MONEY MORAL DILEMMA. Should you demand a last-minute property discount?

MSE_Martin MoneySaving Expert Posts: 8,273
Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Combo Breaker
Money Saving Expert
Here's this week's hypothetical situation for you to cogitate on:
Should you demand a last-minute property discount?

Six months ago, your offer on a new pad was accepted. Now, everything’s in place and it’s just days until you pick up the keys. Yet since you agreed to buy, the local market's dropped by 10%. You know that if you demand a discount, the seller is likely to give it, as she’s desperate to get the deal done and dusted. Yet if you pulled out the chain would collapse and there’d be serious consequences for the five families involved. Should you haggle for some money off the purchase price?
Click reply to have your say
Previous MMDs:
Should you give your best mate a £1 pressie?
Martin Lewis, Money Saving Expert.
Please note, answers don't constitute financial advice, it is based on generalised journalistic research. Always ensure any decision is made with regards to your own individual circumstance.
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  • bobmccluckie
    bobmccluckie Forumite Posts: 61 Forumite
    This was done to me over 20 years ago. I would still quite happily shoot the person that did it to me if I ever met them again.
  • Night_Security
    Night_Security Forumite Posts: 11 Forumite
    I'd be cheeky and ask for a reduction, if they said no, id still buy anyway as i would have lost nothing, and the chain wouldn't collapse.
    :money::money: "no fear , no limits, no regrets" :money::money:
  • Taffybiker
    Taffybiker Forumite Posts: 927 Forumite
    Bearing in mind I am likely to be successful, I would make it clear that in keeping with the market value my offer now stands at 10% less than was originally agreed.
    The seller won't like it but will probably take it. If she doesn't, I'd admit defeat and pay up in full.
    Try saying "I have under-a-pound in my wallet" and listen to people react!
  • Dorrie
    Dorrie Forumite Posts: 66
    Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker
    No - it's morally wrong. You have agreed a price and should stick to it, unless there was something wrong with the property that had been discovered in the survey.
  • mossy
    mossy Forumite Posts: 1,263
    Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker
    Absolutely no! :eek: I think it would be really wrong to do that.....maybe I'm particularly sensitive about it because I've sold my house and currently waiting for a completion date. ;)
    Saving for Disney again, oops why book one Disney holiday when you can book two!
    :starmod: Emergency Fund Savings - #148 - £10/£1000 1% :starmod:
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  • skylight
    skylight Forumite Posts: 10,716
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Combo Breaker Home Insurance Hacker!
    You can but ask. Are you really prepared to pull out if you do not get the discount? The worst the seller can say is no and pull out themselves.
  • brightonman123
    brightonman123 Forumite Posts: 8,532 Forumite
    that far in, i would expect everyone to have agreed a price, exchanged contracts etc. any fannying about now would be BAD news.

    anyway, wouldn't your mortgage have to be redone, for a new figure? delays to the chain may incur charges to other buyers, and get you in trouble.
    Long time away from MSE, been dealing real life stuff..
    Sometimes seen lurking on the compers forum :-)
  • brownbake
    brownbake Posts: 561 Forumite
    This is exactly the reason why buying and selling properties is such a frustration and why chains collapse!! If the chain is reliant on you being the last link you are going to annoy a lot of people. 10% is quite a big drop in 6months I guess it depends how much you love the property / area. I think the English market should be like the Scottish to avoid gazumping and this shoddy practice. Then again I don't understand why the Scots are so heavily subsidised in healthcare and Education!!
  • Chrisp
    Chrisp Forumite Posts: 2 Newbie
    I believe that if you've paid 10% of the asking price when you sign the contract you can't demand a price drop. If that's right and you're selling it would be wise to always demand the 10% deposit and be on your guard if anyone can't pay that amount.
    I was always taught that what goes around comes around so do to others as you wish to be done to yourself.
  • koru
    koru Forumite Posts: 1,462
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    A pretty good guide to this and to many other dilemmas is to ask yourself how you would feel if you were the seller. The right thing to do should then be clear.

    Just because you can screw someone does not mean you should. Do as you would be done by is not an outmoded concept.

    Some of the responses already given do not seem to have caught on that Martin is asking what you think is the moral/ethical things to do. This is not meant to be a discussion about whether you could get away with it; it is a question about whether you should try.
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