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    • exoteric
    • By exoteric 7th Jul 18, 12:00 AM
    • 86Posts
    • 88Thanks
    Sale completes in 3 weeks but purchase yet to exchange!
    • #1
    • 7th Jul 18, 12:00 AM
    Sale completes in 3 weeks but purchase yet to exchange! 7th Jul 18 at 12:00 AM
    Hi guys,

    I’d be really grateful for any advice you can give on our situation which is getting quite stressful. I know there are a lot of people on here who have much more experience in this area, so any help would be appreciated! Apologies in advance for the long post.

    We have been looking for a very specific house in a very specific area for almost a year and were thrilled when one came up. We had an offer accepted mid-Feb and accepted an offer on our house the same day. Everything was progressing in tandem until our sellers changed their purchase property in May and everything went out of step.

    Our mortgage offer (and our buyers’ mortgage offer) expires at the end of July; the bank won’t extend and would only issue a new offer at an increased rate, so we and our buyers were aiming for completion by the end of July to avoid extra costs.

    Before exchanging on our sale, we sought an assurance from our sellers that they would complete on the sale to us by end of July and they agreed since their sellers were also pushing for the same date. Based on that assurance, and as our buyers were nervous FTBs who needed to give 2 months notice to their landlord, we exchanged on our sale to get it locked in. Bit of a risk, but we are keen to sell our house. That was about 2 months ago which at that stage still left plenty of time to get our purchase done.

    Things were moving along fine until this week when our sellers have again changed their purchase property - they apparently got cold feet because of a dodgy extension. They are extremely naive and seemed to think we can still all complete by the end of July - their agent rightly told them this was impossible. They now say they want to exchange on their new purchase by the end of July and, if this happens, they will complete with us as agreed and move in with family for a few weeks until their purchase completes. The problem is that I don’t think there is enough time for them to be ready to exchange on their purchase in three weeks as they’ve not even had a survey yet, and even if they can manage it we probably won’t know for sure until that week and I’m not willing to leave things that late.

    So, as things stand, we have agreed to sell our house three weeks today, at which point we (and our 1 year old) will effectively become homeless. We have no family we can stay with so would need to rent, which usually means a minimum term of 6 months and it will take some time to get a lease arranged.

    Our buyers will not push completion back because doing so would mean them re-applying for a mortgage at the new higher rate and they’ve already given notice on their rental; similarly, if we don’t complete by the end of July we would have to get a new mortgage offer which would cost us £150 more per month which we can’t afford.

    Our sellers have previously indicated they could move in with family but there’s a big difference between saying that and doing it. In an ideal world, they would agree to complete at the end of July and move in with family regardless of the state of their purchase, and we would exchange this week and get it locked in. We have asked them to discuss this scenario over the weekend and get back to us on Monday.

    If they refuse to exchange this week on that basis, as I see it our options are to either pull out of our sale (not really an option - the house was tough to sell and we want to leave the area) and also lose the purchase, or go ahead and sell and then rent in our new area until our sellers are ready. If this happens, we would look to pass the costs of the increased mortgage, storage, additional moving costs etc on to the sellers, who may of course refuse to pay.

    I’m a bit stuck as to how we proceed. We have three weeks until we need to complete on our sale and we are going to spend next week pushing for exchange on our purchase. However, if we get to next weekend without exchanging, I think we need to start viewing rentals and maybe even begin arranging one. Our sellers are massive procrastinators so I suspect even giving them an exchange deadline of Friday and threatening to pull out may not get a response - I don’t think they’re 100% committed to selling considering this is the 3rd property they’ve been “purchasing”, so actually threatening to pull out may just cause them to decide not to sell after all.

    As you can probably tell, I’m going round in circles a bit and I feel like we’re between a rock and a hard place with very little time left! What do you guys think we should do?

Page 1
    • Marvel1
    • By Marvel1 7th Jul 18, 12:05 AM
    • 3,899 Posts
    • 4,280 Thanks
    • #2
    • 7th Jul 18, 12:05 AM
    • #2
    • 7th Jul 18, 12:05 AM
    As you have exchanged on your house, dropping out will cost you.

