Right - looks like we have FINALY found a house. We have made an asking price offer which has been accepted but the vendors want a non refundable deposit to protect them from us pulling out.
I don't have a problem with this and our solicitor thinks it is quite common but I obviously want some watertight clause on circumstances where we can pull out without losing deposit such as poor survey, mortgage withdrawl etc
Has anyone done this and regretted it or have any tips for me?
I think it's the opposite of crazy 2007 behaviour, it's nervous 2009 behaviour. I think people are really scared of losing buyers... we had the opposite problem, the people we were buying from decided not to sell a week before we were due to exchange. I wish we'd had a deposit to protect us from that!
Hi headfairy I remember you from when I was selling the flat and posted about the offer (I am very near you) Glad you managed to sell in the end and so sorry to hear that your house fell through, what are you going to do?
Reciprocal agreement makes sense to protect us, they should at least cover your costs
Luckily we did find somewhere else pretty quickly afterwards, slightly smaller but in a better location for commuting, for a similar price. However as we were desperate to keep our buyer we sold our flat despite not having somewhere to move in to. All our stuff is in storage at the moment and we're living at my mum and dad's (no longer near Northcote Road - sniff!) until mid October when we expect to complete. It's all been held up horrendously by the postal strike.
I would love to see a system similar to the French or Scottish (I think) systems, whereby an offer is legally binding and you have to pay a big penalty if either party pulls out. It would save a lot of heartache.. after all, we were due to exchange and complete in late June, and here we are in mid September and and still homeless! It's all been a bit of a nightmare to be honest.
I hope you have better luck... I'm sure some kind of deposit must be dependent on a firm mortgage offer, not just one in principle. And if you have lots of things come up on the survey, can you either decide to have the value of repairs taken off the sale price, or get the vendor to rectify them before completion. Either way, your solicitor should be able to make sure that while the deposit will give the vendor some security, it won't bind you to buying a house that is falling down, or one you can't get financing for.