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    • bxboards
    • By bxboards 19th May 17, 2:34 PM
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    bxboards
    Online agent - suspect 'fake' offer (no sale no fee)
    • #1
    • 19th May 17, 2:34 PM
    Online agent - suspect 'fake' offer (no sale no fee) 19th May 17 at 2:34 PM
    Hello

    Around 3 months ago I listed a property with an online agent under a no sale no fee basis. There was a set up fee payable in advance, which is reclaimable if there has been no offer within 91 days.

    Today is day 89 or 90 (went live around 19th / 20th Feb) and I have had an 'offer' of 4k below asking price.

    My issue is that the 'person' offering has never even viewed the property! I phoned the online agent, and they said is was unusual, and after calling the alleged buyer, I was told they were based overseas.

    I have to say, too be totally honest, this feels like bogus offer as I can't imagine someone is going to upsticks from the continent and buy a house they have never even seen. This offer may also be a way of avoid refunding the refundable set up fee if no offer after 91 days my cynical side says...

    Thoughts...does anyone think it's plausible I have a genuine offer from someone outside the UK who has never ever viewed it?
Page 1
    • saajan_12
    • By saajan_12 19th May 17, 2:46 PM
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    saajan_12
    • #2
    • 19th May 17, 2:46 PM
    • #2
    • 19th May 17, 2:46 PM
    I agree with you that it sounds like a bogus offer from an inside man, but your issue will be proving it. If they refuse to refund the fee, you have to sue them. What exactly does the contract say about the criteria for a refund and what consititutes an ‘offer’? An offer doesn’t obligate the potential viewer to purchase, so even a token ‘offer’ by one of their staff with no intention of progressing could satisfy the terms of no refund.
    • Thebestmumalive
    • By Thebestmumalive 19th May 17, 2:50 PM
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    Thebestmumalive
    • #3
    • 19th May 17, 2:50 PM
    • #3
    • 19th May 17, 2:50 PM
    We once made an offer on a house without viewing it, whilst living abroad. We knew the area and the style of house well enough to make an offer which was only a little under the asking price.

    The estate agent did tell us they put our offer forward but that someone had made a better offer - so we will never know if they took us seriously or not.

    Its was an unusual thing to do, but I'm just saying it does happen.
    • teddysmum
    • By teddysmum 19th May 17, 3:24 PM
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    teddysmum
    • #4
    • 19th May 17, 3:24 PM
    • #4
    • 19th May 17, 3:24 PM
    There is a current thread on here ,where the OP's mum (in Spain I believe) is buying a UK house without seeing it. The OP@s problem was a banking matter,regarding a deposit.
    • hazyjo
    • By hazyjo 19th May 17, 3:29 PM
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    hazyjo
    • #5
    • 19th May 17, 3:29 PM
    • #5
    • 19th May 17, 3:29 PM
    Just 'no offer'? Is that all it's described as? Not that it's 'an acceptable offer' or that they have to be proceedable? Are they cash buyers or is there a chain? Does it mention that that offer has to result in a sale? I would have expected that...


    Jx
    2017 wins: Opera tickets; film preview; lipstick; Ideal Home Show tickets + afternoon tea & bottle of Champagne; 2 cases of NKD; notebook; bath rack; books; film Premiere; Broadchurch DVDs; lipbalms; hamper (food/wine/Echo Dot/Jo Malone goodies); Avon lippies; cowhide rug; Windsor luxury break, foundation; Flybe flight
    • bxboards
    • By bxboards 19th May 17, 3:39 PM
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    bxboards
    • #6
    • 19th May 17, 3:39 PM
    • #6
    • 19th May 17, 3:39 PM
    Just 'no offer'? Is that all it's described as? Not that it's 'an acceptable offer' or that they have to be proceedable? Are they cash buyers or is there a chain? Does it mention that that offer has to result in a sale? I would have expected that...


    Jx
    Originally posted by hazyjo

    Hello, it is a no chain / cash offer.

