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Heading for gazumping

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  • Heading for gazumping

    At the end of April we found a flat that was ideal for us and we made an offer which was accepted on April 21st. It was at the very limit of what we can afford. We instructed our solicitors and the agent drew up a memo setting out the details of the agreement. It was agreed that the property should be taken off the market and it was. After a few weeks I checked with the agent that all was well and he said it was. Then last week we saw that the flat was being advertised by another agent.

    I phoned the seller who said it was because his solicitors hadn't heard from our solicitors (though he hadn't bothered to ask me or his agent where things stood). I checked with both sets of solicitors and it turns out nothing was sent to my solicitor until May 21st (30 days after the offer was accepted). When papers were received my solicitor checked the contract and undertook various enquiries before replying on 3 June (13 days or less after receipt). While it's true that his solicitor hadn't heard from ours it's not because they were being slow.

    I now can't get the seller to say whether he wants us to buy from him or whether he wants to start from scratch at a higher price. I suspect he wants us to carry on so that he can fall back on us if he doesn't find someone who will pay more. In the meantime, as we really want this flat, we are paying our solicitors a fortune to get us to the contract exchange stage.

    Obviously this has made me very angry and it is frustrating that I don't seem to be able to do anything about it. Is there anything I can do to recover my costs if he does back out? The whole business seems morally wrong and ought to be illegal.

  • #2
    maybe you could go back to him and agree a date of exchange in return for taking the flat off the market. If he doesn't agree to do this tell him you will back out.
    Portugal Property for Sale