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How long to wait for vendor to find onward purchase?

Hi all, wondering if anyone has any advice for FTB's on how long is considered 'normal' in the current market to wait for the vendor to find their onward purchase? Been waiting a little over three months now and wondering whether this should be expected? Starting to book in viewings for other places now in case a backup is needed. Thanks in advance.


  • anselld
    anselld Forumite Posts: 8,153
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper
    edited 10 July at 5:01PM
    Three months is fairly long but there is no definative answer.  The problem is that it is not just your buyer, the chain needs to form all the way to the top( ie a chain free seller) before you can make meaningful progress.  Don't spend any money until the chain completes.
    Definately worth alternative viewings.
  • TonyMMM
    TonyMMM Forumite Posts: 3,335
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper
    edited 10 July at 5:03PM
    4-6 weeks max....

    We waited 2 months last year with a vendor who assured us they had found a property, made offers etc but kept changing their mind and just messed us about, we then had to ditch them and scramble to find another property ourselves over a weekend, otherwise our own buyers were going to pull out. 

    The first property never did sell - I don't think they were actually that serious about moving at all.

    Keep looking at other properties, and make sure they know you are doing it.
  • Flugelhorn
    Flugelhorn Forumite Posts: 4,939
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper
    remember that there may be several vendors above you in the chain so can take a fair bit of time
  • jlfrs01
    jlfrs01 Forumite Posts: 137
    Fourth Anniversary 100 Posts Name Dropper
    edited 10 July at 5:33PM
    I think you're right to be looking at other properties but one tactic you could try is to phone your estate agent and say you're losing confidence in the vendor's commitment to sell. Ask your Agent to contact his opposite number at the Vendor's Estate Agency to seek reassurance. You could say you're putting all legal work on hold for the time being and are not willing to wait indefinitely.

    I've bought and sold a lot of properties, 3 months is a very long time - most people who market their properties for sale have already scoured the ads - many have found their ideal property and it's only the lack of an offer which prevents them from proceeding.

    This vendor may think because you're a FTB they've all the time in the world so possibly not their fault if there's been no pressure applied. I'm sure once contacted and told of your dissatisfaction and the consequences (losing whatever they've spent on legal thus far, relisting at a lower price because of the fall in the market and most likely getting a buyer with a downward chain), common sense will prevail. If it doesn't then you've a back-up plan, besides - you might find something you prefer.
  • BungalowBel
    BungalowBel Forumite Posts: 130
    100 Posts Name Dropper
    edited 10 July at 5:32PM
    This happened to a friend of mine recently.  Her vendors said if they hadn't found anywhere by the time contracts were ready to be exchanged then they would go into rented.  Anyway, they didn't, they stayed in the property and kept her waiting for several more months (despite knowing she had completed on her sale and was having to live with a friend).  In the end she just said she was fed up with waiting and was looking at other properties (which she did).  Lo and behold they decided they could, after all, move in with relatives and exchange and completion took less than three weeks from then.

    So I suggest you do this.  You don't need to pull out, and who knows, you may even find a property you like more.
  • Tinkertonian
    Tinkertonian Forumite Posts: 24
    10 Posts
    I’m on the other side of this - SSTC three months ago, looking REALLY proactively but there is just not much out there. I like to think that our buyers (FTB) will wait for us and that they wouldn’t really be better off finding another house because they’d be back to square 1 and whoever else they buy from would probably also be in our position (ie looking for the ‘next step up’ house which is in short supply), but of course it is their prerogative. We can only keep looking… I guess for you it depends on how much you want this particular house, what else is out there and whether you think another vendor would better placed to find their own onward purchase. 
  • Postik
    Postik Forumite Posts: 311
    100 Posts Name Dropper
    We were SSTC and it took us about 6 months to find somewhere.  Then a further 3 months to complete.  In that 6 months we did offer on 4 properties, one declined, two fell through and the fourth went ahead.

    I think it helped that I sold my house at quite a keen price so my first time buyer was willing to hang on.  I suspect if I'd milked the price to the max I might not have been so fortunate.

    By contrast one of the properties I offered on, I withdrew my offer after 3 months because it was becoming fairly apparent that the vendor was not serious about looking for an onward purchase. Unlike myself who had ties to family and schools, he had a much larger search area but never did seem to be able to find anywhere.  From what I can gather he took his house off the market a few months after I withdrew my offer.
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