    As you have not exchanged on the house you are buying the extra costs you will get back is £0.
    • exoteric
    • By exoteric 7th Jul 18, 12:26 AM
    • 86 Posts
    • 88 Thanks
    • #3
    • 7th Jul 18, 12:26 AM
    • #3
    • 7th Jul 18, 12:26 AM
    As you have exchanged on your house, dropping out will cost you.

    As you have not exchanged on the house you are buying the extra costs you will get back is £0.
    Originally posted by cjdavies
    Hi cjdavies,

    Thanks for your response. Pulling out of our sale isn’t really an option - as you say, it will cost us and frankly we are glad to be leaving this area so the sale will proceed.

    What I’d really like a steer on is how to play this tactically so as to avoid having to end up signing a 6 month lease and the hassle of moving twice. Obviously if we do have to do that, we can try to pass the costs on to our sellers by negotiating a reduction in the purchase price when (or rather if) we do exchange, but my goal is to convince them that really the reasonable course of action is for them to sell to us by the end of July and for them to stay with family as they said they would. I suspect we may have to threaten to pull out to get any sort of traction.

    • buggy_boy
    • By buggy_boy 7th Jul 18, 1:09 AM
    • 547 Posts
    • 407 Thanks
    • #4
    • 7th Jul 18, 1:09 AM
    • #4
    • 7th Jul 18, 1:09 AM
    I think you have made a big mistake here, you should have exchanged on your house and the one you are buying at the same time, this is the norm. The reason for doing this is exactly the situation you are in...

    You could try to reduce the price you pay but you risk them pulling out, you have committed to sell your house without a commitment that you are buying another.

    I would be seriously looking at rental properties right now or you could be homeless, I am really surprised your solicitor did not advice you against this action, for the sake of paying a likely tiny increase in interest rate you are going to have to pay out on 6 months rent with still no guarantee you will ever buy the place you want, it could be back to searching and hoping house prices do not increase too much.

    I hope the place you are buying can be sorted out quickly but I think given the tone you kinda know its not likely and you made a bit of a mistake. There is no easy answer i'm afraid.
    • SG27
    • By SG27 7th Jul 18, 5:17 AM
    • 2,602 Posts
    • 1,830 Thanks
    • #5
    • 7th Jul 18, 5:17 AM
    • #5
    • 7th Jul 18, 5:17 AM
    I too am suprised your solicitor did not stongly advise you against this. We just sold our house to move in with parents while our purchase goes through and we had to give a written statement confirming that arrangements for alternative accommodation had been arranged before our solicitor would exchange on our sale.

    You can not pull out of your sale after exchange or you will be in breach of contract and liable for huge costs. Its not an option you can consider.

    Start looking at getting a rental property sorted ASAP.
    • beedeedee
    • By beedeedee 7th Jul 18, 6:44 AM
    • 967 Posts
    • 1,315 Thanks
    • #6
    • 7th Jul 18, 6:44 AM
    • #6
    • 7th Jul 18, 6:44 AM
    Can someone lend you - or can you rent, a caravan?
    You would have to pay site fees and for storage of your furniture of course, but it could be done on a week to week, or even day to day basis.....and it would be a temporary solution to get over this blip.
    • getmore4less
    • By getmore4less 7th Jul 18, 6:53 AM
    • 34,761 Posts
    • 21,204 Thanks
    • #7
    • 7th Jul 18, 6:53 AM
    • #7
    • 7th Jul 18, 6:53 AM
    Your sale is a done deal not a lot you can do about that one.

    You need to be working on getting your sellers to exchange and complete even if they have nothing to buy.

    How motivated are they to sell and move if this is their 3rd property in 2 months?

    I think you need to cover all angles here, look at rentals start looking at new houses, push the current sellers to exchange complete.

    Have rates really moved up that much in 2-3 months that it will cost another £150pm?

