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Pressure from EA in the chain making everyone nervous

38 replies

bottomofthechain · 14/02/2024 16:49

Name change so I don’t out myself to anyone who may be potentially linked to this, and sorry it’s a novel but I don’t want to dripfeed.
 
TLDR; we’re getting a lot of pressure from further up the chain to speed things up with the purchase of our (hopeful) new home, they are making us out to be the ones holding things up but I think they are being unreasonable and everything feels like it’s moving along as it should.
 
We are in the middle of the process of buying a new house. This house is in a chain of 3 other properties, which means including the sellers of the house we are buying and ourselves, there are 5 parties involved. We would complete this chain, with the caveat that we are at the tail end of selling our own property. We don’t need everything to align in terms of exchange/completion because we have somewhere to go once our sale completes, and can wait for however long it takes to coordinate our onward purchase in the chain. We do however need the proceeds of our sale to put into the deposit for our purchase.
 
Our sale I would say is 90% of the way there, just one little thing left to resolve. This is all in hand, but we can’t guarantee a timeframe because we need to get the lead time from a third party, and we’ve not heard back on that yet. Once we know a timeframe, we can agree an exchange/completion date with our buyer. I am optimistically hoping that everything to do with the sale will be done and dusted before the end of March, but it is also entirely possible that this could be wrapped up by the first week of March.
 
Meanwhile, for our purchase, we instructed our solicitors and started the buying process (i.e. homebuyer’s survey, mortgage application, specialist surveys like drainage, electrics, etc) in mid-December. We also had to renegotiate our offer just before Christmas due to lenders valuing the property to be a good chunk less than our original offer. The final price was agreed just before everyone broke up for Christmas break. Our solicitor received the draft contract in the second week of January and went back to the sellers’ solicitors with queries based on the contract and searches last week. In my opinion this is all ticking along at the expected pace.
 
However we have been hassled by the estate agent (let’s call him Greg) at the very top of the chain for weeks, who is also pestering the estate agent (let’s call her Betty) dealing with the sale of the property we’ve offered on, who in turn is passing on to us these questions and emphasising the pressure she is receiving from further up the chain. I don’t blame Betty whatsoever as this must be frustrating for her too, but I feel like Greg is being completely out of line? He has sent us physical letters to our home pressuring us to contact him directly about “major issues about the chain” (which, by the way, he meant us and the sale of our property). He has also been bombarding our solicitor with emails and phone calls trying to get “updates” even though things are progressing as planned. Our solicitor has told Greg to back off and all is going at the normal speed. The clients he acts for are the people who have offered on the chain-free property at the top of the chain. They have only just put in their offer about a week ago. Surely then they still need to go through the whole searches, mortgage, surveys, draft contracts, queries process themselves now? In talking to Betty, she agrees that they would be starting from scratch and would be much further behind where we are at the bottom, so she is unsure why they are pressing us and making everyone else nervous.
 
I understand that the fact our sale hasn’t completed yet will be something of concern, but we are nowhere near discussing exchange/completion dates for the onward chain, so what’s the rush and why is everyone in the chain feeling anxious about us taking our time? I was expecting to be in the new home around summer 2024, considering our first offer was accepted in December and this is a pretty long chain. Everyone further up the chain getting antsy is making me feel nervous because the property we’ve offered on is our dream home, and we’d be really, really gutted if the sellers panicked and decided to pull out and remarket if they think that will move things along quicker. All the blame at the moment seems to be pointed at our sale which IMO is not really relevant at this point. There still feels like lots more needs to happen in the chain itself before we will all be ready to exchange, but now I feel like I’ve been too nonchalant about the whole thing and it might well fall apart around us. Am I being unrealistic?

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theeyeshaveit82 · 14/02/2024 16:53

All the blame at the moment seems to be pointed at our sale

by one estate agent in this chain?

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Nw22 · 14/02/2024 16:53

We accepted an offer on our house mid November and had our offer accepted on new house 1st week December. There are 4 houses in the chain and we are not far from exchange so you do seem to be going slowly.

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theeyeshaveit82 · 14/02/2024 16:54

it doesn’t sound like you’re in a rush to move

it sounds like those at top of the chain are

it’s really not an unusual situation op

when was your offer accepted?

