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House and home

Impatiently waiting

(74 Posts)
Flaxseed Fri 23-Jul-21 14:11:56

I have a couple of threads on here ‘getting cold feet’ and ‘sad about moving’ being the latest ones.

Long story cut short
30 plus years in current house. Decided to sell when myself and DP found a house to buy together. I pulled out of that sale and am now buying alone. DD2, her DP and my DGS are currently living with me after selling their flat. The house they found has fallen through and they are devastated. So it looks like they will be coming with me to my new house. They could rent but we are in the SE and it’s terribly expensive (far more than their mortgage payments) and they don’t really want to enter into a contract and potentially lose out on a future buy because of this. I am totally supportive of this (and was actually the one who pointed it out when they mentioned renting)

Anyway, I just need to offload my latest frustrations to you wonderful lot.

I am currently sitting here seething. Are all conveyancing solicitors slow?
I never hear from mine unless I ask for updates. She then says she is chasing this/that ‘today’
I really don’t think she does anything unless she hears from me hmm!!
Then she sends me a load of enquiries from the purchasers solicitors. Yesterday, she sent a list of queries, of which two I have already answered in previous queries weeks back.
I’m afraid my replies yesterday where very curt angry.

I feel I am in limbo and at a loss as to what I can be getting on with.
Having DD2 etc here means I can’t pack as much as I would like as all of their stuff is in storage.
Not having a date means I am finding it difficult to pack things I might need i.e, it’s DGS birthday next month, so my ‘entertaining’ crockery, party stuff etc can’t even be packed in case I am still here. (We always have family birthdays here, as I have the biggest garden/entertaining space)
I want to give the cooker/dishwasher/washing machine a really good clean but there’s no point doing those either yet.
I have taken down pictures/photos and filled the holes in, I’ve dumped everything that I can, and sorted and taken stuff to charity.
There still seems so much to do that I actually can’t do yet.
I want to buy some new bits (I’ve had a second visit to measure up) but am scared the sale will fall through and it’ll be too late for refunds.
I can’t book time off of work, or a removal firm or van hire until I know a date.
The whole process is stressful and frustrating.
I haven’t moved in so long that I don’t remember this before.
Any tips please?!confused

Flaxseed Sun 01-Aug-21 16:19:28

I’m still here - waiting hmm
The latest query from my buyers solicitor was asking where surface water went confused
I had to ask them what they meant as I am pretty naive when it comes to this kind of stuff.
Give me an operating list with abbreviated medical terms grin and I’m happy, but ANYTHING to do with houses and this moving business, and I am well out of my depth.
Luckily, I have the original survey (well over 30 years old), the original plans for the extension my ex and I had built 20+ years ago, and a retired draftsman living next door, so I was eventually able to answer it.
But as soon as I answer a list of enquiries, another lot appear!
Myself and my buyers are now getting worried this won’t all be sorted before the end of September Stamp duty relief (we had hoped to complete by the end of June)
I feel deflated, bored, annoyed and frustrated.

Germanshepherdsmum Sun 01-Aug-21 18:30:52

I don’t want to make a stressful situation worse, but if your buyers’ solicitor keeps coming up with new enquiries which aren’t simply querying something you’ve already said I’d try to make sure they really are as ready to go as they tell you. Ask your estate agent to delve a bit. This happened when we sold our last house and it was clear the buyer’s solicitor was playing for time. Turned out that although the buyer said he didn’t need to sell his house in order to proceed, he also had a flat in London which he was selling unbeknown to us and our agent and didn’t want to sell the shares he had which he had told our agent about when proving his ability to proceed. He was a solicitor and so was I. I won’t repeat what I said.

