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HELP! Due to exchange tomorrow. Buyers want to drop a further 25k. Is there anything we can do?

(310 Posts)
MamaChris Thu 16-Oct-08 10:37:13

We accepted an offer 50k below asking price on our flat 3 months ago. Buyers have been awkward all the way, and now want to drop a further 25k, the day before we are due to exchange. We can't afford this, unless the next property in the chain takes the hit too, and we really don't think he will.

About to speak to agents, but does anyone have any advice? Is this likely to be a negotiating position or might they really pull out if we say no?


WhereWolfTheWildThingsWere Thu 16-Oct-08 10:42:26

It wasn't in this climate, but when we sold 2 years ago the buyer came out with a long list of new conditions a week before completion and threatened to pull out if we didn't comply.

We would have been pretty screwed if they had but we still said no.

I can understand that you would be worried but if you can't afford it then you will have to refuse. It's just bullying.

MamaChris Thu 16-Oct-08 10:48:18

Have left message for agents to call me back. When you said no, did your buyers say "oh, alright then we were just trying it on", or did they pull out?

2point4kids Thu 16-Oct-08 10:57:50

I've heard of this happening twice to different friends of mine.
Once they were bluffing and once they werent!

If you cant afford to take the hit then you have either got to say no and hope they are bluffing or alternatively ofer a compromise reduction of an amount you can afford to take a hit on so that you can still move

PestoFangsLookGoodOnMeMonster Thu 16-Oct-08 11:00:46

What swines! I would tell your agents that you don't feel you can trust buyers that change the deal days before exchange, and are not sure you want to sell to them at all. See if they pass that message on to the purchasers. It might put the wind up 'em?

Ohforfoxsake Thu 16-Oct-08 11:04:08

Cheeky sods! Surely they are taking the piss?!

I think Pestos suggestion is a good one. Don't let them bully you.

Swedes Thu 16-Oct-08 11:08:03

Are you able to take the hit?

ADragonIs4LifeNotJustHalloween Thu 16-Oct-08 11:20:00

Check around to see what similar properties are now selling for in your area. That will let you know if they're being "reasonable" (and I use that term very loosely!!)

MamaChris Thu 16-Oct-08 11:23:16

Can't take the hit.

Our agent has said we will have to agree some compromise, probably not as much as 25k. Our agent is going to call them and sound them out.

The agent the other end says she doesn't think her seller will come down at all. She was reluctant even to speak to him, but I asked her to sound him out, and explain that if we have to withdraw, he will not get such a good price for his property again in this market.

Oh fuck.

I think we will have to take some of the hit, and move into rented - we need to move to another city for a new job which starts in January. But it's hard to find rented in 2 weeks in another city with a dog and a baby.

MamaChris Thu 16-Oct-08 11:23:51

ADragon Properties are not selling in our area

WhereWolfTheWildThingsWere Thu 16-Oct-08 11:27:45

No they didn't pull out.

They did however, get their solicitor to repeat the message to us three times over the week, to try and scare us.

Then on completion day, bingo, there was the cheque.hmm

Some people will always try it on, and at the moment it is even more likely.

Don't quote me, but I bet it's a ploy they are being encoraged to try because of the market. If you say no then it changes nothing, if you say yes they are quids in.

Nothing ventured, nothing gained and all that.

lalaa Thu 16-Oct-08 11:34:49

What a nightmare.

Do you really really need to move now?

Don't take the hit if you can help it.

Also, another mnetter recently had to move to a new town and couldn't get there, and lots of people rallied round and did the initial viewings for her. I'm sure that if there are other mnetters in the town you need to move to, they will help you find a place to rent.

I'm exchanging on Monday, so really am empathising!

Upwind Thu 16-Oct-08 11:43:08

Gazumping and gazundering are both horrible. BUT I can sort of see where your buyers are coming from - the market is very different from when you agreed your price three months ago. Not only have prices dropped substantially, but mortgages are much harder to come by now than they were before. So it might be the case that the buyers have no choice but to reduce their offer.

You are actually not in such a bad position - if you agree to this, you can surely delay your completion date so you will have more time to find a rented property, if your purchase falls through. But from experience two weeks is plenty of time to find rentals - there are lots available right now, if they are empty when you do the viewing you can usually move in the next day if that is what you want. As house prices are falling so fast, you can then get a whole lot more house for your money. grin

Best of luck!

annh Thu 16-Oct-08 11:43:27

That would be a 75k reduction in total so unless you live in a mansion flat in central London, it sounds like a huge overall drop in price. I know you really do need to move for work but there's no point in dropping your price so far that you can't afford anything in your new area anyway so I would be inclined to go back and say no, that you can't move lower and that the other person in the chain will not. Do you know what position your buyers are in? Are they the bottom of the chain? You have my sympathy, I think people who do this at the last minute are bas*ds!

annh Thu 16-Oct-08 11:44:32

Just thought, presumably your buyers will already have spent money on surveys, solicitors etc so will be reluctant to lose that unless they really have a good reason for dropping their offer?

