Posted on Wednesday, October 3, 2018
You have probably heard of the story, or worse still, experianced it personally.
It usually follows like this...... you have spent the last few months answering questions, allowing surveyors through your door, chasing the agent and your solicitors. This is after you have spent weeks, maybe months deliberating your move, getting the house valued, completing those final touch ups and getting the sale sign up in the garden. Then you have spent weeks keeping your house spotless for viewings, welcoming strangers into your home, doing your best not to say anything that could put them off. Soon, the offer comes through, your heart skips a beat, your agent negotiates the best offer for you, you accept and the sale starts, you then run out and offer on that dream home! Some time later, you have been given a date of the exchange contracts, which means completion is just around the corner...
Then the phone rings.....
It's your estate agent or solicitor. '' Hi Mr Smith, Hi Mrs Smith '', you wait in anticipation of the good news that contracts have exchanged and you're moving. '' Its Reginald from the estate agents, bad news I'm afraid - your buyer just called his solicitor and told them he's pulling out. He only said yesterday he was happy to finalise everything, but he's had a chat with a friend and decided its not for him, he wouldn't give any real reason ''
All that time, hardwork, money and dreams - shattered in one moment of madness by someone you quite possibly have never met. What do you do next?
The longstanding issue with the English housing market and the process of selling/buying has been commentated on time and time again. Due to the exchange of contracts being at the end of the process, there is no legal obligation for a buyer or seller to follow through with a purchase or sale until after that point, they are free to pull out at anytime, for any reason. The damage, emotionally and financially can be huge, not just for that particular buyer or seller effected, but for a number of other people within a chain.
Whilst a purchase can fail due to a survey, or personal circumstance. Why can a buyer or seller pull out after all of that effort, just becasue they dont feel like it? Surely that kind of decision should be made at the beginning?
Maybe the Scottish model is something to hope for??
What we will say is that should it happen to you, dont panic too much. Firslty, get your home back to the markert. Price it in relation to market conditions. Ask your agent to explore all other leads taken at the time when you first accepted your offer. Secondly, speak to your onward chain (if you are buying onward), explain whats happened, see if they will give you a few weeks grace to find a new buyer. Honesty is always the best policy. STAY POSITIVE. The market for the remainder of 2017 should stay strong. Thre are buyers ready to move and always remember, if someone liked your home enough to want to buy it, we can guarantee you there will be another person who will like it just as much - and go through with the purchase.
source - David Bruckert ANAEA, Partner, Hawkins Sales & Letting