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WIBU to ask for completion from seller before their house is finished

33 replies

Katlow · 14/11/2019 15:57

I'm a first time buyer so I'm completely new to all this!

So, we put an offer in on a house, no mention of the fact that the sellers were looking at moving into a new build property. Fair do's, we should have asked.
Offered full price, accepted, all hunky dory.
I emailed the estate agent asking what sort of time scale we were looking at and she's let me know that they were putting an offer in on a new build property, so I asked her whether they were built or still under construction. After some chasing she let me know that they were still under construction and they were at roof stage due to be finished at the end of January.
However, I know that this probably won't be the case.
WIBU to say we want to complete at the end of January or beforehand or we'll be dropping out?
I feel bad because I know the reason that they're moving is because she's pregnant and I don't want to stress her out more than I need to!
The reason I want to get this through ASAP is because my DH hates his job and wants a new one which we obviously can't do until completion without taking a massive risk on the mortgage.

I'm not sure what the right thing to do is when buying a house as I've absolutely zero experience.

OP posts:
chipsandpeas · 14/11/2019 15:59

well you can but be prepared that they say no - i wouldnt move out to somewhere else before my house was ready just would cause more stress

londonrach · 14/11/2019 16:01

You can ask but they can turn you down and put it back on the market. Suspect if new build it wouldnt be complete by jan as its over winter and things often take longer. Is it a buyers or sellers market where you are. We in a sellers market but my inlaws in a buyers market.

Singlebutmarried · 14/11/2019 16:01

How long is your mortgage offer valid for. Most are six months or so.

As long as you move within that time the offer will be valid. So if your mortgage offer is from today you’d have til May to move.

Double check this with your mortgage broker if you have one. Or look at the offer letter. That will tell you when you need to complete by before re applying.

If you’re with some lenders they will still lend if you have a job offer letter and an agreed start date.

DollyPomPoms · 14/11/2019 16:04

When did you put the offer in? If only in the last few days you will be lucky to be ready to complete by the end of January anyway!

MrsWillGardner · 14/11/2019 16:06

I feel bad because I know the reason that they're moving is because she's pregnant and I don't want to stress her out more than I need to!

Well you’ll either stress her out worrying you’re goung to pull out because they can’t/won’t complete before the house is finished OR you’ll stress her out because they’ll then have it on them to find somewhere to live in the mean time until completion.

Also it’s extrenely close to Christmas to put this situation on people.

Foxyloxy1plus1 · 14/11/2019 16:07

It’s usual, if you’re buying a new build, to have your house under offer before the developer will accept a reservation. That doesn’t mean that the house will be near to completion though. We reserved our house in February and moved in November. We moved out of our previous house in May and rented until the new one was ready.

I suppose it depends whether you want to start the process of looking all over again, in the hope of moving more quickly.

Katlow · 14/11/2019 16:36

I love the house but our first option (which admittedly, though very posh and has all the mod cons would probably be less suitable for us size-wise) has gone back on the market and has no chain.
I adore both properties, although I know the one we've currently had our offer accepted on is better practicality wise, so would be able to go straight in for another if they said no.
We put the offer in on the 4th of November, had our mortgage offer through and instructed solicitors.

OP posts:
DollyPomPoms · 14/11/2019 16:40

Offer accepted on 4th November? You will be VERY lucky if you are in a position to complete by the end of January anyway! Developer will push hard for an exchange, which will be on notice.

OnlyFoolsnMothers · 14/11/2019 16:40

i dont think its that unreasonable. You dont know all the details of the sellers situation, they might have family locally they could move in with for a month....ultimately in a slow market you are in a strong position.

OnlyFoolsnMothers · 14/11/2019 16:41

oh just seen you only had the offer accepted November 4th- tight deadline given xmas is slap bang in the middle too.

CharlotteUnaNatalieThompson · 14/11/2019 16:43

You're being massively unrealistic as to how long it takes to buy a house. You're expecting to complete within 2 months - this is usually about the minimum it would take even without any chain at all, especially including the festive period when many companies are closed. And it's usual for there to be at least a couple of weeks between exchange and completion.

No harm in making that a condition of your purchase (we moved out and rented for 2 months to get our house sold when moving into a new build, and our buyers wanted in quickly because she was pregnant - still took about 4 months from offer to completion) but don't be surprised if they pull out.

Katlow · 14/11/2019 16:48

Thanks for all your help and advice!
Like I say, I have literally no clue and no one really apart from my solicitor to give me an idea of what to expect.
I was kind of basing it on rental property time scales which is a bit silly in hindsight but at least I have a better idea now.

