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Sellers backed out - our missives concluded - homeless!

Hi I am wondering if someone can help me or point me in the right direction. I recently found a home in Scotland and put in an offer subject to the sale of my flat. Got a buyer for my flat and things were going smoothly. 

At the end of October the missives for my flat sale were concluded, and a move in date for all parties was set for mid December. Fast forward to end of November and the missives for my purchase were still nowhere to be seen.

THEN, at the start of December with 2 weeks until the move in date, the sellers of the house we were to move in to back out. I am now homeless.

I have raised a complaint with my solicitor as a month gap between sale and purchase missives concluding basically allowed this situation to arise. i.e if the missives for our sale had not concluded, we would still have somewhere to live. 

My question is, do I have a leg to stand on claim wise? And has anyone had this happen to them before?
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  • And just to clarify, when we were told the sellers backed out, we were also advised by the solicitor that we had to still leave on the agreed date. And would be homeless. 
  • user1977
    user1977 Posts: 13,377
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    It depends what advice you were given. Didn't your solicitor explain you were concluding a binding contract for your sale? And that your purchase was not similarly binding? It's less troublesome obviously than the other way round.

    It's certainly happened to other people, but with their full knowledge - often it's easier to get the sale out of the way. Where are you staying now?
  • We were advised the sale of our flat missives were binding at the time, but nothing was mentioned about the purchase missives. When, at first, there was a couple of weeks delay on our purchase missives I did question it and flagged my worries with the solicitor. I was advised there was nothing to worry about at all, and that everything was in hand. 

    Luckily we can stay with family where we will contribute to household bills etc. But it has incurred extra moving costs, substantial self storage not to mention severe stress!
  • RelievedSheff
    RelievedSheff Posts: 11,126
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    Lesson learned.

    Next time don't agree anything on your sale until your purchase is confirmed.
  • Lesson learned.

    Next time don't agree anything on your sale until your purchase is confirmed.
    Yes, but our purchase was confirmed. The qualified statement etc was all dealt with and price agreed etc. 

    I was lead to believe this was all standard process - trusting the 'experts' in the legal team :(  
  • user1977
    user1977 Posts: 13,377
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    sarg30 said:
    We were advised the sale of our flat missives were binding at the time, but nothing was mentioned about the purchase missives. When, at first, there was a couple of weeks delay on our purchase missives I did question it and flagged my worries with the solicitor. I was advised there was nothing to worry about at all, and that everything was in hand. 
    It's not unreasonable to tell you not to worry unduly about it (given how rare it is for a seller to pull out).

    But did they give any impression to you that you had a binding contract for the purchase? Presumably you understood (at least from the sale, if not previous transactions) what the significance of concluding missives was? And that you were still at the earlier stage? Had you ever said you only wanted to conclude both contracts simultaneously?

    Bear in mind that the outcome (if you had withheld from concluding the sale missives) may be your buyer walking away as well, leaving you with no sale and no purchase - would that have been your preferred option?
  • user1977 said:
    sarg30 said:
    We were advised the sale of our flat missives were binding at the time, but nothing was mentioned about the purchase missives. When, at first, there was a couple of weeks delay on our purchase missives I did question it and flagged my worries with the solicitor. I was advised there was nothing to worry about at all, and that everything was in hand. 
    It's not unreasonable to tell you not to worry unduly about it (given how rare it is for a seller to pull out).

    But did they give any impression to you that you had a binding contract for the purchase? Presumably you understood (at least from the sale, if not previous transactions) what the significance of concluding missives was? And that you were still at the earlier stage? Had you ever said you only wanted to conclude both contracts simultaneously?

    Bear in mind that the outcome (if you had withheld from concluding the sale missives) may be your buyer walking away as well, leaving you with no sale and no purchase - would that have been your preferred option?


    Yes, we were very much advised that we had a binding contract for the purchase as the offer was accepted and the qualified statement provided to us. Granted the actual missives had not completed. 

    For clarity, the move in/out dates were all agreed to by myself, the person purchasing my property and those selling the house I was to move in to. It was all agreed, and there was no indication of anything going wrong until 2 weeks before. Additionally, our purchase of the property was 'subject to sale' of our own and so clearly linked.

    My preferred option would have most definitely been to back out of our own sale. We would have found another buyer easily!
  • km1500
    km1500 Posts: 2,120
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    the normal procedure on exchange of contracts is for the solicitor to ring you just prior and get your agreement to do it - alternatively they could email rather than call

    unless it is completely different where you are, the solicitors would not of exchanged on your sale unless you agreed


  • sarg30 said:
    user1977 said:
    sarg30 said:
    We were advised the sale of our flat missives were binding at the time, but nothing was mentioned about the purchase missives. When, at first, there was a couple of weeks delay on our purchase missives I did question it and flagged my worries with the solicitor. I was advised there was nothing to worry about at all, and that everything was in hand. 
    It's not unreasonable to tell you not to worry unduly about it (given how rare it is for a seller to pull out).

    But did they give any impression to you that you had a binding contract for the purchase? Presumably you understood (at least from the sale, if not previous transactions) what the significance of concluding missives was? And that you were still at the earlier stage? Had you ever said you only wanted to conclude both contracts simultaneously?

    Bear in mind that the outcome (if you had withheld from concluding the sale missives) may be your buyer walking away as well, leaving you with no sale and no purchase - would that have been your preferred option?


    Yes, we were very much advised that we had a binding contract for the purchase as the offer was accepted and the qualified statement provided to us. Granted the actual missives had not completed

    For clarity, the move in/out dates were all agreed to by myself, the person purchasing my property and those selling the house I was to move in to. It was all agreed, and there was no indication of anything going wrong until 2 weeks before. Additionally, our purchase of the property was 'subject to sale' of our own and so clearly linked.

    My preferred option would have most definitely been to back out of our own sale. We would have found another buyer easily!
    That unfortunately is key. 

    Until the missives are concluded it can, as you have sadly discovered, all go Pete Tong,



    Things that are differerent: draw & drawer, brought & bought, loose & lose, dose & does, payed & paid


  • Yes, I am just floored to be honest! And right before Christmas!

    I've sent an email to the solicitor basically asking why there was a months gap between missives to allow for this situation to play out. I am yet to receive a reply....
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