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Chain collapsed- but our vendor STILL stringing us along. WWYD?

(37 Posts)
faraday Tue 08-Sep-09 14:51:08

We're cashed up and renting.

We have had an accepted offer on a local house since July 7th. Vendors wouldn't commit to exchanging- til they'd gotten us all into a 4 long chain. We signed the contract 3 weeks ago at which stage we were told the vendors wanted a Sept 24th completion. Fine. We found out this chain had collapsed yesterday ('Told to us as 'Good news!' by their EA hmm - on the basis the vendors would now rent! But THAT'S what they said to their EA the day they accepted our offer, 2 months ago).

We are wondering what's now holding up exchange seeing as there's no chain to satisfy anymore.. of course! The vendors are now going to fanny around LOOKING for a suitable renter, meanwhile refusing to exchange with us!

It strikes us that we are being taken for a ride. As it is, the EA (whom I find to be a patronising little git) just said the vendors were looking at a renter this Saturday and IF they take it, they'd exchange 'early next week' and complete 'in early November'. Thing is, we are also renting and OUR tenancy expires on Nov 22nd and we are NOT going to extend it for their convenience! We feel it's about time they wore some risk. We are prepared to say completion can be as late as Nov 15th (or earlier as we are prepared to write off some rent) but exchange may as well happen right now as if they leave finding a suitable renter MUCH longer, assuming it's one with a long 'lead time' their completion date will run past Nov 15th in which case we're out of the equation anyway!

I should add that house prices are holding here and suitable properties do sell 'on the day' BUT we have seen 3 come and go during this last period of fannying around since our offer was accepted!

pofacedandproud Tue 08-Sep-09 14:55:10

you need to take a stand, they are mucking you about. Tell them [through your solicitor if you have a good one] the final date at which you are willing to exchange and any longer and you are withdrawing. And I would give a date in early October, otherwise you are not leaving yourself much time to find something else if they continue to muck you about.

BumptiousandBustly Tue 08-Sep-09 14:59:22

I would say: This is it, they told you they were going to rent before and lied, why would now be any different. Give them a date, stick to it and if they don't then pull out!

theyoungvisiter Tue 08-Sep-09 15:00:46

it sounds like our sale, which fell through due to mad vendors (both immediately and further up the chain).

We got fed up of jumping through hoops to accommodate everyone else's increasingly irrational demands, as did our buyer. Eventually our buyer snapped and gave the chain an ultimatum that we had to exchange by a given date or he was pulling out.

Unfortunately the vendors preferred to let the chain fall apart - however I was starting to wonder whether they would ever move. Ultimately I think they were just not that keen on moving and were possibly quite glad when the whole thing was called off.

You could give them a similar demand - but if they don't have any money invested in searches etc, they may be willing to let the purchase collapse. However if they do, you have to ask yourself whether they would ever have got serious, so you might just be finding out sooner rather than later that they are timewasters.

Ultimately the EA will want the sale to go through though, or he'll lose his commission, so if you put him in fear of that he may buck up the vendors as far as possible.

BumptiousandBustly Tue 08-Sep-09 15:03:19

I would also really make it clear to the estate agent that you don't consider the collapes of a chain "good news" and he needs to get his arse in gear and get this sorted out!

pofacedandproud Tue 08-Sep-09 15:04:25

yes he sounds really bloody annoying.

bran Tue 08-Sep-09 15:05:57

If you haven't exchanged what is the contract that you signed?

LIZS Tue 08-Sep-09 15:49:04

If they are renting it might be available before November so unless you are prepared to pull out and start looking again you will have to wait until the weekend. Once they have found somewhere there is presumably no other reason why exchange cannot happen quickly. It is very unlikely you'd be able to find, buy and move into another property sooner than November now anyway so another week won't cause additional delay.

faraday Tue 08-Sep-09 15:55:58

The contract we signed IS THE Contract- it's just that it hasn't been exchanged with them as they haven't signed THEIRS yet! Or perhaps have not released it FOR exchange!

I am wondering whether we should wait til Monday (ie after they have made a decision on the renter) then deadline them for exchange by the end of the week- if only to see whether they ARE serious! I think they do want or need to sell (the property they were trying to buy- but I'm not sure HOW the chain collapsed- was a good £60k less than the one they're selling so I'd imagine from that they are perhaps under financial pressure). The fact they're looking at renters implies they DO need 'out'.

The 'advantage' to us is that we will either be certain of a purchase or free to go looking again (sigh). Thing is there ARE only 2 agents really in the area: one has the property we are trying to buy, the other had the cheaper property that our vendors tried to buy! So we have/had to be careful not to look 'not serious' if we'd continued looking at other properties- NOT that either party would have emailed us any in that BOTH EAs needed us on board for THIS sale/chain to complete!