    5y fixes are around 2%
    On a 25y loan of £200k(£850pm) that needs a rate rise of of over 1% to go up to £1kpm
    • pinkshoes
    • By pinkshoes 7th Jul 18, 8:53 AM
    • 16,266 Posts
    • 22,396 Thanks
    • #8
    • 7th Jul 18, 8:53 AM
    • #8
    • 7th Jul 18, 8:53 AM
    You have three weeks to pack up your stuff and arrange a storage/removal company.

    You are NOT going to be moving into this property by the end of July.

    Either find a rental and move for 6 months, or put your stuff in storage and get yourself a caravan, holiday rental, or strike up a deal with a local hotel.
    Should've = Should HAVE (not 'of')
    Would've = Would HAVE (not 'of')

    No, I am not perfect, but yes I do judge people on their use of basic English language. If you didn't know the above, then learn it! (If English is your second language, then you are forgiven!)
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 7th Jul 18, 9:03 AM
    • 65,769 Posts
    • 386,185 Thanks
    • #9
    • 7th Jul 18, 9:03 AM
    • #9
    • 7th Jul 18, 9:03 AM
    This time of year I'd go with a caravan.

    Find a local caravan park that'll take your caravan for the rest of the season. Google "seasonal pitches"
    Buy one cheap on ebay (£500-999)
    Tow it there yourself or hire a driver to collect/deliver it...
    Stuff into storage.
    Dongle for Internet if no wifi on site.
    Redirecting post needs to be thought about, you need an address.

    Looks like it'll be a good summer, so very doable.
    • kirtondm
    • By kirtondm 7th Jul 18, 11:58 AM
    • 243 Posts
    • 169 Thanks

    You will have to complete on the sale. I think you have nothing to lose now by giving the Vendors an ultimate as they sound as though they are not to bothered about selling anyway. I would forget trying to drop the price with them but given the 1 week to exchange with completion to tie in with yours.

    That is the only way you will avoid renting but still think it is lkely you will end up having to rent or live in a caravan.

    In hindsight the only assurances you should have accepted from the vendor was an exchange of contracts.

    I am also surprised your solicitor did not clarify the risks.

    I did a similar thing but I was getting a very good price for the sale and wasn't too bothered about the house I was buying. In the end I gave an ultimatum and they caved and went into rented.The problem was due to a new build further up the chain. we still ended up spending a few weeks at my mother in laws.
    • lena_halo
    • By lena_halo 7th Jul 18, 12:43 PM
    • 152 Posts
    • 119 Thanks
    Could you have a look at short term rentals like Airbnb and similar in your area?
    • Sedge123
    • By Sedge123 7th Jul 18, 12:47 PM
    • 560 Posts
    • 1,048 Thanks
    Your vendors are under no obligation n to you as you haven!!!8217;t exchanged on your purchase. You or they could walk away at any point up to exchange with no financial penalties.
    If you try to pressure them into exchanging they may well pull out of the whole deal, they seem a bit flakey anyway to be honest after their purchase history.
    As other said, you need to secure somewhere to live for your family in 3 weeks time.
    Determined to save and not squander!
    On a mission to save money whilst renovating our new forever home
    • fudgecat
    • By fudgecat 7th Jul 18, 1:04 PM
    • 230 Posts
    • 465 Thanks
    Under license
    Our vendor died between exchange and completion, leaving us committed to completing on the sale of our house in Surrey, with nowhere to go - legally! We were moving to Norfolk. Easier said than done getting caravans and short term rental at this time of year due to holiday season.
    We found that we could - with the vendors permission (in this case the vendors nephew, who was due to inherit after probate was granted) - move into the property that we had not yet purchased "under license". It is a sort of legalised squat, as I understood it. We were not allowed to "do" anything to the property (it was a doer upper) until we completed - which was nearly 3 months!
    I hope this information may be of some help.
    Debt July 2009 £479.29 Debt Jan 2011 £20,000! (Helping Kids) Debt May 2013 £3,600.00
    Debt March 2015 £2,400 (owed £3000.00)
    Debt October 2016 BIG FAT ZERO!
    Now mortgage free, sort of retired and putting money away for grandchildren.
    • Hoploz
    • By Hoploz 7th Jul 18, 3:17 PM
    • 3,842 Posts
    • 3,387 Thanks
    It was a mistake to exchange on the sale simply to help your buyers avoid an overlap on the rent. That's their problem - you won't make this mistake again!