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bottomofthechain · 14/02/2024 16:55

theeyeshaveit82 · 14/02/2024 16:53

All the blame at the moment seems to be pointed at our sale

by one estate agent in this chain?

Yes, Greg has been talking to the other parties in the chain directly and pointing at us as the issue. We have had this confirmed by Betty.

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theeyeshaveit82 · 14/02/2024 16:55

 was expecting to be in the new home around summer 2024, considering our first offer was accepted in December

WTF?!

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GasPanic · 14/02/2024 16:56

When you've got a chain you really need to keep on top of stuff to keep things moving.

Greg may come across as annoying, but he is just trying to keep things going forwards and in the process make sure he gets paid. It's certainly not in his interest or probably yours for the chain to collapse if you have now done your surveys and paid out for conveyancing as that money has been spent. He may know something about the feelings of some people in the chain that may mean he has a greater understanding than you of how likely it is to collapse.

You can either look on him as an annoying t**t or someone who is doing his best to make sure everyone in the chain gets what they want (including him).

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theeyeshaveit82 · 14/02/2024 16:57

you thought that the house sale would take 7 months to complete!

I feel for the others in this chain, i really do!

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bottomofthechain · 14/02/2024 16:58

theeyeshaveit82 · 14/02/2024 16:54

it doesn’t sound like you’re in a rush to move

it sounds like those at top of the chain are

it’s really not an unusual situation op

when was your offer accepted?

Ah is that how it comes across? That is not the case and we are very much keen to move quickly, but I assumed these things just take how long they take. Our initial offer was accepted on 5th December. Our renegotiated offer based on mortgage lenders' valuations was agreed 18th December.

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theeyeshaveit82 · 14/02/2024 16:58

5th December
a chain of just three
and you thought… summer 2024

bloody. hell.

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bottomofthechain · 14/02/2024 16:59

theeyeshaveit82 · 14/02/2024 16:58

5th December
a chain of just three
and you thought… summer 2024

bloody. hell.

I think I have not explained the situation properly in the OP. It is a chain of 5. But from other replies I understand I have been silly about my expectations!

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theeyeshaveit82 · 14/02/2024 17:02

you honestly thought this would take 7 months?

and

Once we know a timeframe, we can agree an exchange/completion date with our buyer.

but also

we are no where near agreeing exchange / completion with onward chain

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theeyeshaveit82 · 14/02/2024 17:02

bottomofthechain · 14/02/2024 16:59

I think I have not explained the situation properly in the OP. It is a chain of 5. But from other replies I understand I have been silly about my expectations!

so do you know see that Greg has a valid point?

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bottomofthechain · 14/02/2024 17:02

GasPanic · 14/02/2024 16:56

When you've got a chain you really need to keep on top of stuff to keep things moving.

Greg may come across as annoying, but he is just trying to keep things going forwards and in the process make sure he gets paid. It's certainly not in his interest or probably yours for the chain to collapse if you have now done your surveys and paid out for conveyancing as that money has been spent. He may know something about the feelings of some people in the chain that may mean he has a greater understanding than you of how likely it is to collapse.

You can either look on him as an annoying t**t or someone who is doing his best to make sure everyone in the chain gets what they want (including him).

Totally get that. We thought with the Christmas break in the middle and not getting draft contracts until the second week of Jan, we were on track! We will keep pressing our solicitor to keep things moving.

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bottomofthechain · 14/02/2024 17:04

theeyeshaveit82 · 14/02/2024 17:02

you honestly thought this would take 7 months?

and

Once we know a timeframe, we can agree an exchange/completion date with our buyer.

but also

we are no where near agreeing exchange / completion with onward chain

No, I didn't actually think it would take 7 months but I had set my bar very low because everything seemed to slow down during that Christmas period. My initial thoughts when we put in our offer in December was that we'd complete on the purchase by April. This is still entirely possible and I will press our solicitor, especially with everyone else in the chain feeling anxious about the chain collapsing.

Also I am sorry but I am not sure what you are saying with the two bits you've highlighted? It's the late afternoon slump for my brain I'm afraid.

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theeyeshaveit82 · 14/02/2024 17:20

No, I didn't actually think it would take 7 months but I had set my bar very low because everything seemed to slow down during that Christmas period.

fact you thought it would take 7 months would suggest that you are were quite relaxed about pushing things forward / responding in timely manner

I’m surprised you’re not a FTB. how long ago did you buy?