    Reading the T&Cs is vague but there is no mention the offer needs to result in a sale although the key term seems to be that they (the buyer) are 'able'

    The timing of this offer is very convenient, and given the alleged offeror has made the offer on the property unseen, it feels fishy to me.
    • saajan_12
    • By saajan_12 19th May 17, 4:10 PM
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    • #7
    • 19th May 17, 4:10 PM
    • #7
    • 19th May 17, 4:10 PM
    Hello, it is a no chain / cash offer.

    Reading the T&Cs is vague but there is no mention the offer needs to result in a sale although the key term seems to be that they (the buyer) are 'able'

    The timing of this offer is very convenient, and given the alleged offeror has made the offer on the property unseen, it feels fishy to me.
    Originally posted by bxboards
    As asked earlier, please quote the exact terms in the contract regarding what kind of offer / under what circumstances the fee is refundable. You say 'able'.. so then ask the online agents for proof of funds of the offeror.
    • pretamang
    • By pretamang 19th May 17, 4:15 PM
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    pretamang
    • #8
    • 19th May 17, 4:15 PM
    • #8
    • 19th May 17, 4:15 PM
    I take it that £4k is too low for you to accept?

    Could you still 'accept' the offer and ask that they proceed with the conveyancing process, but given that they've not seen the house you will keep it on the market until they've had a survey done and demonstrated to your lawyer that they have deposit funds in place?

    If none of this materialises then they are clearly not able, whether they exist or not.
    • hazyjo
    • By hazyjo 19th May 17, 4:15 PM
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    hazyjo
    • #9
    • 19th May 17, 4:15 PM
    • #9
    • 19th May 17, 4:15 PM
    Seems very odd. They could just offer themselves or get a mate to ring and offer £60k under the asking price then pull out a week later. Would you have to pay then? There must be more in the T&Cs.




    Surely you don't need to accept £4k less any more than you need to accept say £60k less.


    As above, please quote it.
    2017 wins: Opera tickets; film preview; lipstick; Ideal Home Show tickets + afternoon tea & bottle of Champagne; 2 cases of NKD; notebook; bath rack; books; film Premiere; Broadchurch DVDs; lipbalms; hamper (food/wine/Echo Dot/Jo Malone goodies); Avon lippies; cowhide rug; Windsor luxury break, foundation; Flybe flight
    • G_M
    • By G_M 19th May 17, 4:22 PM
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    G_M
    We need to see the exact, wording in the contract.

    Please quote it in full.

    It's not that uncommon for overseas investors to buy without viewing - though more often it's off-plan / new builds. As mentioned above, returning expats might do so also if familiar with the area & properties.

    Having said that, the coincidence of timing IS suspect! Call their bluff and accept provisionally and see if they proceed.
    • bxboards
    • By bxboards 19th May 17, 4:25 PM
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    bxboards
    As asked earlier, please quote the exact terms in the contract regarding what kind of offer / under what circumstances the fee is refundable. You say 'able'.. so then ask the online agents for proof of funds of the offeror.
    Originally posted by saajan_12
    Hello

    I don't want to quote the T&Cs as it will make the agent identifiable, however the gist of it is, the purchaser needs to be 'able' and to have been introduced before the point the fees become refundable.

    I have asked to see proof of funds - having spoken to them on the phone, they have not seen these themselves.
    • bxboards
    • By bxboards 19th May 17, 4:32 PM
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    bxboards
    We need to see the exact, wording in the contract.

    Please quote it in full.

    It's not that uncommon for overseas investors to buy without viewing - though more often it's off-plan / new builds. As mentioned above, returning expats might do so also if familiar with the area & properties.

    Having said that, the coincidence of timing IS suspect! Call their bluff and accept provisionally and see if they proceed.
    Originally posted by G_M
    I'd prefer not to quote the T&Cs but they are vague enough I am asking the question....

    As much as I'd love to think the house is a 1 off, can't miss it place, too be honest, this is not the sort of thing you would buy unseen from 4,000 miles away as you could pick up 100 more within 50 miles around a similar price, so it's not got any sort of unique selling point that would explain an offer made unseen IMHO.
    • bxboards
    • By bxboards 19th May 17, 4:41 PM
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    bxboards
    I take it that £4k is too low for you to accept?

