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Advice on asking for a completion date please

(14 Posts)
OfNoFixedAbode Sun 04-Jun-17 19:23:03

My partner and I are FTB and had an offer accepted late March. 3 days later we were given notice to leave our rented flat as this is being sold also-we have to be out by 21st June. Initially everything was progressing for the dates to line up but then the chain fell apart! Now it is back together as of 2 weeks ago with the end of the chain buying an empty house. We have completed all our paperwork for our purchase. Obviously we need to make a plan for staying somewhere after the 21st but we have absolutely no idea how long it will be for and there are zero short term lets in our area anyway. Whenever I call our EA he cheerfully tells me 'you never know, it might all work out in time for the 21st!' Which is optimistic but not overly helpful.
Tomorrow we have decided to take action (!) and try to get a completion date agreed or at least a rough idea.

Could anyone with experience tell me: should I be approaching our solicitor or EA for this, and what should I be saying to have the best chances of being heard?


QuiteLikely5 Sun 04-Jun-17 19:26:31

Yes you should be asking your solicitor to contact the other solicitor to agree a completion date.

I always ask for my completion date to be agreed at the time of offer and highlight that I'd be prepared to forgo the purchase if they don't meet it/try to change it. Otherwise you get caught up in other people's nightmares!!!

Bellaposy Sun 04-Jun-17 19:27:47

What stage is your solicitor up to? If they are still awaiting the initial papers from the seller's solicitors or search results then it genuinely is how long is a piece of string. You don't know what could come back in those searches and enquiries; it could be nothing, it could be a complex legal issue which takes weeks/months to resolve (This is obviously unusual). It also depends what type of property you're buying - flats take longer, new builds or recently built properties often take longer because there are various requirements in the Lease/Transfer.

My advice would be to ask your solicitor where in the transaction they are up to and that will give you a better idea.

The average transaction in my experience takes about 12 weeks. Sometimes much less, sadly sometimes much more.

OfNoFixedAbode Sun 04-Jun-17 19:31:10

Thank you both-I think our sellers have their searches back on the property they are buying as they offered just after accepting ours. It's an absolute nightmare and I'm so glad we're buying a 3 bed house as I never want to move again now! Although at least then we wouldn't be so damn naive about the whole thing confused

witwootoodleoo Sun 04-Jun-17 19:39:23

having bought and sold a lot I'd recommend talking to your solicitor. Have them tell the sellers' solicitors what your deadline is and that because you can't get a short term let or afford a hotel if you don't complete by that date you will be pulling out and getting a rental for 6 months with a view to looking to move in the spring.

Basically you need to make a very convincing argument that this is non-negotiable. People threaten to pull out all the time, you need them to believe you will.

Have the estate agent tell the same thing to your sellers as well.

I've managed to go from first viewing to completion in under 5 weeks before with a short chain - it can be done but you have to keep the pressure up.

Ask your solicitor to find out specifically where your sellers are with the searches on their purchase and their mortgage offer. Those are what will hold it up. Most searches can be back in 24 hours but the local authority search can take several weeks or more so needs submitting asap.

Good luck

OfNoFixedAbode Sun 04-Jun-17 19:42:16

Thanks-we made vague threats to pull out when the chain fell apart but we don't feel in a strong position to do so as the house we're buying could have sold ten times over and just in those few months since our offer being accepted we'd never find a similar property in our price bracket-bloody south east! Definitely feel like the poor relations at the bottom of the chain, we seem to have no leverage at all.

PaintingByNumbers Sun 04-Jun-17 19:44:20

i've always been advised not to agree a completion date in advance, especially not at point of offer. this empty house could take forever or might be really straightforward, they wont know until searches and surveyors have been. what happens if you refuse to move out on 21st?

Spickle Sun 04-Jun-17 19:47:18

Asking for a completion date to be agreed at the time of offer is nice but not realistic until you find out more about the property and the chain and people involved. Just because someone is buying an empty house or there is a cash buyer, doesn't mean that there isn't a problem with the legal title. While your preferred completion date can be, no solicitor worth their weight in gold would be coerced into exchanging on a property just to meet an "agreed" date.

OP yes you should be speaking to the solicitor. Your paperwork for your purchase may be ready, but the people who have only been in the chain for two weeks have to catch up. Therefore how soon you can complete will depend on what they still need to do.

OfNoFixedAbode Sun 04-Jun-17 19:48:56

Having watched quite a lot of 'can't pay we'll take it away' not a lot the letting agent can do other than evict us through court, although kind of goes against my moral code. Still, desperate times. We have some friends/ family options but nowhere that we can stay longer than a couple of weeks.

PaintingByNumbers Sun 04-Jun-17 19:52:23

then perhaps your first port of call is the letting agents to inform them you will need another month, obv paid? no idea how that pans out legally but it might be worth a try

PaintingByNumbers Sun 04-Jun-17 19:53:17

or more moral option, look into storage facilities?

OfNoFixedAbode Sun 04-Jun-17 19:53:38

We did try asking for another week or two but apparently the people buying our flat are dying for us to get out so they can move dice unfortunately

GU24Mum Sun 04-Jun-17 22:03:53

Aren't you in contact with the people you are buying from? If so, I'd ask them what their timings are. You can ask the solicitor or the agent but if possible it's much easier (unless anyone involved is a real pain) to agree things direct as you can probably iron out reasons for it needing to be X or Y date and seeing what's realistic all round. Good luck!

OfNoFixedAbode Sun 04-Jun-17 22:18:35

Thanks..I've never made contact with our sellers, I wasn't sure if that was the done thing as no details other than their address were provided.. I guess that way it gives the EA some justification for their job hmm

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