issues via the estate agent. Tell then you're not happy. The issues don't sound that big to be honest. Every house has issues!

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