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Numpty Q: Just had an offer accepted on a house. Now what do we do??! Talk me through it pls!

(8 Posts)
faraday Tue 07-Jul-09 10:20:29

The agent says we must appoint a solicitor, fair enough.

But when does deposit money change hands?

Is it refundable?

When must we get the building inspection done (or don't we considering this is a 10 year old local house and we don't need a mortgage?)

What other things must we get done (ie does it need searches if we aren't borrowing anything?)

Thing is we're new to UK house buying and have heeded all the horror stories of people deciding not to sell on The Day, removals truck in the driveway (can't name that day- is it 'hand-over' 'exchange of contracts'?). HOW can they do this?

My fear is this deal will go tits-up.
Where I rent and am buying (in the catchment of the highest achieving secondary in the county), houses are going for ABOVE asking price (which is what we've offered!). The owners are possibly whooping with joy BUT I gather they're looking locally again they haven't been 'out there' to buy themselves and haven't yet found out that you have to view a desired property on the DAY it goes on the market and put an offer in there and then. It took us 3 months to recognise, in disbelief that this IS the case!

They MIGHT pull out of a house sale when they discover this leaving us high and dry!


rubyslippers Tue 07-Jul-09 10:23:25

get a solicitor ASAP and get the ball rolling

they will sort out searches etc

i would get a survey done to be on the safe side

what i am confused about it are the people you are buying from ... have they got a property to go to?

If so, they may have accepted your offer but until they are ready to move you are stuck!

TeriHatchetJob Tue 07-Jul-09 10:25:57

I'm sure someone will come along with a lot more detailed advice, but basically you must get a solicitor and it is their job to sort out the searches, any inspections etc. and the estate agent will liase with them.

Your job will then be to keep chasing them up in order to speed things up and to be kept informed.

Your solicitor and estate agent will inform you when deposits have to be paid and contracts exchanged and even when to collect the keys on the day you move in.

faraday Tue 07-Jul-09 10:41:50

OK, the sellers apparently haven't begun LOOKING at property yet (hence my worry at how they might get cold feet once they DO!- small comfort: school photo of their 6 yr old DD in private school uniform so perhaps catchment isn't an issue for them!)! But VERBALLY their agent (who, though he wears stripy suits IS a 'name' in this community so perhaps not fly by night as he does own the local business and has a reputation to maintain!) says they've agreed with what we've asked as a condition that we need to be IN the property on October 1st or before. He says they say they're prepared to rent if necessary so we can do that.

Is it true WE pay a deposit (obviously) that we can lose if we 'pull out' but the vendor can walk away at any time scot free?

jodee Tue 07-Jul-09 10:49:21

in England deposit only changes hands once Contracts are exchanged, which is a binding Contract between you/sellers, up until that point they can pull out at any time. I am a secretary for a conveyancing solicitor and gazumping has started again, unfortunately. your sellers will take you seriously once you have a survey done on the property, but it is no guarantee they will sell to you, unfortunately.

Fimbo Tue 07-Jul-09 10:55:43

They generally like 10% of the purchase price as the desposit on exchange of contracts. We knocked this down to 5% when we bought our house.

faraday Tue 07-Jul-09 11:09:06

I gather that if the buyer collapses the contract they can be hit for the rest of the 10% that 'should' have been paid, though?

Northernlurker Tue 07-Jul-09 17:13:25

Yes that's right. If the seller walks away though they can't take your 10% with them!

Typically you would get a survey of some sort done quite soon and then haggle the price if you find the roof is made of cheese etc. At the same time your solicitor will conduct the searches and yes you do need them - this will tell you that the seller actually owns the house and that the house is actually where and what it is and that the council aren't planning to build an incinerator on it and all that sort of thing. Then when everything is agreed in principle they draw up the contracts - which you will need to sign. The contracts are exchanged toogether with the deposit - which you're seller will most likely pass up their chain to their seller and a moving date (completion) is set. It is possible to exchange and complete on the same day and we did that with our first house but my nerves wouldn't stand it now tbh. The phone call saying we'd exchanged was absolutely glorious! Good luck smile

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