Flaxseed Sun 01-Aug-21 18:53:45

The buyers are constantly in touch with the estate agent, and are very eager to proceed. I am going to ring the EA tomorrow to ask the buyers to speak to their solicitors and ask them to send any further enquiries all at once rather than one every now and again.
When they came round to measure up recently they expressed their frustration at their solicitor, so it seems like they are as annoyed as I am.
The vendors of the property I am buying feel the same about theirs too!
I don’t ever want to move again, although know I will as me and my DP hope to buy somewhere together when I retire grin

Germanshepherdsmum Mon 02-Aug-21 09:34:28

I hate to say this, but some law firms are pretty dreadful, especially with conveyancing. As I said upthread, you really do get what you pay for. Are the buyers sure the person acting for them is actually a solicitor or is the day to day work being handled by an unqualified person, a glorified secretary? That’s not at all uncommon. Who do they speak to when they phone, rather than whose name is on any letters/emails, and do they get the impression the person on the phone is completely au fait with the details of their case without having to find a file first and lots of miming and aaahing? If the EA tells you that there definitely isn’t a reason for the buyers’ lawyer to be dragging his/her feet then my advice would be for the buyers to complain in no uncertain terms. Details of the firm’s complaints system would have been given to them at the outset, that’s mandatory. I hope things get moving (no pun intended) soon. Perhaps the EA will put some pressure on too, as they’ll be eager to collect their fee. Do let us know how things go.

Germanshepherdsmum Mon 02-Aug-21 09:35:49

Sorry, that was meant to be umming, not miming

kissngate Wed 04-Aug-21 19:34:30

Buyers beware !!! - you can legally put a house on the market, show prospective purchasers round, agree a price and all before probate is granted. All you need is misleading Executors, an Estate Agent that's evasive, a Solicitor that doesn't send out documentation or respond to questions and they can string you along for months before they get found out. Do I sound upset.. grrr

Flaxseed Wed 04-Aug-21 20:31:22

I feel for you. I have known of at least two house sales fall through in the last month due to issues re Probate. I hope yours doesn’t.
It must be the most frustrating scenario sad

I had the tiniest glimmer of hope yesterday when I heard that my purchasers solicitors seem satisfied with all queries on my property now. I won’t hold my breath though! grin
Once my solicitor is satisfied with the queries made on the house I am buying, we should finally be able to exchange. (Keeping everything crossed)

kissngate Wed 04-Aug-21 21:39:39

Flaxseed- glad you have made progress at last some positive news.
Words cannot express how we feel, well not ones we can use on a forum, but my OH is on the verge of a breakdown. We are going to take time to consider all options but it's really upset us.

Eloethan Wed 04-Aug-21 22:43:18

I think this is very common with provincial practices dealing with non-corporate issues like neighbour disputes, conveyancing, etc, etc. It really isn't good enough.

My son has been trying to sort out a property issue for some time and his solicitor is absolutely useless - everything takes so long and communications are almost non-existent. On the other hand, when dealing with the sale of my Mum's property, my solicitor was very good - but it was a very straightforward sale.

Daisymae Thu 05-Aug-21 09:28:37

We have just had a solicitor do some work for us. They were unbelievably slow. Nothing happened until I chased. Ever. Work completed so I decided to post payment by cheque instead of bank transfer. I thought that it would be weeks before it cleared. But no! Cheque banked instantly and out of account quicker than you can say Jack Robinson! Just goes to show that they can move quickly when it suits.hmm

BigBertha1 Thu 05-Aug-21 09:37:49

Flaxseed I feel for you having been in this position re conveyancing all last year. It was made worse by Covid r4estrictions stopping all building work (we bought a new house) and not being able to visit the conveyancer or estate agent or the builder in person in order to 'jolly' them up. The relaxation on stamp duty completely overwhelmed surveyors and conveyancers so they only seem to deal with people who made a fuss so I the end I abandoned Nice me and channelled my inner Kirsty. My e-mails were legion! preceded by endless phone calls. Dont let the communication channel go 'dark' keep at it.

As for tips what I would not do is what I did. Anxious to move things along I bought a lot of things for the new house that now I see do not 'go'.

Good luck with everything. I know only too well the strain it put on both my husband and I - he is still recovering with a B/P that refuses to come down.

Germanshepherdsmum Thu 05-Aug-21 09:40:26

Daisymae, first only ever use a solicitor who has been recommended by a trusted source, never go for the cheapest, and second they all have an accounts department that cheques automatically go to for banking.