    Could you still 'accept' the offer and ask that they proceed with the conveyancing process, but given that they've not seen the house you will keep it on the market until they've had a survey done and demonstrated to your lawyer that they have deposit funds in place?

    If none of this materialises then they are clearly not able, whether they exist or not.
    Originally posted by pretamang
    In principle, the offer might be acceptable, but I'd feel a whole lot better if I had done a viewing with them and met them first so I know it's a real person on the end of it. The whole point of online agents is that the seller does the viewings etc themselves, and this step is missing, and it feels crucial.

    I like your way of thinking with this - what I do not want to do it have it go off market subject to contract, incur solicitors fees etc, only to find out the buyer isn't genuine or doesn't even exist.
    • eddddy
    • By eddddy 19th May 17, 5:27 PM
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    eddddy
    Is this an EA whose name rhymes with 'mouse pimple'?

    If so their current t&cs say it must be a 'ready, willing and able' buyer, who has offered the full asking price.

    Even if it's a different EA that uses the term 'Ready, Willing and Able', that term has a special meaning in law.

    See this response to a complaint to the property ombudsman:

    The Estate Agents (Provision of Information) Regulations 1991 define a purchaser who is ‘ready, willing and able’ as a person (or persons) who “is prepared and is able to exchange unconditional contracts for the sale of your property”.

    Link: https://www.tpos.co.uk/news-media-and-press-releases/case-studies/item/ready-willing-able-case-2
    • bxboards
    • By bxboards 19th May 17, 5:40 PM
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    bxboards
    Is this an EA whose name rhymes with 'mouse pimple'?

    If so their current t&cs say it must be a 'ready, willing and able' buyer, who has offered the full asking price.

    Even if it's a different EA that uses the term 'Ready, Willing and Able', that term has a special meaning in law.

    See this response to a complaint to the property ombudsman:
    Originally posted by eddddy

    Thanks a lot, that is very helpful
    • glasgowdan
    • By glasgowdan 19th May 17, 6:50 PM
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    glasgowdan
    I don't suppose there's anything wrong with naming the company by sharing the Ts&Cs. You're only stating facts at the minute.
    • bxboards
    • By bxboards 1st Jun 17, 2:30 PM
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    bxboards
    so...a small update on this. I had my suspicions from the start this was a 'fake' buyer.

    I requested proof of funds. still have not had them, but this 'buyer' does not have cash in hand, and appears to be in a chain.

    So I phoned up to request a refund of my set up fee today, as it's been a clear 3 months with no genuine buyer in sight. While I was on hold, I got another 'offer' message come in via e-mail and SMS after days of silence - literally DURING my phone call requesting this set up fee refund!- this whole thing is smelling more fishy then a fishy thing.

    I will report back if I do get my set-up fee back... I am almost certain there is no real person at the end of this offer now.
    • fairy lights
    • By fairy lights 1st Jun 17, 2:40 PM
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    fairy lights
    Todays offer would be over the 91 day cut off point anyway so I would tell them to jog on.
    • bxboards
    • By bxboards 8th Jul 17, 12:22 PM
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    bxboards
    Right well... as someone here advsised, I suggested the 'buyer' get a survey done as they had not viewed. The survey was quickly declined.

    I was told a few times, the buyer was anxious to complete, so I accepted the offer.

    Interesting, the buyer on the memorandum of sale has no named solicitor, and the buyer's address is linked the online agent according to google....

    Needless to say, my set up fee has not been refunded.

    Assuming my suspicions here are coming to reality, considering my next steps!
    • davemorton
    • By davemorton 8th Jul 17, 2:56 PM
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    davemorton
    Right well... as someone here advsised, I suggested the 'buyer' get a survey done as they had not viewed. The survey was quickly declined.

    I was told a few times, the buyer was anxious to complete, so I accepted the offer.

    Interesting, the buyer on the memorandum of sale has no named solicitor, and the buyer's address is linked the online agent according to google....

    Needless to say, my set up fee has not been refunded.

    Assuming my suspicions here are coming to reality, considering my next steps!
    Originally posted by bxboards
    Well name and shame would be one move.
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