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First time buyer help

34 replies

dnilasor · 19/10/2018 11:36

I'm a FTB and had my offer accepted on 6th July (full asking price). Since then it has been a horrible 16 weeks of delays and stress.
I bought as no chain, we were aiming to complete first weekend of September as my rental tenancy ended on 9th Sept. Vendor's solicitors are crap and slow and so this date was not achievable. Instead we aimed for 30th September - the date when I would officially be homeless. I was able to stay with my brother in September however he moved out on the 30th to go to Australia. I do not have any parents nor do I have contact with other family members so it has been really difficult as I've not had anywhere to stay and I have ended up on friends sofas/floors for the past 6 weeks, something I'm rather fed up of now.
As we approached end of Sept., the seller decides to tie in an onwards purchase which has never been involved before, and she is at very beginning of process with this, which would delay me a further 4-6 weeks again with no where to stay.
I said if its not completed by 19th October then I will pull out - I am in no need to buy at this moment in time and it has been one of the most stressful periods of my life not having anywhere to live. The seller agrees to aim for this date even if it means breaking her chain - however later suggests she would like me to pay for her possessions to go in storage if she has to do this...can you believe!

Start of this week (target completion week) and everything is good to go from my side however it has all been very quiet from vendor's side...I chased on Thursday only to be told they are not ready to complete this week and should be able to next week - as apparently the seller would like to complete Friday 26th as this is convenient for her (half term, gives her time to pack etc) which made my blood boil. She knows how desperate I am to get in as I now dont have any options left for living and will have to pay for hostel/hotel after this weekend. Im finding it really difficult to comprehend how she can be putting me through this when she can easily stay with parents as originally planned, I dont have that luxury and cant help but feel such hate towards her for not having any compassion towards my personal circumstances.
I feel like I'm being forced to succumb to whatever the seller wants, meanwhile I've got my stuff stored all over the place and have a case and a binbag of clothes I've been having to transport round for the past 6 weeks (without the aid of a car) to 5 different people's houses. Each time I speak to the estate agent she is very rude and patronising, and has on 2 occasions left me in tears and I cant help but feel they think I am a bit of a doormat cos I'm a FTB and dont know what Im doing, and dont really have any parents fighting my corner.
Im so fed up of it now Id rather just go and rent somewhere and everytime a date is suggested it always seems to be pushed back and delayed. I know Id lose my fees but that's something Im ok with, as no amount of money is worth the stress Ive been faced with.

Any advice?

OP posts:
ScotsinOz · 19/10/2018 12:14

PULL OUT NOW! She is messing you around and you don’t know whether she’ll keep this new completion date either. You’ve offered full asking price with no chain and wanted to complete quickly. Most people would love a buyer like this, but instead she has messed around, and I wouldn’t be surprised if next week comes and goes and you still do not own the property. If you had purchased the property for a bargain price I could see why you continued to chase this, however you offered full asking price and I say cut your losses. Find a cheap Air BnB and look for a new property to buy or rent.

As a side note, not having family support is unfortunate, but that does not make people walk all over you - neither does being a first time buyer. You need to be firm on what you what from the beginning and clearly advise what action you will take if the agreed terms are not met. Tell them as she has failed to complete several times, she either completes today or you walk away and your offer is revoked. If you don’t want to lose the property completely, tell them if they do not complete today and wish to delay AGAIN until the 26th, that you are dropping your offer £5k (or whatever amount you deem reasonable given the price of the property). You may suddenly find she can complete today.

Very glad we are out of the English property system - in the state I live in in Australia you make an offer via estate agent, all offers must be presented (by law), if offer accepted contract of sale usually signed within 24 hours. Once both parties (vendor and buyer) have signed, both parties have only 48 hours to get property reports etc and only during this time can either party withdraw from the sale without penalty. Once the 48 hours is up the contract is binding and sale will proceed on an agreed date (usually 28 days after contract is signed). It is very rare that settlement (the date of legal ownership changes over) is delayed, and if so, the vendor can legally charge the purchaser a certain percentage of sale price for every day late that settlement is delayed, but this is very rare.

Good luck!

hammeringinmyhead · 19/10/2018 12:17

It's not clear if you have exchanged contracts or not? Can you push to do this right now with a fixed completion date?