Germanshepherdsmum Fri 06-Aug-21 10:26:37

kissngate I read on another thread that your purchase isn’t going to complete before 30 Sept. From what you’ve said this seems to be because you’re buying from executors. Your solicitor would have known this very early on. It’s not an uncommon situation. Didn’t he/she warn you this could go on for a long time? Rather like when there’s a divorcing couple selling, always a nightmare.

kissngate Fri 06-Aug-21 19:41:45

Germanshepherdsmum - yes to be fair our solicitors did say it could be a while. However we agreed a sale in May and never thought we wouldn't be in by 30 September. Five households involved, more than one property plus parcels of land. The EA told us this week it's a legal nightmare I just wish we had been aware of all this sooner.

Flaxseed Fri 06-Aug-21 21:32:34

Well, I finally have the contract for the sale of my house!!
I guess that’s something!
Last I heard tho, there’s a long list of queries answered by my vendor’s solicitors for my solicitor to wade through. Given her track record, I don’t think it’ll be any time soon.
bigbertha I’m the same, I started to constantly hassle after realising that nothing was happening unless I pushed.
I have also been very careful not to buy anything. Not because I was worried things ‘wouldn’t go’ but because I just couldn’t see this move ever happening!
I booked a holiday in September thinking I’d be long settled into my new place by then (my house sold in March hmm)Now I am not so sure.
Kissengate I hate to say this, but someone I know viewed a property just last week having seen it on the market last year. When he asked the EA why it was back on the market he was told the original buyers had ‘given up’ after waiting a year for things to start moving forward as the house was under probate confused
I really hope things move quicker forward you soon

Germanshepherdsmum Sat 07-Aug-21 08:29:44

kissngate I don’t understand why the EA is saying getting a grant of probate, which is all that’s needed to unlock your purchase, is a legal nightmare. There may be several properties for the executors to deal with once they get probate but you’re only interested in one of them. The rest are irrelevant. Sounds like your solicitor needs to ask precisely what is holding up probate and demand a full answer. I would also be asking myself if I should be looking at other properties, perhaps chain-free, and dumping this one.

Flaxseed Sat 14-Aug-21 09:12:49

Still waiting!!
The problem is that the carport for the house I am buying is leasehold. It seems that ‘the problem’ is something that should have been sorted out when the vendors bought it as a new build. The EA I have sold my house through is so lovely. He’s actually trying to solve the problem that both solicitors should be doing!
I am living in a complete mess, surrounded by flattened boxes waiting to be filled, watching the weeks fly by……. angry

Whiff Sat 14-Aug-21 09:28:32

Flaxseed is the house you are buying freehold? If so how can a carport be leasehold ? I would have thought it would have been the same as the house. How long is the lease on the carport or is that something your estate agent is finding out for you?

If I was you I would start filling your boxes with things you don't need as it takes longer than you think to pack.

Hope everything gets sorted soon for you. You have waited long enough.

Flaxseed Sat 14-Aug-21 09:57:10

Hi whiff The house is Freehold. Goodness only knows why the carport is leasehold. I am not sure how long the lease is but the house is only 3 years old.
I have packed things like photos, pictures, Xmas stuff but there is so much I can’t pack as I have my DD, DSIL and DGS living with me. Had I still been here alone I could have lived off of 1 plate, bowl, mug etc.
It’s DGS birthday in a couple of weeks so the entertaining stuff can’t be packed away, nor can holiday bits as myself and DP have a UK trip booked mid September.
I go from being so stressed that my hands and feet start tingling (a sign of extreme stress for me) to just kicking boxes out of the way and zoning out grin
I still work full time and look after DGS on my week day off whilst DD works so I feel like I am on a hamster wheel that I can’t escape!
The only good bit of news is that after DD’s house falling through, they have put an offer in on another one, and after all the worry of not knowing where they would be when DGS starts school in September, she secured a place at a lovely little school where I am moving to (they will come with me until their new house completes)
Silver linings and all that!