OP posts:
crustycrab · 14/11/2019 16:49

November? You won't be ready to complete by the end of January anyway! Leave it be

VardySheWrote · 14/11/2019 16:52

many sellers will promise that they move out, go in rental or with family or friends to secure an offer - then change their mind once you are financially committed and less likely to drop out.

So you need to be realistic - it's just not going to happen in January, and you can't blame them as they have to rely entirely on developers, there's nothing they can do really.

how long are you prepared to wait for? How many weeks of delay will be acceptable to you?

bigbluebus · 14/11/2019 16:55

Our previous NDN completed and moved before their new house was ready as they didn't want to lose their purchaser. They have moved in with family in the interim.

No harm in asking.

BananaPeach · 14/11/2019 16:56

We are chain free, the house we have bought is chain free and we are on week 16 of waiting to complete. Looks like we might complete week 18.

And we were told it would take 6-8 weeks. Just to warn you

Yoohoo16 · 14/11/2019 16:56

Even the smoothest of house sales take an average 12 weeks.

PrayingandHoping · 14/11/2019 17:01

Just to give u an idea op. When we bought our current house we were a chain of 3. We accepted our offer beginning August and moved in beginning of November. No massive issues happened that's just how long it took.... and we did push things along as much as we could as my husband had already started a new job in the new area.

As others said. You'd be lucky for end of January anyway. Feb at earliest is more realistic

DollyPomPoms · 14/11/2019 17:02

Agents will tell you you could complete in six weeks. However they are not the ones completing the legal work! I tell my clients that the average transaction time is 12-18 weeks and that is from receipt of/issuing of contracts not when an offer is made/accepted.

Ferretyone · 14/11/2019 17:09


The buyer of the new property does not normally "make an offer" on a new build; he'd get laughed at!

You will simply have to leave this all in the hands of the solicitors I'm afraid. There is no way - physically - that a developer would allow a purchaser to move into an incomplete house even if the buyers solicitor would allow it. There is no way that [unless you parted with very large sums of money] that you could require the seller to move out on a date inconvenient to them

CharlotteUnaNatalieThompson · 14/11/2019 17:33


The buyer of the new property does not normally "make an offer" on a new build; he'd get laughed at!

Nonsense. Of course you put in an offer for a new build. The developer may or may not accept less than the list price but in that sense it's just the same as buying any property. We ended up buying our new build for more than 25% less than the list price 10 years ago because it was a buyer's market and our house was sold.

There is no way that [unless you parted with very large sums of money] that you could require the seller to move out on a date inconvenient to them

Also nonsense. Depends on how desperate they are to sell. We moved into rented for 2 months because we didn't want to lose a sale. You can ask for whatever terms you like when offering on a property - the sellers don't have to accept them, and might ask for more money to do so, but it all comes down to how keen they are to sell and how many other interested buyers they have who may make less demands.

Robs20 · 14/11/2019 17:36

We as sellers agreed to this. We will have 6 weeks between completing on our sale (tomorrow!) and hopefully moving into our new house. In our case, I am the pregnant one.
We are having to put our stuff into storage and move in with my parents. Not ideal at all and I’m wondering why we agreed. I wouldn’t do this again. You should allow 10-12 weeks from your offer being accepted, so end of Jan will be tight anyway.

Dinosauraddict · 14/11/2019 17:38

The last property sale I was involved in which completed in mid-Jan had offer accepted end of Sept (3.5 months). This was a cash buyer purchasing an empty property - solicitors tend to shut down over Christmas, so you are being very unrealistic. Even suggesting this to them will either stress them out or piss them off and probably to no avail with the timeframes anyway!

PicaK · 14/11/2019 17:49

Thing is they can say anything they like and change it later on at any point until exchange of contracts.
3-4 months is the norm. Do not underestimate how slowly solicitors move and they probably all shut over xmas.
But good luck with it all. Its a real roller-coaster of ups and downs and you'll be gnashing your teeth at times. But I promise you when it's all over you'll forget all the trials and tribulations.

Chocolatemouse84 · 14/11/2019 17:54

We threatened to pull out. Our sellers were buying new build, but had said they had a property to temporarily move in to until their new one was ready. They agreed a date to sign everything, the day before we were all due to go to solicitors, they sid it had fallen through and they didn't know when they could move.
We said we wanted to sign the following week, with a move date of 4 weeks from then and they accepted that.
We would have lost money if they had said no but we were willing to take the hit. Luckily, it all worked out.

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