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Do we dare 'deadline' our vendors?

18 replies

faraday · 22/07/2009 17:41

Offer made 4th July, accepted 7th July. NOTHING from them since. We've done a building inspection since then!

We're cash buyers, renting, paid £1000 over the asking price AND have given them til Oct 1st to get out! There IS a bit of a micro climate here of a good secondary catchment and houses DO go within 2-3 days of marketing BUT I by coincidence, happen to know the other people (not personally) who also offered, though apparently identical to us NEEDED a short settlement thus WE 'won'.

The vendors hadn't started looking as of July 4th but have said they'd rent if necessary to be out by Oct 1st..

Our solicitor said he hadn't heard from their solicitor as of today at all so we called the EA who said 'Maybe they're waiting to find a place'. WELL, sod THAT! Damned if we're 'giving' them all that leeway just to wait to be pulled into whatever chain THEY get involved in!

We go away this w/e for a week. Is it reasonable for us to set a deadline of if they haven't provided at least the fixtures and fittings list by our return, the deal's off? We can't say 'ready to exchange' because we may want to haggle some fixtures- but don't know what they are til we see the list!

I wondered whether they might play this game. See, they possibly thought "Hooray!" As they had at least 2 families in a bit of a bidding war to buy their house 2 days into marketing. BUT I reckon they sauntered out onto the market around here and found that actually, all the property THEY want has also sold in 2 days at asking price! Thus they're taking their time with the exchange to maximise their will we/won't we option!

What do you think?

Yes, we want the house but it's standard 4br estate house. The people whom we 'won' over in 'getting' this house have already nailed another VERY similar property 2 streets away (coincidental finding from a work colleague).

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goldenpeach · 22/07/2009 19:49

It sounds like a cautionary tale never to pay the full asking price (or over). People will always find ways to screw you no matter how much money you throw at them.

I bought two houses so far and trying to buy a third one (we are renting too) but buying is such an awful process, especially now when the market encourages people to play all sort of games. I would have imposed a shorter deadline.

What I'd do is say: if you don't complete by XXX, then our offer goes down to XZ.

Some people have a cheek! We offered on a house last year, they laughed our offer off, then came back to house like six months later, saying, just add 15 and the house is yours as other people cannot go higher, so my very crossed DP said the offer had expired and we would only pay ZZ (much, much lower). Of course they took the other offer.

lalalonglegs · 22/07/2009 19:59

Depends how much you want the house: I would let the estate agent (who will be desperate for commission and easy sale) lean on them a bit over the weekend and report back. If nothing by the end of next week, I would be thinking in terms of ultimatum and looking at other properties. You can't force someone to sell to you and usually strong-arming doesn't really help matters; it sounds as if they may be fairly lukewarm about the whole business.

AppleandMosesMummy · 22/07/2009 20:09

What did the people who you beat to the house pay for theirs around the corner ?

NoseyHelen · 22/07/2009 22:22

It would be worth indicating that post 1st October your offer reduces by the amount of additional rent you have to pay.

If they are really serious about going though you could move to exchange ASAP and set a completion date of no later than 1st October which could be brought forward by the vendor, should they find somewhere to move to, with an agree notice period e.g. 2 weeks.

ABetaDad · 22/07/2009 22:40

faraday - frankly I think they will mess you around. Unless they are willing to sign a contract by 31 July 2009 with a move out date of 1 October 2009 written into it they will string you along.

They have not found a house and only started looking once you made an asking price offer. TBH they had no intention of even moving unless they got that offer. They still have no intention of moving unless they find the perfect house. It is happening a lot at the moment as there are very few decent houses for sale at sensible prices.

The acid test is will they sign the contract ASAP. If not, you have nothing.

DebiNewberry · 22/07/2009 22:47

I suppose you could issue them with a deadline, but they could equally say no, and wait for somebody who was prepared to sit in a chain with them, especially as it sounds as though their house is v saleable (eg you paid over the asking price) It's not really their concern that you are renting imo. If you start strong-arming them it's unlikely to go anywhere good.

faraday · 23/07/2009 18:41

OK- re full asking price AND some- the reality is in THIS market, having been looking on it for 6 months, IF a house has been 'priced to sell', if you want a place you offer AT LEAST asking price on the first day it comes on the market! If this particular agent (who dominates the local market) has the house on his books, they do seem to price 'correctly'- you can tell if they think the house is priced right or not as they make the owners of overpriced houses do the inspections! Won't waste their own time on it! AND the 'correctly priced' houses sell like hotcakes.

Anyway, I'm not being dramatic here, after 6 months we knew we had to act and act fast.

The other party we were up against have 'bought' 2 streets up, as I said, a house 'on' for £339k which they've agreed £342k for. So cautionary tale or not, if you want to own not rent around here, you have to do this!

As for them not caring whether we rent or not- well, it DOES concern them because it throws up 'deadlines' for us which influences whether for instance WE collapse the deal- which in turn might affect an offer THEY were about to make. In effect, it's the pseudo 'chain' that we bring into the arena. Not much of one compared to those buy/sells chains of 6 or 7 folks but still with the possibility of affecting the outcome. We're still in the 6 month rental period (and will, on Oct 1st, be walking away from 7 weeks rent!) but we don't want to have to renew our tenancy!

