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Feeling really desperate now - Buyer renaging on Sale

(54 Posts)
cheneslieges132 Wed 05-Dec-18 10:07:10

This might be a long post - sorry in advance!
We have had our Mobile Home in France up for sale for over 20 months ever since my husband practically DIED suffering a Pulmonary Embolism on our return through France in 2017, and spent over a week in Intensive Care in the French Hospital. After much inactivity with the first Sales Agents, I found a new Sales Agent and this has been very successful - 8 enquiries, 4 viewings and TWO offers, the higher offer which we accepted, although MUCH lower than the asking price. This 'Buyer' was very keen and voluntarily offered a 10% Deposit to secure the Sale. We accepted this Deposit.
The whole procedure has been VERY difficult for us, because we can now not travel at all due to my husband's near-fatal collapse, and his Doctor has banned him from traveling long journeys. We therefore have had to rely on the kindness of a friend in France to be a "key-holder" and show all these viewers around - at considerable inconvenience - and we cannot keep repeating this.
However, two days ago we received a letter from this 'Buyer' saying he wishes to pull out of the Sale. We are devastated to say the least. There is no way we can start all over again, since there is now no one in France to show any new potential Buyers around. We ourselves can never go back to France, we are both in our 80's and cannot now travel again (I do not drive and cannot fly because of a serious ear problem). We are absolutely terrified of the possible outcome of this - and we still have to pay the yearly Site Fees of over £4000 where the mobile is sited, despite no one ever using it, or ever being there. We are absolutely bunkered and just do not know what to do - desperately worried.

Nonnie Wed 05-Dec-18 10:11:05

That's a horrible situation to find yourself in and I don't suppose there is anything in French law that prevents them pulling out of a mobile home sale.

Perhaps there is someone in charge of the site who you could ask to hold the key? Maybe offer them a percentage of the sale price for doing it?

I assume you keep the 10%?

Welshwife Wed 05-Dec-18 10:31:15

Do you have a notaire in France? If the legal position is the same as a house the buyer has a week to pull out of the deal. Presumably it is more than a week since the offer was made. Can you get in touch with a notaire and explain your position?
Is your primary residence in U.K.?

DoraMarr Wed 05-Dec-18 10:38:23

I think in your position I would offer it as a gift to a family member, unless, of course, you need the money. It may be that you have family who would be delighted with a holiday home inFrance, and could band together to pay the site fees.
It’s no good worrying, because that will affect the health of both of you.

Riverwalk Wed 05-Dec-18 10:43:05

Presumably it's in a holiday area - can you get a family member/friend to arrange for it to be let in the good weather, so at least you'll have some income to help pay the site fees.

Fennel Wed 05-Dec-18 10:43:51

Surely your agent in France is continuing to advertise it? And you might be able to keep the 10% deposit.
If the worst came to the worst a notaire could arrange for it to be sold in auction. I think. Language is always a problem in these situations.
Sadly your problem isn't unusual - I know of 3 holiday houses in the small village where we lived in France, owned by british people, trying to sell up.
One stopped paying the bills and the house was sold at auction to pay their debts.

Fennel Wed 05-Dec-18 10:45:20

ps Dora's idea is a good one - offer to a family member.

glammanana Wed 05-Dec-18 11:05:01

I would also gift the home to a family member if they are interested and get rid of the problem if you can afford to,it would also stop any stress you under enabling you and your husband to relax

Davidhs Wed 05-Dec-18 11:05:59

Sorry about this, you should get to keep the deposit but 10% of the value of a S/H mobile home probably isn't that much. It will sell in the spring and you will get back some value, letting is difficult because maintenence and cleaning become a problem.
Mobile homes are always difficult to resell because the site owner has charges and conditions, be carefull to pay site charges when they are due the site owner may have the right to sell after a period if they are not paid.
Probably the best course now is sell in March or April, offer to family is a long shot but then you will likely get no cash back

humptydumpty Wed 05-Dec-18 11:43:49

cheneslieges132 would it be possible for you to return briefly by train, and then last bit taxi if necessary, so that you are on the spot and can consult with a notaire and get advice? You don't say how much it is worth, but if you have no friends/family who wish to take it on, keep the 10% then perhaps it would be better to write it off, stop paying site fees and let them have it - is the money worth the aggro?

Jalima1108 Wed 05-Dec-18 12:23:47

Can your Agent not show people around - he/she may charge a bit higher fee but it could be worth it cheneslieges?

Or is someone on site eg a warden, who could do this for you?

cheneslieges132 Wed 05-Dec-18 13:18:32

Thank you all for your replies, which sadly none of the "remedies" are appropriate. I will answer all suggestions in the order you have placed them here: It is impossible to get anyone else to show people round. The Sales Agent is not in France, he is just a "go-between" here in the UK. The Site Owners have no connection whatsoever with the selling of units there. No one else involved. Yes, we are resident in England. It is an English couple who had "bought" it from us. Can not give it to a family member - no one (a) wants it or (b) could afford the Site Fees. And yes, we do need the money - this was supposed to be our Retirement Fund. Letting is not permitted - Site rules, no Letting is allowed. The Sales Agent is English, based in Devon. Language is not a problem - we are English, the "Buyer" is English and the Sales Agent also is English. And Davidhs, considering that it is a brand new, top of the range Double Mobile, only used for 20 weeks, is fitted out with the last word in luxury throughout and cost us over £135,000 - NO - your idea that a second-hand Mobile Home is not worth much is rather cruel. It was bought, as I have already stated, as our Retirement Fund, hoping that we would use it for just a couple of years and then be able to re-sell it for perhaps a minimum of £95,000 - sorry everybody, but you just do not grasp how desperate this situation is for us. There is no way we can ever go there again, we cannot get anyone to show people round, the Site Owners will not do anything for us, and the Site Fees will have to be paid FOR NOTHING, as we will never be there ever again. There is no way out of this. We are DESPERATE. We are in our 80's and cannot cope any longer.