TokyoSushi · 19/10/2018 12:20

Pull out! They bloody deserve it. And I say this as the OP of the waiting to exchange thread! 

Look at other properties this weekend and start again or go into short term rented if you can?

The whole thing is a bloody nightmare but yours sounds particularly bad  for you OP

PS come and join us on the waiting to exchange thread if you do continue, we're a lovely, if frustrated & slightly sweary bunch!

Justanothernameonthepage · 19/10/2018 12:24

I'd also say pull out or give the seller the option of exchanging today and completing on the 26th, but for £1000 less to pay for your hotel room & storage costs.

Bluelady · 19/10/2018 12:26

If you pull out now you're cutting off your nose to spite your face. It's been a complete nightmare but you're literally a week away from the end now. I hate the whole process because you're completely at other people's mercy - vendors, estate agents, solicitors. Do ask your solicitor to pass on to his counterpart that all bets are off if completion doesn't take place next Friday. I assume you haven't yet exchanged and are doing both on the same day.

Piffle11 · 19/10/2018 12:27

I'd say pull out. Either get your solicitor to speak with the other side - dropping the price as someone above mentioned - or just tell the EA yourself. No doubt they will all try and get you to stay on board, but this should be an exciting time for you, and it's been tarnished by the Vendor's demands. They should be falling over themselves to keep you happy, instead they're acting like they are doing you a favour. Find somewhere to rent, take a few months to get over it, then look for something else. The Vendor is being massively unreasonable and it wouldn't surprise me if she ended up being one of those types that takes all the lightbulbs, etc - anything that isn't built in!

dnilasor · 19/10/2018 12:37

Thanks for all your suggestions! We haven't exchanged yet, Im going to the solicitors now to pick up contract and assume we will exchange start of next week.

After all the messing around someone had suggested I ask for a price reduction, and so yesterday I rang the agent and said if we don't have it in writing that it's going to be completed by Monday 22nd, I want £5k knocked off the price. The agent came back today and said that it was awful thing to do and they dont condone gazundering and that the vendor will not agree to the end of the phone call I felt like I was an awful person! She speaks very rudely to me and I was very upset by the end of the phonecall. I explained that I understand in a normal scenario gazundering is not the right thing to do however in my case its completely justified...she said let them know what I want to do by the end of the day so they know whether to put it back on the market!! They are ruthless.

So Im going to go speak to my solicitor now and see what she thinks is best to do, Im so reluctant to play ball and move on the day the vendor wants just because its convenient for her. I at least think she should pay for a contribution towards my living costs for the next week if no change in price!

OP posts:
hammeringinmyhead · 19/10/2018 12:39

When we were delayed by a month, the vendor paid 6 weeks rent which was negotiated by my solicitor. Definitely speak to yours today.

Of course the agent says it's terrible. Less commission for her and an earful from the seller.

Thewindsofchange · 19/10/2018 12:41

I would set your position out to the agent - no chain, full asking, have been clear about when needed to complete but been flexible (at own inconvenience)- and then say that you cannot keep living in limbo, with everything in storage, at the mercy of friends to provide accommodation and you will start viewing other properties this weekend. If you find one you like and is proceedable you will be withdrawing your offer on this house.
Don't shoot yourself in the foot with the agent- the next property you spot may be through them! And agents talk to each other- don't give them anything to blacklist you to other agents with.

Thewindsofchange · 19/10/2018 12:43

Sorry, just seen your update.
Jeez the agent sounds like a real charmer.
I suspect they think they've got you over a barrel.

Thewindsofchange · 19/10/2018 12:45

Oh and btw, when we moved recently our solicitor said that any change in price (up or down) would mean reapplying for the mortgage so would be more delay.
If you have a solicitor I would advice going through them from now.

Bluelady · 19/10/2018 12:49

Don't talk to the agent. They're working for the vendor. Do everything through your solicitor. That's what you're paying them for.

Regardless of whether next Friday is set to suit your vendor or not, that's a week away. You're so close now that, painful as it is, I'd just suck it op, see what your solicitor can negotiate in terms of compensation before exchange and put all this behind you when you move in. And make sure you've bought half a dozen light bulbs and a pack of loo rolls!

