Gransnet forums


to want an overhaul of procedures for buying.selling homes?

(30 Posts)
nanaej Tue 13-Aug-13 19:15:10

My DD1 has just had the sale /purchase aborted. They put their home on the market in February and were due to move next week.

Unfortunately their vendor was a cash purchaser and so apparently delayed the survey on the property he was buying until a fortnight ago when everyone else in the chain was ready to exchange. He says there is too much work needed on the house he was buying so he is not selling any more.

DD has obviously incurred costs as well as the emotional highs and lows .. to say nothing of keeping a house clean and tidy for viewings with a 5 and 1 year old.

Why can't we set up a system where the seller has to prepare survey and searches BEFORE a house is marketed? Surveys and searches would be done by properly bonded and licensed surveyors/lawyers. This would reduce wrangling over prices and mean that once an offer is accepted the deal is under contract... similar to Scotland.

It is my suspicion that the chap selling thinks he can get more for his house in light of recent news that property prices are going up and has simply withdrawn at this late date so he can re-market in a month or two.

Mamie Tue 13-Aug-13 19:20:29

It is so much better in France. You make an offer which is binding after a 7 day "cooling-off" period, then if buyer or seller pulls out they have to pay 10% of the price.

Ana Tue 13-Aug-13 19:24:41

I think the system is better in Scotland (it may be similar to France). The English/Welsh system is fraught with pitfalls - an absolute nightmare!

Riverwalk Tue 13-Aug-13 19:28:27

Nanaej this is something that your daughter's estate agent should have noted months' back (assuming she's using an agent).

To justify their exorbitant fees they are supposed to check that buyer & seller have carried out searches & surveys.

Ana Tue 13-Aug-13 19:33:02

I didn't think Estate Agents had any responsibility to check up on solicitors regarding searches etc. - in my experience they only chase things up when they're getting impatient to claim their percentage fee...

Galen Tue 13-Aug-13 19:40:25

My DD had the same problem and is now waiting to exchange contracts on their second choice! They have moved out of their house and are living in a small flat with no garden at present. As it has stairs I can't visit and she doesn't like driving with her pregnancy. They are coming for a long weekend the Thursday after next though!grin

janeainsworth Tue 13-Aug-13 19:46:47

Nanaej I suspect you are right about the real reason - what an a*^"holeangry
Riverwalk it's not really anything to do with the estate agent who is selling Nanaej's DD's house, surely? Why should they be concerned in the house she's buying - a different agent employed by the vendor will be handling it.
I'm not sure the tendering process in Scotland is any better Ana - I know a couple of young people who have spent £100's on surveys before putting in a tender, only to find themselves out-bid in the end.

I do think there should be recourse to compensation for purchasers when vendors pull out after contracts have been exchanged - that would stop a lot of this sort of thing.

Riverwalk Tue 13-Aug-13 19:49:28

Ana estate agents probably don't have any legal obligations in these matters, unlike solicitors, but in my experience the better ones do investigate others in the chain/liaise with the other agents, if only to ensure a sale so that they are paid their very high fees.

Riverwalk Tue 13-Aug-13 19:56:41

Jane of course the agent should be concerned with others in the chain!

The various estate agents have a mutual interest in ensuring that things don't fall through.

I have always expected my agents to earn their fee and tell them up front that it is they who should liaise with other agent, buyers, solicitors, etc.

janeainsworth Tue 13-Aug-13 20:46:29

River I suppose I've been cushioned from all this as I haven't moved since 1987!

Galen Tue 13-Aug-13 21:02:03

1978 me! I'll go out in a box!

nanaej Tue 13-Aug-13 21:10:59

I think my DDs agent has been good and has been proactive. She thinks the vendor's agent knew last week that the seller was likely to withdraw but did not say anything in case he changed his mind. The exchange was supposed to be last Tuesday and the completion & move next Tuesday. It has taken a week to get something concrete out of him.

Re Scotland: That's why I think it should be the seller's responsibility to pay for a survey and carry out searches. It might mean people would be less likely to go on the market just to 'test the water'.

nanaej Tue 13-Aug-13 21:12:07

Galen 3 moves for us since 1978!

bikergran Tue 13-Aug-13 21:25:33

Having just had estate agent no 2 call this afternoon....she said the house prices are not! rising here in Lancashire..(and that seem to verify it by the valuation she gave is for our house today (£10,000 less) than the previouse estate agent last week!!! shock we have another one coming tomorrow....we live in a very modest little house and we wasn't expecting miricles...but £10,00 less!! unless of course the other was way to high!! we shall see what tomorrow brings...!(think we will just about be able to but a bird cage to live in) smile

bikergran Tue 13-Aug-13 21:26:22

should read "buy" a birdcage lol

nanaej Tue 13-Aug-13 21:33:49

It is always difficult to judge if prices are on the rise because of demand or because of media hype!

Galen Tue 13-Aug-13 21:39:04

My house is very difficult to value! I have no idea what it is worth. I paid £37000 for it in 1978.
I suppose I ought to get a guesstimate so that I know in what price bracket I can look if I need to move to a flat or bungalow! Whatever, it's got to have views over water!

