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Slow house purchase

(8 Posts)
Horowitz89 Wed 13-Jun-18 20:14:39

Hello, newbie here! I am in the middle of a house purchase and have been relying on various threads on here over the past few months to provide a sense/ sanity check - but can't find one for my current predicament so thought I'd take the leap of posting myself!

In mid Feb my BF and I had an offer accepted on a flat. We are first time buyers, currently renting, and got lucky in that we found a lovely flat in a relatively short space of time. Our offer was a good bit above the asking price (and at the top of our budget) as there were several interested parties, but luckily we got it.

At the time, the seller told us they were looking to buy a new property but as it was in a different area, they had the option of staying with family etc. if needed. Our timings were that our rental lease was due to expire at the end of May, which gave us around 15 weeks to get through all the processes. We said we could be flexible to an extent (a few weeks either side) but that was the deadline we were working to and no one raised any concerns. We got our mortgage signed off, survey done, quote for building work etc. all done within a month (there is some basic repair work to do which will probably cost a few thousand pounds- after some thinking we decided not to reduce our offer because we thought it wasn't worth any delay and the work is not very significant).

However, our seller is moving soooo slowly. About two months in, he was still filling out his fixtures and fittings, and our solicitors had heard absolutely nothing. It took until the end of April for them to respond to our solicitors emails and send over details like fixtures and fittings etc. Since then, we have gone back with some questions about the lease, claims on property etc. and while they have come back on some, a month later they still aren't all answered. Meanwhile, the seller has told us he has had an offer accepted on a new property but hasn't discussed any dates with them, and asked us if we can just go on a rolling contract. Our solicitor's view is that his side is deliberately slowing down the process to help align the two sales, and his view is that there's nothing we can do to speed this up - it's entirely in their hands.

I know we were optimistic to think we could get it done by the end of May, but it's four months after we had our offer accepted and we are still waiting on basic information about the property, and no one will give us any indication of a likely completion date. We are not able to go onto a rolling contract as our landlord won't have it, but we have extended our lease by a month, and now it looks like we will have to do this again until the end of July. This is an addition £2.5k cost to us.

We have always gotten on well with the seller and I have some sympathy for them because I get the impression their move is due to some difficult family circumstances, and it is a lot to work out. However, we have always taken a softly-softly approach and I feel like it has backfired because we're making no progress and ultimately it's us paying the cost for the delay for what should be a relatively simple sale. Friends are telling us to threaten to pull out and my view was always that this was an empty threat because he will know we're faking - but increasingly I am starting to doubt whether he intends to sell any time soon. In the meantime the market has slowed a bit so if we cut our losses we could probably get somewhere for cheaper (but not somewhere as nice, I don't think).

I think I just had to get that out of my system, but does anyone have any advice about how we can speed this up? Or whether we're being unreasonably naive to think that we should be able to?

All thoughts welcome!

Usernamesareboring Thu 14-Jun-18 07:21:12

Start looking again and tell them you are doing so - it sounds like they aren't motivated to sell and could be messing you around

AJPTaylor Thu 14-Jun-18 07:31:38

yep. you need to start pushing. bear in mind they can drop out any time before exchange. they have probably spent very little so far and are not as invested as you. they also had lots of interest in their flat and prob think they can sell it easily if you drop out. if you want to move start looking. the agent will start shaking things up if they see their comission going.

Spickle Thu 14-Jun-18 08:34:06

Your solicitors received the draft contract pack at the end of April. That's when the work actually started. So, since your offer in February nothing was done on your file until then.

As the flat is a leasehold property, there will be enquiries regarding the leasehold pack in addition to the usual enquiries. Seller's solicitors are at pains to be very vague with their responses. They just want to sell regardless of any "issues" which crop up. It is your solicitor's job to get answers to any issues and to continue to press for fuller replies or clarification. This does take time as there are lots of third parties who need to respond (vendor/managing agent/freeholder/council).

Unfortunately there is nothing YOU can do to speed it up other than contact the EA and ask to view other properties because you're not sure that the vendor is serious about selling. The ball is in their court.

catandpanda Thu 14-Jun-18 08:54:38

Firstly would call EA and explain you are worried sale won't happen and should you walk away now. You are running up lots of extra rental costs you hadn't budgeted for. Then hopefully EA will put pressure on to find a solution like they pay your rental costs. Often a seller would have offered to go into rental in this situation to allow deal to succeed so not unreasonable ask to pay your costs.

specialsubject Thu 14-Jun-18 09:05:23

if you are in england the land lord cannot stop you going on to a rolling contract. he can start eviction with a section 21, this will take months especially if you are in London. read your how to rent guide.

keep looking, vendor is pissing you about as little people who dont matter.

Easilyflattered Thu 14-Jun-18 09:23:31

We offered on a house mid Feb and were accepted. We sold to FTBs living in rented flat, we bought from people moving up north.

We completed over a month ago. It doesn't sound like your seller is committed to moving, is dragging it out for some reason.

Be honest with the EA and say you want to start viewing other properties, they can find out how serious vendor is.

notagain2018 Thu 14-Jun-18 22:09:41

They are dragging it out to suit their situation which isn't fair on you. Threaten to pull out and you'll soon get some movement.
It depends how much you want it though. If the flat had lots of interest, the sellers might not be as worried about you pulling out.

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