There's a post script: The EA called the owner to see what the hold up was. APPARENTLY she said they absolutely weren't stalling but had decided to change solicitor to someone who charged 'about half'. We should, again apparently be getting 'something in the post tomorrow'. We will see. I'd think they could have informed the EA of this turn of events but at least it has given us the chance to make it clear we're not mucking around.

I must say if this IS a stalling tactic, it's fairly inventive!

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goldenpeach · 23/07/2009 19:07

Strong-arming is the only thing with certain people. We had to ask our agents to do that in every sale we experienced.

I am still angry about the first-time buyers who took 5 months to buy my house, their solicitors writing letter after letter with stupid queries, request of dropping an already discounted price.... I suspect he was paid extra for all those silly letters.

Luckily we had a no-nonsense agent who wanted his commission. In these times, agents should want their commission even more. They seem to close down one after the other...

mummygogo · 23/07/2009 21:03

Maybe they have changed solicitor, but just be wary of them actually trying to tie in a related purchase which just might drag on (especially if they haven't found anything yet), the common thing seems to be agree what the buyer wants then find a related purchase and then want to tie the whole thing in. Think you need to make it absolutely clear the whole way through

faraday · 24/07/2009 09:58

No, we won't be going there! Our conditions are we move in on or before 1st October! There won't be any 'dependent on...' from them in any contract we sign! We agreed a price based on us being chain free cash buyers with no actual line in the sand about when we HAVE to vacate this rental (actually Nov 22nd but THEY don't need to know that!).

Will be interested to see if we DO get 'anything' in the post today! We're off for a week tomorrow.

The only solace we MIGHT take if this drags on is that once we're well into the summer hols, the Catchment Effect that's driving this silly market will wear off so if we DO pull out due to their unreasonable behaviour they'll be trying to sell in a less favourable market I believe!

A question which I might ask as a new post:

If we say 'Right, we're to be IN on or before Oct 1st', obviously we will afford a little leeway if necessary (how do you write THAT into a contract with a set 'end date'?!) BUT what actually stops a contact dragging on over say 5 years? Seriously? As in how would we avoid losing our deposit if we pull out due to interminable stalling and delays?

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Owls · 24/07/2009 12:05

The completion date is fixed at exchange of Contracts. After that there could/would be financial penalties for either party if they were to pull out. Tbh, before exchange of contracts you are in the lap of the gods (or solicitors/estate agents/vendors, etc.,)

Does sound like you will be doing a lot of chasing on this purchase by the sound of it. Let the estate agent know your deadlines and get them to do the chasing. Be careful how much chasing you want your solicitor to do as you will more than likely be paying for that. Unless you have got a fully inclusive price agreed for the conveyancing costs?

Good luck!

faraday · 24/07/2009 12:46

No, really all that's actually happened is we contacted our solicitor 2 WEEKS after the verbal agreement on the price to ask why we hadn't heard a thing- and he said he hadn't received anything from the vendors solicitor, so we called the EA (in that our solicitor can't lean on their solicitor if he doesn't officially know who they are!) to get THEM to lean on the vendors. The result has been the vendors say the delay has been that they are changing solicitors and they 'promise' to get their finger out re Fixtures and Fittings.


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DebiNewberry · 24/07/2009 15:27

Did you use to be sorrento, faraday? Your posting styles are very sim.

Anyway, good luck with it all.

HerHonesty · 24/07/2009 15:38

yes. its a buyers market. just set the dates and if they dont meet them make a decision whether or not you are willing to pull out.

faraday · 24/07/2009 16:51

No I wasn't ever sorrento though I have heard of her/him?! I've been faraday for ages now! Hope poor sorrento isn't insulted!

Well, it OUGHT to be a buyer's market I'd agree but there IS this micro-cosmos just around here based on a good secondary's catchment (best performing in the county by a long chalk BUT also very good with its less able DCs!). The EAs reckon it adds between 40 and 60K to the price of otherwise identical houses.

We KNOW this is what we're buying into (or trying to!) but hopefully, though I'm buying a house to LIVE IN for 8 years min., it WILL hold its value relative to the market iyswim.

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willowstar · 24/07/2009 18:10

I keep reading that it is a buyers market but it really isn't everywhere. Where we are you can buy new and newish houses galore but anything a bit older goes quickly and for very close to the asking price. just thought i would add that! We have just completed on a house, it took 3 months and it should have been really straight forward. We foolishly gave our 2 months notice on our rental property after we agreed the purchase price etc...but have ended up having to negotiage another month. anyway, this isn't really related to your post at all! good luck.

HerHonesty · 24/07/2009 18:57

it is related. a good warning not to hand in notice in rented till you have exchanged.

faraday · 24/07/2009 19:35

I guess, but provided that you don't have to give 2 months notice but your vendor wants exchange before then!

I suppose we all do what we think is right at the time but luckily there is always advice to be had on MN!

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