Greatnan Tue 13-Aug-13 21:39:30

The Home Information Pack was an attempt to have some things in place before a house was marketed, but it met too many problems and was scrapped.
After exchange of contracts, if either side pulls out the other side is entitled to compensation - it used to be 10% of the purchase price.

When I was a conveyancer, I found most estate agents were very helpful and willing to ring up and down the chain - I could only contact the next solicitor in line.

I have found buying and selling in France comparatively simply - as long as there is no family feud about the sale!

Nonu Tue 13-Aug-13 21:52:17

Criky G/Nan you certainly have led a varied life !!

There does not seem to be a subject that you have not had a experience in . Good on you !!!

Lilygran Tue 13-Aug-13 22:53:25

I agree with nanaej. The system does need to be better regulated. The Scottish (or French) model would avoid some of the worst elements of the English system. We've been lucky in our moves but I've known too many people who have been forced to drop the price at the last minute because the buyer threatened to pull out, or have had their time and money wasted by someone who was only playing at wanting to buy or sell. And I have known people who admitted that going round looking at houses for sale was some kind of hobby - harmless fun, except for the owners who have to go to some trouble every time there's a viewing. Even when no-one is playing games, the whole process can take much longer than seems reasonable.

FlicketyB Tue 13-Aug-13 23:10:45

Scottish system is no better, not French. The agreement to buy is usually subject to mortgage/survey et.

Our first attempt to but a house in France fell through because we signed the contract subject to a solution to a sewage problem being found. As soon as it was done, the vendor took the house of the market. Still do not know why as the house is still unrestored and unoccupied 25 years later.

DD sold her flat during the period of Home finders pack, or whatever the scheme was called that was meant to make buying easier and expedite the legal work. In fact because there was a minor doubtful clause in the lease this was drawn to the purchasers attention when they offered and his solicitor got a copy of the lease the day after the offer was agreed drawing his attention to it. The solicitor still went to within 24 hours of exchange before reading the lease and then started worrying about this clause and various other minor issues. This wasn't a ploy as the purchaser was furious as well as he had some special funding that would be withdrawn if contracts weren't signed within a specified period. After a lot of faffing and an emergency resurvey the contract was signed a week later.

glammanana Wed 14-Aug-13 11:02:15

When I was selling New Homes we used to spend all day Monday chasing up solicitors and Esatate Agents to get updates on the progress of the sales,when my purchasers first reserved a house I would telephone their solicitors and explain I would be doing this through out the purchase and if they where not happy with it we would get the purchaser to change solicitors to a Company who would work with us,Estate Agents where informed that we would expect updates as to the movement in the chain and I would work down the chain for information about all concerned and their status,it keeps things moving and stops people having a rethink,something that seems to have happened in nanaejs post,I hope after upsetting everyone in the chain he fails to find a buyer or his buyer drops out just prior to signing,will serve him right for being greedy if that is what has caused this problem.

Greatnan Wed 14-Aug-13 15:10:55

Yes, Nonu, I have indeed had a variety of interesting and challenging careers. I have a low boredom threshold. grin Apart from teaching/lecturing, most of my work involved finance in one way or another.
One problem I found when selling in France was that an offer is subject to a mortgage being granted and you have to give the buyer 30 days to receive their offer in writing. During that time, I received a better offer, and the first couple received their mortgage offer one day from the cut off date!

deserving Wed 14-Aug-13 15:50:24

Estate agents qualifications can be a bit "iffy" at best.A piece of advice I once read suggested that firstly get a job as a second hand car salesman, then when qualified in lying, start up an estate agents business.Any qualifications seem to be those engineered by the agents themselves. Some dissatisfied with the business, seem to have started a "federation" or some similar organisation, and give others qualifications, unless you have been doing it for so long, and don't wish to get involved, then you get an honorary pass. I nearly said , "A get out of jail card".
I,m sure some are very good and give solace, their demeanour is probably the best "qualification' they have, and most have more experience than the average seller, buyer, but don't rely on them overly.

Movedalot Wed 14-Aug-13 15:55:09

In NL once you have made an offer I think you have 2 weeks to pull out unless you fail to get a mortgage and even then you have to produce 2 letters refusing you one.

We bought and sold when the homebuyer's pack was in force and I don't think it made much difference to anything. I'm glad its gone! Estate agents couldn't even tell you a house was coming on the market until it had been prepared.

As you will imagine from my name we have done several house moves and it is important that you chase your agent. Last time when no surveyor came after a couple of weeks I chased and found out there was an issue further down the line so put the house back on the market and sold to someone else.

How you handle to agent for the house you are buying is important too, don't be too interested! We saw the house we now live in the day it came on the market and made an offer which was refused. We made no contact until about 3 weeks later when we were in the area again and had another viewing. We didn't ring the agent but they rang us and asked if we wanted to make an offer. I told them there was one on the table and they responded that the vendor would now be interested in an offer lower than at first so I offered only another £1k and got it.

The agents always want their commission so bear that in mind and use them to your own advantage.

It is very stressful though so they have my sympathy.