JenniferEccles Wed 05-Dec-18 13:36:47

Sorry if I have missed something, but couldn't you put it in the hands of a local French agent who would have the keys and be able to show prospective buyers round?

Also as has been suggested, wait until the Spring when there should be more buyers around.

Is it in a popular holiday area near a beach or nice countryside?

The problem you are unfortunately facing is the fact that although you say the mobile home is new and very well equipped, this type of property does depreciate quite quickly in value, so is often seen as a not very good business proposition compared with a conventional house or flat.

gillybob Wed 05-Dec-18 13:51:32

Oh how I sympathise Cheneslieges . My DH and I had a static caravan(in the U.K.) that we loved and we were forced to sell it at very short notice during the financial crisis . We sold our house at the same time ( which didn’t bother me one jot) but I cried for the loss of the caravan . We tried to sell it at the worst time of the year (about now) as the site fees were due and we couldn’t pay them . We were so desperate we were forced to take a ridiculously low offer . Our caravan was not worth anything like what your holiday home is worth but it was still heartbreaking for us . Trying to sell a holiday dream in December is very difficult . Could you afford to hang out until maybe March or April? Although depending on Brexit ( sorry) this may prove even more difficult . I wish you luck and can totally understand your upset .

lemongrove Wed 05-Dec-18 14:01:56

cheneswhat an awful situation for you.
Could you drop the price, and try to sell it, advertise it here in The UK?
Won’t the site owners, for a small fee, show buyers around and be a keyholder for you?
If all else fails, you could lose the mobile home and just walk away, not paying the site fees ( the owners would confiscate the home.)
That would be a last resort.

Craicon Wed 05-Dec-18 14:09:04

If you’re so desperate to sell, then drop the price by a significant amount and it will sell.
How can a holiday home that cannot be let out ever have been considered a retirement fund? It wasn’t going to earn you any income.
Sell at a rock bottom price and cut your losses.

Jalima1108 Wed 05-Dec-18 14:12:55

You may have to cut some losses and sell at a lower price just to get something back and to avoid site fees.
Otherwise could you let it out as a holiday home which would cover site fees and bring you an income?
Will the agent do that for you?

DoraMarr Wed 05-Dec-18 14:51:19

I’m sorry, you do sound very upset. I can understand how disappointed you must be, and also concerned for your husband’s health.
This company might help:

I realise you won’t get as much as you hoped, but it might help you out of a hole. Otherwise you will just be throwing bad money after good.

Jalima1108 Wed 05-Dec-18 14:53:47

That could be helpful DoraMarr

Remembering that old saying 'a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush'

gillybob Wed 05-Dec-18 14:55:34

mobile holiday homes, caravans etc. devalue very quickly and you should probably expect to make a significant loss when you sell . We sold our caravan for a heck of a lot less (almost half) of what we paid for it only 2 years previously but needed to sell quickly . Also we couldn’t afford to pay the up and coming site fees. DH went to see it in the summer this year as he was passing by that way with work . He said “it looked just as it did when we had it” and I lost it all over again that night .

Fennel Wed 05-Dec-18 16:07:40

chenesliege - the language problems I mentioned were for a referral to a notaire.
Someone would have to write a registered letter in french to a notaire near your mobile home.

Fennel Wed 05-Dec-18 16:10:07

ps I understand you can't face the journey back. We're in our late 70s-80s and did the big move from France in Feb. It was a nightmare.

JenniferEccles Wed 05-Dec-18 17:10:00

I presume you or the selling agent have gone back to the other potential buyer for the caravan? You did say you had received two offers.

I was going to suggest going down the holiday rental route, but then I see that isn't allowed.

I am also wondering if the horrendous site fees of £4,000 pa are putting people off.

As it's been on the market for 20 months, I think it's time to reduce the price. I can see why you are reluctant to do that, but as you are so anxious to sell, then I feel that is your only option.

Vonners Wed 05-Dec-18 17:19:11

Is it ok to ask the name of the agent in Devon?
I ask because my partner used one in Devon and they were completely useless - did not even take photos (I was not aware of that) and was surprised when someone was interested and the agent then asked him for photos.

sodapop Wed 05-Dec-18 17:24:40

Sadly most properties here in France have lost value, at least in our Dept. I expect this applies to mobile homes in the same way. Why do you not put it on the market with a local immobilier and they can show prospective buyers around. I think you have to bite the bullet and reduce the price. The stress factor of all this would be reason enough to pitch the price more realistically.