The disadvantage is a) we're 'homeless' again and b) there is no doubt about it prices ARE holding if not rising in this area, being God's Own Catchment.

The house is bog-standard 4 bedroom 'estate' so by no means unique BUT it did have the advantage of actually being for sale!

I guess we can deadline our vendors early next week, to be honest, on the basis that if they drag this out any further, their 'completion' will be after the end of our lease anyway and, turning the EA's argument around (a few weeks ago, suggesting we shouldn't be 'hasty' in pressuring the vendors fro exchange' because 'if they put it on the market again now they'd get £14k more for it') WE say well, IF the market is rising we need our vendors to commit or release us to find somewhere else before houses become unaffordable again for us!

faraday Tue 08-Sep-09 15:59:11

I agree, LIZS- but there have APPARENTLY already been no reasons for delay in exchange so far (except there obviously HAVE and we are evidently seen as being 'string-along-able'!).

I am thinking that it's about time they either commit to selling to us -albeit on an extended completion OR they show us the courtesy of pulling out so we can go back looking and using the full, unimpeded services of the local EAs!

LIZS Tue 08-Sep-09 16:02:10

They don't need to "release" you - it is your choice to wait or not, noone is yet legally obligated. iiwy I'd ring both agents and at least ask what else is available or coming on to the market, might at least put the wind up your vendors one way or the other.

LIZS Tue 08-Sep-09 16:03:19

Wasn't there a fensa certificate missing, your solictor would n't agree to exchange until that was available.

faraday Tue 08-Sep-09 16:34:17

Fensa's all done and dusted! Was it you who kindly directed me on how to check the fensa registration? Which I did!

I use the term 'release' because of the slightly peculiar set up around here. There ARE really only 2 agents in town, one a 'national' one independent. We have had dealings with both. Houses that appear on Rightmove, locally, appear with the 'sold stc' tag already on them. You HAVE to be on the agent's emailing list to stand a chance so, and this hurts me to say, you do have to keep on the agent's right side as they are quite powerful! They don't NEED us as buyers as they seem to sell in a day flat anyway! The only thing that keeps prices under control is the steady-ish supply of near identical houses to act as comparisons (only the 'correctly' priced houses sell on the day!).

So I say 'release' in that if our vendors won't commit to exchanging with us, we can in pure conscience regard ourselves as being 'on the buying market' again whereas if we start actively looking now, the vendor's EA wouldn't email us anything til they KNEW this sale was dead in the water and also we would look like WE were uncommitted to what is as yet a verbal deal! Okay there are loads of arguments and counter arguments we can throw around but the reality is, if the EA is 'pushing' one buyer over another, they're more likely to favour the ones with a clean track record!

Does that make sense?

HerHonesty Tue 08-Sep-09 19:50:48

tbh your entire house buying saga sounds like a complete pain in the arse so i think you need to set deadlines and act on them if you dont.

ie. exhange by next friday or we pull out, full stop.

and if you dont exchange next friday, then walk away. and actually do it. its clearly not the house for you and there WILL be with another one. you say yourself there is a steady supply.

lizziemun Tue 08-Sep-09 20:12:49

I agree with HerHonesty. Be firm about your requirments.

We had this when we moved. We had first time buyers and were moving into a property who owner was moving in with her daughters so wanted a quick move.

But when we got to the day before exchange she started wanting move time. I We put our foot down and said no you wanted a quick move and we had got everything sorted in 6wks (and over the christmas period) and if she wanted our offer then we go with the agreed sale period.

She agreed because she needed to move more then us.

HerHonesty Tue 08-Sep-09 20:29:55

sorry, should have typed " act on them if they dont meet them.."

bran Tue 08-Sep-09 22:29:53

If you do end up having to walk away from this one then I recommend mass-leafletting the area that you're interested in. I know a few people who have bought or sold that way, the seller gains because they don't pay estate agency fees. It works particularly well in the sort of area that you describe where the houses are similar and the price-level is clear.

fruitstick Wed 09-Sep-09 12:58:13

bran, I'm about to do just this. Did your friends' vendors get estate agent quotes anyway or did they just agree on a price.

faraday, our vendor changed his mind at the last minute after we had already exchanged on our house sad. It sucks but there are other houses (I hope) and in the grand scheme of things survey fees etc are not that much.

bran Wed 09-Sep-09 13:15:28

Neither of the people I know who sold got valuations as far as I know, but in both cases the properties were very similar to others on the market or just been sold so they had a pretty good idea of the going rate.

I'm not sure what happened with house of the people I know who bought this way. The vendor could well have had it valued.

faraday Wed 09-Sep-09 17:28:03

OK!

This is now the plan:

Our solicitor told theirs today that completion is on or before Nov 15th as our lease expires (we need exchange or renew our lease by mid Oct as a result).