Merryoldgoat · 19/10/2018 12:51

I’d pull out. This is ludicrous. Take a break and look again in the new year.

They’re taking advantage and you’d be better off washing your hands of them.

Murinae · 19/10/2018 12:53

If they have an ongoing purchase I doubt that will be done in 4-6 weeks. More like 10-12. If I were you I would start looking for rentals and other properties to buy or at least insist on exchange next week and a fixed completion date even if it’s four weeks away at least then you are certain it will happen.

poobumwee · 19/10/2018 12:53

Say you will delay by a week, but only if she pays your living costs for the next week. If not then pull out. she is taking the piss

poobumwee · 19/10/2018 12:55

and insist on a completion date you are happy with OP!

MrsStrowman · 19/10/2018 12:56

Your request was not awful, you've been messed around and have needed to source alternative accommodation for a sale that was advertised as chain free and able to complete quickly. Put the same proposal to your solicitor.

Justanothernameonthepage · 19/10/2018 12:57

I'd start looking for somewhere new ASAP.
You might find somewhere you like better and check gumtree for short term let's/rooms.
Our seller acted like this. We wanted to complete in early June and ended up completing late July.

Yutes · 19/10/2018 12:58

I would pull out and look for something else. They have not completed when they said. You have not exchanged.

Most people would jump at a first time buyer, no chain and ready to go.

A0001 · 19/10/2018 13:00

After all the messing around someone had suggested I ask for a price reduction, and so yesterday I rang the agent and said if we don't have it in writing that it's going to be completed by Monday 22nd, I want £5k knocked off the price.

If you are in England, the only thing that ties a seller into a date is exchange of contracts.

If she was happy that nothing was stopping her from completing next Friday, she should be ready to exchange contracts today.

She is completely stringing you along.

Give her 48 working hours to exchange. End of tues next week if you’re feeling generous.

If not, pull out.

dnilasor · 19/10/2018 13:01

Thanks everyone.

Do you think I am only able to insist she pays for my living costs for the week ahead/until we complete? Or should I ask for the whole 6 week period I’ve been without a home?

I just feel like I’m being treated like a doormat and I don’t want her to get away with me paying the full asking price AND moving at a time that suits her

OP posts:
ScotsinOz · 19/10/2018 13:02

They do not have you over a barrel. You mentioned they have now purchased a property, which one assumes they don’t wish to lose, so the agent is trying to bully you into doing what they want. I would stand firm - complete now or walk away. Tell her you will not continue to be bullied by anyone - you have been more than generous by delaying several times and it is either complete today or offer revoked. My last words to agent would also be along the lines of “wave bye-bye to your commission” if they continue to be so rude.

I also wonder if the vendor may be looking to get out of their purchase and are trying to get you to pull out so they have an excuse?

As for all the “Estate Agents will blackball you” stuff, that won’t happen. They don’t care who they sell to - as long as they sell for the highest price in a reasonable timeframe. If you had shown previously that you had no intention of completing on a property that you had an offered accepted on, then they would be reluctant to recommend a buyer accept your offer, however that is not your situation.

They are trying to call your bluff - call theirs instead. Stay strong and I wish you the best of luck again.


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Bluelady · 19/10/2018 13:04

You can't insist on anything. You can get your solicitor to ask very strongly. You'd really be better off discussing this with your solicitor who has seen every possible property transaction scenario and is the expert on how to handle the situation.

ScotsinOz · 19/10/2018 13:05

Cross post - demand generous costs for the entire period she has delayed for. You were expecting to be in weeks ago. Costs should be paid as a reduction in sale price only.

OftenHangry · 19/10/2018 13:09

They will be messing you about.
Just say the date and say that you are pulling out at 4PM on that date if the completion hasn't happened and you want price reduction. Stick to your guns. You can rent for 6 months elsewhere if the worst happens nad look for another one.

I had to do it when I was buying. They stalled few things and then tried to move pre agreed completion date 2 weeks further.
I simply couldn't due to ending rent contract.

And regarding the agent. Any chance your solicitor would kindly call her once instead of you? Especially with this ultimatum?

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