    All you can do is put pressure on your sellers to break the chain their end, seeing as it is them changing their minds that has brought on this predicament. But ultimately you cannot force them to sell. And theres always a chance they could get too stressed and pull out altogether, and then where would you be?

    You need to look into rentals. I wonder whether the estate agent can help you with this ... They often have rental departments as well, or can recommend other letting agents.

    It sounds easy to just do air bnb or a holiday caravan but in practice you've got all your stuff to store and if you look into that you'll find it's not cheap so prob best to keep your furniture with you.

    This will cost you a few thousand and its possible your sellers could take pity and offer those compensation, but they are under no obligation to do so since it is you jumping the gun on your sale which has caused it.

    I wish you good luck. A horrible position to find yourself in
    • exoteric
    • By exoteric 17th Jul 18, 6:27 PM
    • 86 Posts
    • 88 Thanks
    Hi everyone,

    Thanks all of you for your support and suggestions; it was really helpful just to share our situation with you. I just wanted to give you an update: today, after a lot of wrangling and numerous calls and emails, we finally exchanged contracts with our sellers with an agreed completion date which matches our own sale completion date, so we will move straight in and will not need to live in a caravan after all.

    It was a really tricky one - our sellers clearly do not live in the real world (they asked us if they could leave their cat with us until they complete on their own purchase) but they eventually accepted that they are the ones who caused this mess by changing their purchase property for the third time with weeks to go and they have agreed to move in with family as they always said they would. We threatened (but never actually intended) to pull out of our sale and cause the entire chain to collapse, and ultimately that was what got it done.

    Some people here (and in person) have asked why on earth we exchanged with our buyers without exchanging with our sellers. I admit this was unorthodox, but our house was hard to sell and we are very keen to move areas so we needed our buyers. Everything was in step until our sellers changed their purchase property the first time and we then had our buyers pressing to exchange. They had to give 2 months’ notice on their rental and wanted to get things locked in - I am very sure that if we had refused to exchange until now (or even a month after they were pressing for it to happen) our buyers would have walked away and we would have definitely lost this house. So whilst we could have saved ourselves a lot of hassle by holding off for simultaneous exchange, if we had our time again we would still make the same choice. But hopefully we are not moving again for a very long time, if ever!

    Thanks again guys. Now we just have to hope the sellers leave on time, don’t leave the house in a complete state and take their blooming cat with them!

    • jbainbridge
    • By jbainbridge 17th Jul 18, 6:38 PM
    • 1,814 Posts
    • 1,182 Thanks
    Hmmm your vendor appears to have helped you out big time. Good luck with the move!
    • franklee
    • By franklee 17th Jul 18, 7:08 PM
    • 3,767 Posts
    • 4,069 Thanks
    Glad to hear it worked out
    • beedeedee
    • By beedeedee 17th Jul 18, 8:46 PM
    • 967 Posts
    • 1,315 Thanks
    Good luck with the move!
    • theGrinch
    • By theGrinch 18th Jul 18, 7:27 AM
    • 2,923 Posts
    • 697 Thanks
    Good luck!

    I was in the same boat and it made for a tense last few weeks.

    Exchanged on my sale 4 weeks ago and then exchanged on my purchase only on Friday. Biggest hold up was solicitors on holiday which cost us a over a week.

    I made it a little easier by only looking at chain free properties with the possibility of a rental option.
    "enough is a feast"...old Buddist proverb
    • buglawton
    • By buglawton 18th Jul 18, 7:45 AM
    • 8,110 Posts
    • 4,863 Thanks
    I once encountered a bad chain. Broke out of the situation by selling up, moving out and self & OH going into serviced accommodation with all belongings in storage. It worked out well and gave us the opportunity to place an instant chain free offer when finally the right house to buy came up. Our accom had cooking facilities and cost about double of a 1 bed flats rent, with 1 weeks notice to give. For a couple with no kids yet Id definitely recommend this idea.
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