We know our vendor is looking at a renter this Saturday. If it's 'suitable' the EA SAYS we should get exchange 'early next week'. If they DO take the renter, we will deadline them on the same to exchange. If the house isn't suitable and therefore they don't exchange we go to the EA (and all the others locally) to make it clear we're back looking. Our vendors can make what they will of that: If they want us to stay with the program (ie purchasing from THEM!) they have to exchange. If in the interim we have an offer accepted on another place, well, adios!

We were all set to deadline them now for next Weds (a week hence) but it strikes me that could backfire. You need to mean it. They are sitting on a saleable property. We have in some ways ALREADY worn 'the pain' (TIME + the collapsed chain that was underpinning it all) so we'd be stupid to jeopardise 'the gain' by potentially antagonising them as they've just started the 'rental search'...

How would we feel if they went 'Nooo!' We daren't commit to exchange in case we can't find a good renter! We have to let our buyers go!' SO off we trot, they find and secure the ideal renter the following week, they then come on the sales market as motivated vendors, no chain and possibly vacant possession- and someone ELSE jumps in and moves in 2 weeks later!

So we have given them 9 1/2 weeks to move, and given ourselves the freedom to carry on looking. That's as good as it can get, sadly!

Yes, We COULD deadline them but I'm not sure it's wise THIS early into their newest mode of being: wannabe renters!

Fimbo Wed 09-Sep-09 17:36:10

Oh Faraday - it has been nothing but hassle from day 1 for you.

We withdrew from our purchase thanks to a stupid convenant in place that allowed the house next door to dictate what alterations we could do to the house we were buying, dh went to see them, all we wanted to do was add a garden room the length of the property at the back, which the eejits would not even have seen but they said no and the house warranted it and was too small without it. So we pulled out, but went ahead with our sale, I was tearing my hair out to save the whole thing from collapsing and found a make do rented property with a couple of days.

I looked at the property and decided it would do without dh even seeing it as we didn't have the time to hang around.

Imho your vendors should be pulling out all the stops to get themselves into a rented property pronto.

pantshavenames Wed 09-Sep-09 17:48:28

We sold our house last year and moved into a rental to check out the area and basically the letting agents wouldn't even consider us as serious rental prospects until we'd exchanged as who knew what would happen. Also they said that no property would be available with such a long lead time as that (in the end, thank the lord we got lucky with a family that were emigrating so had a fixed plan and plenty of time.)
God, we're looking to buy now, and I hate dealing with EA and ..well.. other people basically....blush

faraday Wed 09-Sep-09 18:03:49

Fimbo -to be fair I am now recognising that our experience is, sadly all too common! I have calmed down considerably from my initial rants of 2 months ago!!

And I am a bit impatient though to my credit I had to be rather FIRM with DH this morning as he was DESPERATE to deadline our vendors now, for end of business next Weds (ie a week after we'd been told they were now looking for a renter!). I said Let's hang on a bit here!

As for letting agents not considering prospective tenants until they'd exchanged, surely once the ink is dry on the rental agreement it doesn't matter WHAT your situation is! As long as you can pay the rent! My hope is that once the vendors have found a rental property and signed they will be very keen to exchange so they won't find themselves paying rent AND a mortgage simultaneously! Saturday's property becomes available on Nov 1st, apparently.

The fact they ARE actually LOOKING at renters implies the 'soddit, let's stay put' option isn't viable for them. We know the property they were hoping to buy, locally, is £60k less than what they're selling which would imply a need to downsize. Trouble is, I wonder (and it can ONLY be supposition!) whether they can afford the rents around here? I mean, if their mortgage is around £500pcm now with the 0% interest rates, they won't like the £950+ a similar house to their own is commanding in rent!

FabBakerGirlIsBack Wed 09-Sep-09 18:05:55

Have you exchanged without a completion date?

faraday Wed 09-Sep-09 22:03:56

No, the issue is our vendor WON'T exchange! They are endlessly keeping their options open- or perhaps it'd be more fair to say they are exploring every avenue open to them at any given moment to its fullest extent! First it was 'nailing' us, offer-wise with the (verbal!) promise they'd rent if necessary to ensure the sale went thru- then nothing...til the discovery they'd got involved in a 4 person chain (with us as number 4!) and an exchange/completion APPARENTLY dependent on everyone else IN the chain; they sent the contract to our solicitor for us to sign which we did 3 weeks ago- then, without actually exchanging that contract, they went away on 2 weeks holiday whilst STILL insisting we were all on target to COMPLETE on Sept 24th.

They came back from their holiday last Sunday to apparently find the chain had collapsed (no idea how) BUT announcing to their EA that they were looking for a renter, had one lined up to view this coming Saturday which IF it were OK would mean a completion with us on Nov 1st...

But still they haven't exchanged!

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