Gransnet forums

Ask a gran

House buyers trying to force early completion date

(33 Posts)
Notoldatall Wed 23-Jan-19 16:50:56

Hi everyone. After many months we are getting close to exchange of contracts on our house sale and hoping to move over 250 miles. Now we are trying to negotiate the completion date which is for most reasonable people I believe 4 weeks to arrange removals etc. The lady we are buying from is elderly and ill and has asked for at least a decent amount of time so we suggested mid Feb. She was happy with that. We need that time too as trying to organise packing around work commitments. However the young couple buying our house appear to be trying to bully us into a completion date just one week away. They are in a rented house and I suspect they just don't want to pay an extra month's rent. They've told the solicitor it's because they are being evicted on that date. I don't really believe this.
It doesn't seem fair to have one party forcing their will on 2 others in the chain. What do people think?

Nonnie Wed 23-Jan-19 17:00:18

Being practical they can't buy another house and move in before mid Feb so stand your ground. We had this issue and said all along that we would move out 3 weeks after exchange. They continued to push us and we continued to say 3 weeks. That is what happened.

I believe these days that it is often 2 weeks.

Perhaps you could call your removers and ask them how much notice they need. That might give you an answer you could use but, if not, explain that you can't move into your next home until - give a date because your seller requires this time.

You must ask your solicitor to align the sale and purchase so no one can pull out or change a date.

Entirelyfading Wed 23-Jan-19 17:01:04

Your buyers may face eviction or may simply not want to pay another months rent. They may be using the word ‘eviction’ to dramatise having given notice and come to the end of their tenancy. Their situation, difficult though it is, is not your problem. You have acted in sympathy for your vendor and you cannot please both of the other parties. Stay strong! All the best in your new home.

arosebyanyothername Wed 23-Jan-19 17:16:13

If they are first time buyers they may not understand all that is involved in a chain.
February doesn’t seem unreasonable
Leave it to your solicitors and good luck with the move.

Jalima1108 Wed 23-Jan-19 17:21:48

Completion is usually one to two weeks after exchange of contracts, isn't it?

Unless there are extenuating circumstances it is unusual to extend the time to four weeks between exchange and completion.
I don't think they are bullying at all - I think they are perhaps a bit impatient expecting completion in one week, but two weeks is very reasonable. It is very frustrating when others involved try to delay for whatever reason.

Surely everything is in hand and removal people on stand-by just waiting for an exact date?

Izabella Wed 23-Jan-19 17:21:52

2 weeks is a long time between exchange and completion nowadays. We did it on the same day and its a nailbiting finish to say the least.

HildaW Wed 23-Jan-19 17:26:08

Being Devil's Advocate here, but it is a buyer's market. Also one person's demands affecting a whole chain is by no mean's unusual albeit annoying/frustrating. On the other hand most reason's for a landlord to go to all the trouble of evicting a tenant (and its a complicated process nowadays) is non payment of rent over a long time ....such a tenant is unlikely to be able to afford a mortgage.

GrannyGravy13 Wed 23-Jan-19 17:35:39

I sold a house last year, completion and exchange same day.

Nonnie Wed 23-Jan-19 17:44:52

GG how did you arrange removals when you couldn't ensure it would go through?

Hilda whatever the market is doing at the moment the buyer is unlikely to pull out for a week or two. They couldn't buy another house in that time

Tartlet Wed 23-Jan-19 17:45:42

But that’s unusual and not really the preferred option since it’s fraught with risk for everyone concerned. I personally think one week is unreasonable since, until contracts are exchanged, there’s no certainty that completion will ever take place and it’s imprudent to say the least for any buyer to put themselves so close to possible eviction. If indeed that’s the truth.

HildaW Wed 23-Jan-19 17:47:14

Nonnie, yes you are probably right - but times are tough and if you do have a buyer then they do call the shots a bit more at the moment (secretly envious of OP).

Nonnie Wed 23-Jan-19 17:50:50

This is what Which? has to say -

Completion dates are often set two weeks after exchange, but this is just a guideline. If no one in the chain is in a hurry to move, you can ask for more time - and, occasionally, people complete in less than two weeks, too.

4 weeks used to be common, seems it has changed

Cold Wed 23-Jan-19 18:05:09

I think exchange to completion is often a lot quicker these days - thinking about it have had completion both 6 days after exchange and also 6 months (and a few inbetween)

Jalima1108 Wed 23-Jan-19 18:14:57

I think expecting completion to be four weeks after exchange of contracts is not fair on others in the chain. You are lucky to have first-time buyers who are leaving rented accommodation, Notoldatall and there is not a long chain of impatient purchasers.
I'm not surprised they are 'champing at the bit' to get the keys to the house.

If times are tough how come we can't find anywhere to downsize to? They are snapped up practically before they've gone on the market.

GrannyGravy13 Wed 23-Jan-19 18:35:41

It’s fairly common round here to complete and exchange same day.

HildaW Wed 23-Jan-19 21:39:07

Must admit we once exchanged and completed on same day....some legal piece of paper got held up till last minute....we were all basket cases by the end.

PECS Wed 23-Jan-19 22:10:07

Instruct your solicitors to agree a completion date that suits you and your vendor. There will be negotiations so build that into the date you offer! Removal companies are used to short notice arrangements so 10 days to 2 weeks should not be tricky.

petra Wed 23-Jan-19 22:21:22

Grannygravy
Same here. Complete/exchange/move.
It helped that my buyer and I were in phone contact all along.

Izabella Thu 24-Jan-19 12:14:40

We had insurance cover with the removers in case exchange and completion did not occur on the same day as planned They did, but we also had peace of mind too.

Missfoodlove Thu 24-Jan-19 12:36:06

It is usual for a landlord to allow a rolling contract in such circumstances. So the rent is paid fortnightly or weekly with a week or a fortnights notice. As a landlord I have been happy to do this.

Nonnie Thu 24-Jan-19 12:51:09

Seems some of you were luckier with removers than we were. We gave 3 weeks notice and the only way they could do it was for them to come in for 1 full day and several days of a few hours. We didn't want to shop around as there was not a lot of choice and they were reputed to be the best.

Jalima1108 Thu 24-Jan-19 13:11:04

It's a long time since we moved house but I do remember that completion was due at 12 noon on a certain day and that the buyer was pushing to have the keys earlier that day - before her money was safely with our solicitor.

harrigran Thu 24-Jan-19 13:36:31

DS and DIL exchanged and completed sale on same day. To be fair though they were living with me and their furniture was in storage. They did have to sit out side the house until they got comfirmation from the solicitor but it wemt smoothly. They were living in London and the offer on their property was just too good to let slip.

M0nica Fri 25-Jan-19 09:52:34

Why not put meet the early date and put everything in storage for a few weeks and either have a short holiday or visit friends and relatives.

Completion used to be a month, but nowadays is usually less. We agreed to extend completion when buying from an elderly lady and did just that. Put everything in store, and in our case as it was two months, rented a tiny house near DC's school.

Nonnie Fri 25-Jan-19 09:58:10

Monica I don't see any need for that. Why should they have to pay the extra and go through all that hassle? Why shouldn't their buyers do it?

There seems to be 3 people in this chain, 2 of them are happy with agreed timescales, one is not, it makes sense for the odd one out to make any arrangements to suit the others. As I said before they are not going to drop out for the sake of a week or two as they couldn't buy anything else in the timescale and also they have already spent considerable sums on legal fees and, presumably, obtaining a mortgage.