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    • Rushed44
    • By Rushed44 15th Aug 18, 5:08 PM
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    Rushed44
    Exchanged - Owner now passed away
    • #1
    • 15th Aug 18, 5:08 PM
    Exchanged - Owner now passed away 15th Aug 18 at 5:08 PM
    We exchanged contracts on 19th July. Vendor wanted a 3 month completion as she was using the time to have work done to a flat she owned that she was moving into. Thankfully our buyers agreed to a longer than normal completion and we settled on two months (only three in chain).

    The house needs a bit of work done and we had agreed the vendor would allow access for quotes etc. All was going well. Almost two weeks ago we found out the owner has died. Not a huge problem we thought. We knew she had a daughter who lived locally but they didn't really get on. We passed on a sympathy card with our contact details (it's a private sale and not through an agent).

    The daughter called me earlier today. The upshot is she is moving in. It's her childhood home and she knows nothing of any sale (but does know about the flat). What the hell do we do now?

    Our solicitor has yet to get back to us
Page 1
    • davidmcn
    • By davidmcn 15th Aug 18, 5:11 PM
    • 11,501 Posts
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    davidmcn
    • #2
    • 15th Aug 18, 5:11 PM
    • #2
    • 15th Aug 18, 5:11 PM
    Discuss with your solicitor when they get back to you. Executors are bound by the contract. But even if co-operative, unlikely they'll get probate in time for your completion date, so you may need a Plan B if you want to let your sale happen on time.
    • steampowered
    • By steampowered 15th Aug 18, 5:37 PM
    • 3,290 Posts
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    steampowered
    • #3
    • 15th Aug 18, 5:37 PM
    • #3
    • 15th Aug 18, 5:37 PM
    The contract is still valid.

    You could require the executors to complete the contract. If they failed to do so, you could seek a court order that the property be transferred to you, and damages from the estate for any costs incurred.

    However, you could also agree with the executors to release each other from the contract, if you decide it is not worth the aggro and would prefer to buy something else.

    The first step would be to try and find out who the executors of the estate are to make sure they are aware of the contract. Perhaps the daughter will know.
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 15th Aug 18, 5:55 PM
    • 17,560 Posts
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    moneyistooshorttomention
    • #4
    • 15th Aug 18, 5:55 PM
    • #4
    • 15th Aug 18, 5:55 PM
    Letter from your solicitor saying "It's ours now - contracts have been Exchanged - it's what your mother wants. Continue with sale - or get sued" suitably phrased in solicitor language.

    EDIT; If you (and your buyer!) are prepared to agree to it - then you might consider Option B to be that she repays you everything you are owed (deposit/money you've spent on buying the place/any extra money you'd now need for an equivalent place) AND repays your buyer everything they are owed too of course.

    But, obviously, your buyer also needs to be in agreement with whatever course of action you decide to take - as they are being affected by the daughter as well.

    On balance - I think you need to make it clear to her there is a contract/there's two other parties involved and she must proceed as per plan.
    Last edited by moneyistooshorttomention; 15-08-2018 at 6:07 PM.
    • SG27
    • By SG27 15th Aug 18, 6:08 PM
    • 2,682 Posts
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    SG27
    • #5
    • 15th Aug 18, 6:08 PM
    • #5
    • 15th Aug 18, 6:08 PM
    The contract stands, you will.get the house. (Unless the daughter wants to pay huge costs out of the estate)

    The bigger problem is you are also bound by the contract to your buyers you have to to complete also on the day given. This is a complicated one.

    My solictor mentioned this happened to her a few years ago. A client died between exchamge and completion. She described it as a nightmare! Sorry ive got no more details.
    • Ms Chocaholic
    • By Ms Chocaholic 15th Aug 18, 6:10 PM
    • 10,326 Posts
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    Ms Chocaholic
    • #6
    • 15th Aug 18, 6:10 PM
    • #6
    • 15th Aug 18, 6:10 PM
    I wonder if the daughter is aware of whether she is a beneficiary or not or just presuming so.
    Thrifty Till 50 Then Spend Till The End

    You can please some of the people some of the time, all of the people some of the time, some of the people all of the time but you can never please all of the people all of the time
    • xylophone
    • By xylophone 15th Aug 18, 6:25 PM
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    xylophone
    • #7
    • 15th Aug 18, 6:25 PM
    • #7
    • 15th Aug 18, 6:25 PM
    You have a contract - the executors should honour it.