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theeyeshaveit82 · 14/02/2024 17:21

in one breath you’re saying close to getting a date sorted

another saying you’re ages away

which means the entire chain is ages away from getting a date sorted!

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SaffyWall · 14/02/2024 17:22

bottomofthechain · 14/02/2024 16:58

Ah is that how it comes across? That is not the case and we are very much keen to move quickly, but I assumed these things just take how long they take. Our initial offer was accepted on 5th December. Our renegotiated offer based on mortgage lenders' valuations was agreed 18th December.

I'm currently in a chain of 4, nearly 6 months in to the process and losing the will to live. The problem is that my buyer also has the same attitude as you - 'things just take as long as they take'.

If you want to move house then you make the things happen. You pick up the phone (and follow up with an email) to any solicitor/surveyor/mortgage broker who you are dealing with and you get things moving. The reason this process can be so horrifcally stressful is that some people just accept medicority and bumble along without any thought for anyone else in the chain. If you want it to happen then make it happen. Be proactive. Please.

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theeyeshaveit82 · 14/02/2024 17:24

i suspect your solicitor loves you OP. No pressure, low expectations, just kicking back looking forward to the summer!

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theeyeshaveit82 · 14/02/2024 17:25

there wasn’t a day that i wasn’t chasing my solicitor and agent.

I was asked a question or for a document… my turnaround was hours.

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theeyeshaveit82 · 14/02/2024 17:26

people will be “nervous” OP because of the lack of process or apparent motivation on your part

i suspect Greg is a very experienced agent

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bottomofthechain · 14/02/2024 17:27

theeyeshaveit82 · 14/02/2024 17:21

in one breath you’re saying close to getting a date sorted

another saying you’re ages away

which means the entire chain is ages away from getting a date sorted!

Oh I see what you mean. So we are trying to push our sale as a matter of priority so that it doesn't hold up our onward purchase, if that makes sense? So we are pressing to get a date that we hope will be in the next month at the latest for that to go through.

Meanwhile we don't know how soon we will get to exchange/completion for the onward purchase as that felt to me like it was going normally (which I now understand from PPs that we are actually moving slowly). The only thing is I don't think how we could possibly be the one holding things up when the people at the top of this chain have only just offered on their onward purchase (which closes the chain at the top) last week, so they are not ready anyway?

We bought our property 8 years ago.

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schloss · 14/02/2024 17:27

Financial year end coming up possibly, so need completions to get extra bonus may be an influencing factor in pushing for an end date by some agents?

As others have said, it is better for people to push and be proactive to ensure the sales go through but this in itself can cause pressure and further stress, which seems to be happening here.

Maybe you need to say to "Greg" you find his pressure too much, maybe you need your solicitor to write a firm email saying everything is proceeding as quick as it can.

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bottomofthechain · 14/02/2024 17:45

schloss · 14/02/2024 17:27

Financial year end coming up possibly, so need completions to get extra bonus may be an influencing factor in pushing for an end date by some agents?

As others have said, it is better for people to push and be proactive to ensure the sales go through but this in itself can cause pressure and further stress, which seems to be happening here.

Maybe you need to say to "Greg" you find his pressure too much, maybe you need your solicitor to write a firm email saying everything is proceeding as quick as it can.

Ah I hadn't considered year end and bonuses, that might well be why Greg is being very pushy.

To be clear, we have been hopeful that this purchase would move quickly but had no concept of how long we should expect for something with 5 parties in the chain. Our previous purchase (of the property we are selling now) completed within 3 months due to being completely chain-free on both ends, and I was told this was fast at the time.

Taking on the advice of MN we will up the frequency of the chasing of our solicitor to keep things moving at pace.

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schloss · 14/02/2024 17:50

There is always a fine line between being proactive and pushy - yes you need to be the former, maybe Greg is the latter!

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TangoinTokyo · 14/02/2024 17:58

bottomofthechain · 14/02/2024 17:02

Totally get that. We thought with the Christmas break in the middle and not getting draft contracts until the second week of Jan, we were on track! We will keep pressing our solicitor to keep things moving.

Our draft contracts came a few days before we exchanged. They dont come months before.

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