Germanshepherdsmum Sat 14-Aug-21 10:56:44

Flaxseed I was a solicitor working for some of the major house builders (shall I duck?). There might be a good reason for the carport being leasehold but without seeing how the whole estate was set up I can’t venture an opinion, nor can I now that I’m retired. I would however not advise anyone to buy a property such as this unless the lease of the carport is for at least 999 years at a peppercorn or very small fixed (not escalating) ground rent and otherwise on satisfactory terms . Naturally your solicitor will have to look carefully the terms of the lease and advise you on them. You need chapter and verse from your solicitor as to what this problem is to enable you to understand it, and how long it’s going to take to sort out. You say your vendors bought directly from the developer so I can’t imagine what the problem is. As the carport will be registered under a separate leasehold title transferring the lease can (unforgivably) be overlooked on subsequent sales but from what you say this isn’t the case here.

Oopsadaisy1 Sat 14-Aug-21 11:51:36

I’ve heard several cases of new builds having part of their side gardens leasehold, it’s a way of the developers getting further income and having control ( possibly to prevent houses being extended at the side).
MILs house went on the market in Feb 2020 probate took months and it was eventually sold (to the buyer who made the offer in March and was happy to wait) this year.
There were backlogs in Probate department apparently.

Germanshepherdsmum Sat 14-Aug-21 12:25:10

A possible reason for the carport being leasehold - does it sit under another house? The house above may have the freehold of the land on which the carport sits, subject to a lease of the carport. If the developer created the lease before the house above was sold the transfer of the lease to your vendors might have been forgotten. Just a thought.

Flaxseed Sat 14-Aug-21 15:01:25

germanshepherdmum Thanks for your advice.
The carport does indeed sit under a flat.
It seems that a lot of houses on that estate have leasehold carports.
The EA selling the house sent me an email the other day saying this

….. Speaking with the sellers solicitors there is a restriction that forms part of the title for the property that basically means the property needs a certificate of compliance from the management company before the property can be re-sold…..

It’s all double Dutch to me. I am happier with medical terms wink

Luckygirl Sat 14-Aug-21 16:45:02

Moving house and dealing with the solicitors is unspeakable. I have recently spent nigh on a year wading through one problem after another.

As far as I could see, all my solicitor did was to wait for something to arrive from the vendor's solicitor, then send it on to me to deal with! Did she consider chasing up any outstanding documents? ......... I asked her this and she said that if I wished she would diary it to speak to them each week but she would have to "bill me accordingly." So, apparently, chasing up documents is not part of the job and has to be paid for over and above the agreed fee.

Some of the queries were unanswerable, and great lists of them started arriving.

I am sorry that the leasehold carport business is holding things up for you; and wish you lots of good luck.

Germanshepherdsmum Sat 14-Aug-21 18:20:01

Flaxseed, I imagine that you will have to enter into a covenant with the management company to comply with the terms of the car port lease and pay service charges for things on the estate which the management company looks after at the expense of the residents (private roads, play areas, that sort of thing). Without this mechanism man. cos. can’t enforce payment of service charges. Then the man. co. gives a certificate that you have done that, and that the ground rent for the car port and your property’s share of the service charge are paid up to date. Without that your purchase can’t be registered at the Land Registry. It works for the benefit of everyone on the estate. Man. cos. charge for these things and that should be paid by the sellers. Some charge quite a lot and that will be an extra expense when you sell. Man. cos. come in all shades of good, bad and downright awful. Some are run by the residents, who all own a share in them, and in those cases the certificate I referred to would include confirmation that the sellers’ share had been transferred to the buyers. Man cos controlled by the developer and in which the residents don’t have shares are the ones which can be unsatisfactory so do make sure your solicitor explains who controls the man co, what any service charge you have to pay covers, if it’s fairly shared across the estate (e.g. you aren’t contributing to the maintenance and insurance of a block of flats on the estate, only to things you benefit from), that the man co’s accounts are up to date and don’t reveal shortfalls you might be required to contribute to, and that the residents aren’t in dispute with the man co about anything. Your solicitor should also explain the insurance arrangements for the car port and the house above. This may require the title to the house above to be checked. As you can imagine, a fire in the car port could damage the house above and a fire in the house could damage the carport and whatever is in it at the time. Your car insurer would also need to know this isn’t a standard car port, to ensure your insurance isn’t invalidated. Sorry this is not the straightforward situation you probably expected when you found the house. It’s not unusual on modern developments though. I hope all goes well.