    Presumably your late vendor was using a solicitor - has your solicitor contacted the deceased's solicitor?
    • macman
    • By macman 15th Aug 18, 8:25 PM
    • 43,308 Posts
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    macman
    • #8
    • 15th Aug 18, 8:25 PM
    • #8
    • 15th Aug 18, 8:25 PM
    The estate must proceed with completion on the due date in 4 weeks, or face heavy financial penalties should you sue. If you do, you will win.
    Both solicitors should be well aware of this: if not, they are incompetent and should not be handling the conveyancing.
    Whether it is her childhood home, or she did not know about the sale is irrelevant. If she moves in then the estate cannot complete with vacant possession. The property is effectively now yours, though without right of occupancy: you should have insured it from the date of exchange.
    Last edited by macman; 15-08-2018 at 8:30 PM.
    No free lunch, and no free laptop
    • G_M
    • By G_M 15th Aug 18, 8:33 PM
    • 48,225 Posts
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    G_M
    • #9
    • 15th Aug 18, 8:33 PM
    • #9
    • 15th Aug 18, 8:33 PM
    If things get delayed or cancelled, yes your buyers can come after you for their costs.

    But you will simply pass all those costs on to the deceased's Estate.

    As everyone is saying, the contract is legally binding in every respect including

    * date of Completion
    * purchase price
    etc

    Your conveyancer needs, as a matter of urgency, to contact the original seller's conveyancer, to find out who the Executor of the Estate is. It may or may not be the daughter.

    He then needs an assurance that the sale willproceed and on what date.

    As also suggested, you could agree if you wished (up to you) to withdraw from the purchase and let the daughter live there. If you do, do so only if she agrees all your costs/losses as well as all your buyers costs/losses (which they'll claim off you).
    Last edited by G_M; 16-08-2018 at 10:02 AM.
    • Rushed44
    • By Rushed44 16th Aug 18, 5:22 PM
    • 12 Posts
    • 123 Thanks
    Rushed44
    Some progress today, not all of it good.

    Our solicitor spoke to us (he was on hols). He confirmed that we can legally force a completion or we could negotiate to walk away. I have yet to inform our buyers as they are shortly getting married and to be frank they don't need the stress.

    I did mention this was a private sale and we came about it as I've worked on the house before doing electrical works and my brother is a handyman who has worked on it also. The sale came about when I was doing some work for her and she commented she was thinking of selling. It's our for life house, needs about 120K spending on it (excluding an 80K extension) but the area and plot is exactly what we're after. She took our first offer and we would have paid an extra 20K for it, maybe more.

    The daughter also called and we discussed the issues. She said we can continue with the sale if we up the offer by 80K. I didn't comment on this with her.

    Her solicitor has also been in contact with me asking me to attend a meeting in his office next week.

    This really is doing our heads in. We need to be in there by 1st Oct as we need the address for a future secondary school application.
    • Ms Chocaholic
    • By Ms Chocaholic 16th Aug 18, 5:27 PM
    • 10,326 Posts
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    Ms Chocaholic
    Some progress today, not all of it good.

    Our solicitor spoke to us (he was on hols). He confirmed that we can legally force a completion or we could negotiate to walk away. I have yet to inform our buyers as they are shortly getting married and to be frank they don't need the stress.

    I did mention this was a private sale and we came about it as I've worked on the house before doing electrical works and my brother is a handyman who has worked on it also. The sale came about when I was doing some work for her and she commented she was thinking of selling. It's our for life house, needs about 120K spending on it (excluding an 80K extension) but the area and plot is exactly what we're after. She took our first offer and we would have paid an extra 20K for it, maybe more.

    The daughter also called and we discussed the issues. She said we can continue with the sale if we up the offer by 80K. I didn't comment on this with her.

    Her solicitor has also been in contact with me asking me to attend a meeting in his office next week.

    This really is doing our heads in. We need to be in there by 1st Oct as we need the address for a future secondary school application.
    Originally posted by Rushed44

    I wouldn't be attending the vendor's solicitors office, tell them to contact your solicitor.


    Oh just re-read this, is it the daughter's solicitor or the vendor's solicitor?
    Thrifty Till 50 Then Spend Till The End

    You can please some of the people some of the time, all of the people some of the time, some of the people all of the time but you can never please all of the people all of the time
    • TamsinC
    • By TamsinC 16th Aug 18, 5:42 PM
    • 562 Posts
    • 979 Thanks
    TamsinC
    you have already exchanged - she cant ask for more money - in fact if she wants you to go away she will have to pay you
    • D_M_E
    • By D_M_E 16th Aug 18, 7:54 PM
    • 2,491 Posts
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    D_M_E
    You need to talk to your solicitor about her "offer" as a matter of urgency - she should not be approaching you like this.

    Stay away from her solicitor or the solicitor on the vendor's side dealing with the sale, there's no telling what they may persuade you to sign.

    As has been said many times in this thread, the estate is legally bound to complete the sale to you at the agreed price at exchange of contract, not some inflated price she may come up with.