Upwind Thu 16-Oct-08 11:55:49

annh - it is a 75k reduction from the asking price, not the actual value of the flat.

I could put my car for sale tomorrow asking 90k but would probably have to take at least a 75k reduction on that.

The outlay on solicitors, surveys etc makes me think that these buyers are not chancers reducing their offer for fun but, either they have no choice, or simply have cold feet about commiting to such a purchase when prices have come down in the three months since the price was agreed. 25k is a lot of money and it would not be unreasonable for them to assume that the reduction could be passed on up the chain. 25k might not actually be that much to someone at the top of a chain selling a house for a 7 figure sum when they bought it for a five figure amount.

MamaChris Thu 16-Oct-08 11:59:12

Buyers are cash buyers (buying flat for their daughter). Bottom of the chain. The flat is a 2 bed in Finsbury Park (London, but not a nice part).

We really do need to move, as otherwise I'll be commuting from January, and won't see my baby from Monday-Friday.

Know the people we are buying from were planning to let their property if they can't sell, so am going to ask what their letting price would be. Maybe we can rent that house while we look for something nicer/cheaper to buy.

critterjitter Thu 16-Oct-08 12:09:42

Agree with Upwind. I read somewhere the other day that gazundering is affecting virtually all purchases nowadays. The market has changed lots in 3 months - so it may be that in their minds they are just trying to get your property at its current worth, rather than its worth 3 months ago. They are probably also factoring in a further slump in the market.

thegirlwiththecurl Thu 16-Oct-08 12:16:21

just a quick question - what's the rental market like in your area? Could you get rent to cover your mortgage? If so, rather than take a hit of this magnitude, if you are considering going to rented prpoerty instead of buying, could you not rent your flat out instead? We did this when we moved (had to for job reasons too) and we couldn't sell our house without dropping the asking price ridiculously low. We put it up for rent and had two people wanted to rent it off us at asking price before the board had even gone up! Getting our mortgage company to change to a consent to let mortgage was no probs and they moved in within a month. Just a thought.....

PestoFangsLookGoodOnMeMonster Thu 16-Oct-08 12:33:00

I was just going to say the same as GirlwithaCUrl.

Tell your buyers to get stuffed you won't drop from the agreed price.

Rent yours

Rent another one in new town.

MamaChris Thu 16-Oct-08 12:34:25

rental is another thought. But really, we want to sell. I don't think the market's going to improve any time soon, so we'd just be waiting to get a lower price later.

They put in a low offer, saying they were factoring in a falling market, and one that would continue to fall.

Yes, they are being financially savvy, and trying to get a good price for this property. But their current offer is back to 2004 prices, and I don't think the market has dropped that much yet! The problem is that the place we're moving to is they are bery unlikely to take money off. Though I explained to the agent that we had made a very good offer, and the market had fallen since (quoting a couple of properties on their books that have come down substantially) and that no one else is likely to pay that much if he refuses to take money off.

PestoFangsLookGoodOnMeMonster Thu 16-Oct-08 12:38:08

I think your agent probably needs your house sale to go through as much as you do. Therefore, I would think, it's in his interests to liaise with the agents of the property you want to buy and negotiate a similar drop of their asking price too. If both parties drop then obv you can proceed. Wonder what the position is of the vendors of the house you want to buy?

You are all in the same boat, sadly.

Mimsy2000 Thu 16-Oct-08 12:40:35

agree with upwind. things are different now than they were three months ago.

thegirlwiththecurl Thu 16-Oct-08 12:42:50

it's so bloody stressful, isn't it. Seriously, though, rental is worth considering - I was dead against it at first - didn't want the hassle etc etc - but I am glad now as we knew we were going to move into rental property with dh's job, and it is nice to still have a foot on the property ladder. Also - just putting it out there as an option might show your potential buyers that you have other options and aren't reliant on them. I can totally understand your reluctance to, but if you are really considering moving to rented property, at least this way you would still have a foot on the ladder.

MamaChris Thu 16-Oct-08 12:45:02

the place we're buying, the couple hve divorced. she's already moved into rental, he's getting ready to, but doesn't really want to leave.

i know the market has changed. but it hasn't changed overnight. there is no need for them to spring this on us the day before an exchange date they insisted on.

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