    If the sale does not happen on the agreed date then your solicitor should serve notice on the estate and start proceedings to recoup all your costs and all costs incurred by those in the chain below you which would be passed up and eventually land in your hands.
    There is usually, but not always, a wait of a few days before starting any such action in order to give the seller - the estate - a chance to complete as arranged, but only a few days - I think it's called Specific Performance of the contract, your solicitor should know.

    TALK TO YOUR OWN SOLICITOR AND NO ONE ELSE'S
    • steampowered
    • By steampowered 16th Aug 18, 10:09 PM
    • 3,290 Posts
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    steampowered
    Personally I would not visit the daughter's solicitor without your own solicitor present. That creates a high risk of agreeing to something you aren't happy with.

    I would ask the daughter's solicitor to put their comments in writing so that you can discuss them with your solicitor and take the appropriate advice.

    I wouldn't entertain the suggestion of changing the price even by a bit. That just opens up a negotiation you do not need to have.
    • Rushed44
    • By Rushed44 16th Aug 18, 10:59 PM
    • 12 Posts
    • 123 Thanks
    Rushed44
    It's the vendors solicitor that has invited me to a meeting next week. My plan is to attend but I won't be agreeing to anything.

    We have decided we won't be paying anything extra.

    We have also decided not to tell our buyers and we will vacate on completion day. Well that's the plan anyway
    • kinger101
    • By kinger101 16th Aug 18, 11:24 PM
    • 4,664 Posts
    • 6,475 Thanks
    kinger101
    It's the vendors solicitor that has invited me to a meeting next week. My plan is to attend but I won't be agreeing to anything.

    We have decided we won't be paying anything extra.

    We have also decided not to tell our buyers and we will vacate on completion day. Well that's the plan anyway
    Originally posted by Rushed44
    I can't see the point in you attending the meeting arranged by the vendor's solicitor. Best to keep your powder dry. Just tell your solicitor to write a letter saying you expect completion. Her solicitor will probably explain to her again she's an idiot.

    *** I might be tempted to tell daughter she can buy it back off you for twice what you paid for it, as she seems to love it so much.
    Last edited by kinger101; 16-08-2018 at 11:27 PM.
    • Sea Shell
    • By Sea Shell 17th Aug 18, 5:59 AM
    • 1,918 Posts
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    Sea Shell
    I agree with the others. Do not personally attend, let your solicitor deal with everything, that's what you're paying them for!!

    The Vendor's daughter's got her head in the clouds if she thinks its as easy as "give me more money, or your not buying the house" - Too late love, it's already SOLD!!!
    " That pound I saved yesterday, is a pound I don't have to earn tomorrow "
    • saajan_12
    • By saajan_12 17th Aug 18, 6:10 AM
    • 1,656 Posts
    • 1,279 Thanks
    saajan_12
    It's the vendors solicitor that has invited me to a meeting next week. My plan is to attend but I won't be agreeing to anything.

    We have decided we won't be paying anything extra.

    We have also decided not to tell our buyers and we will vacate on completion day. Well that's the plan anyway
    Originally posted by Rushed44
    There's no need for a meeting with the vendor's solicitor
    PROs: None. Anything can be done via your solicitor, in a letter asking "Mr Vendor's solicitor, how to you plan to honour this contract?" e.g. complete as planned or delayed completion with them paying your costs or you buy elsewhere with them paying your costs & house value difference.

    CONs: you end up agreeing something or they convince you to delay / look elsewhere / pay more. IF your agreement overrides the original exchanged contracts then you can't claim costs under the original. Best to stay away and let your solicitor deal!
    • diggingdude
    • By diggingdude 17th Aug 18, 6:20 AM
    • 842 Posts
    • 1,090 Thanks
    diggingdude
    Somewhere on this forum there is a fantastic thread where a seller refused to sell after exchange. I can't find it on the phone but have a look, it was very informative
    House owner as of 27.3.2019
    Free Tumble drier fund 44 (March) 88.04 (April)May 179
    • Doozergirl
    • By Doozergirl 17th Aug 18, 6:29 AM
    • 26,896 Posts
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    Doozergirl
    I wouldn't be keen to go to any meeting without your solicitor. Anything that needs discussing can be put in writing.

    I can only think that the plan is to give you a guilt trip. There isn't a reasonable alternative. It's highly unorthodox to speak to a vendor's solicitor.

    What is your solicitor doing? I'm hearing about the daughter and the vendor's solicitor, but not yours. It's yours you should be meeting with to have this explained out. And they should advise on whether you go to this meeting.
    Last edited by Doozergirl; 17-08-2018 at 6:35 AM.
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