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Buying A House - Laws Need To Change To Protect Buyers

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  • Buying A House - Laws Need To Change To Protect Buyers

    Hi All

    I am a first time buyer who has done everything in the correct way. I have been on top of everything since day 1 and making sure that everything is going smoothly and fast. I received a call today from the estate agents of the seller advising that someone who previously tried to buy the house but fell through is now ready to buy again and has put in a higher offer. I am already 2 weeks in to the process and have had survey/valuation done, searches etc. My offer of mortgage will be approved in writing this week and then we can start the contracts side of things. I have now had to up my offer slightly to keep the seller on my side rather than accepting a higher offer from this other buyer who in my eyes is a risk as it could all fall throgh again.

    Why is it that we are not like elsewhere (Scotland for example) where sale agreed actually means sale agreed!. Sale agreed in UK means a higher bidder can come along at any time up until contracts have been exchanged and put in an offer, the curent buyer can then be screwed over out of hard earned money for valuation/survey, searches etc and will not get any of it back. Why does it work this way, is there a petition to get the rules changed that anyone knows of?

    I have to wait until tomorrow now to see if they are going with me and my girlfriend (first time buyers, no chain).
    -
    Many Thanks

    Greg

  • #2
    Re: Buying A House - Laws Need To Change To Protect Buyers

    I'm sorry to hear about your problem. I understand your frustrations.

    In future you might want to secure any future house purchase with a "Purchase Option" document. Get one off the Internet and tailor it to your needs. This is a signed document which agrees the price with the seller when it is agreed.

    Although not legally binding, it has a strong psychology perspective.

    I hope this helps.

    Paul.

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    • #3
      Re: Buying A House - Laws Need To Change To Protect Buyers

      That is a myth about Scotland I'm afraid. Sellers can still go for a higher offer until Missives are concluded (basically concluding the contract)

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Buying A House - Laws Need To Change To Protect Buyers

        Originally posted by Paul Green View Post
        I'm sorry to hear about your problem. I understand your frustrations.

        In future you might want to secure any future house purchase with a "Purchase Option" document. Get one off the Internet and tailor it to your needs. This is a signed document which agrees the price with the seller when it is agreed.

        Although not legally binding, it has a strong psychology perspective.

        I hope this helps.

        Paul.
        I am not sure I see the point of psychology here? If it is not legally binding, then it is just another piece of paper that adds little a process that already does nothing for the rainforests. Anything that attempts to lock down the sale or the price early on, is a double edged sword as without surveys and inspections you could be buying some large liabilities.

        The real problem is the fact an offer is made without knowing much about the condition of the property - so ideally you would have an independent RICS survey, gas and electrical safety as part of a sellers pack. Then you can reduce the offer to exchange window and begin to think about locking down the sale as in full possession of the facts there are fewer reasons for buyers to need to renegotiate.

        I doubt it will happen in my lifetime though...

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        • #5
          Re: Buying A House - Laws Need To Change To Protect Buyers

          We should have the same rules as in Scotland.
          Once an agreemtn is reached it is binding subject to x y z certainly not higher offers!
          BRAND NEW HOMES
          Information for UK new home buyers
          New Home Blog The latest news and views

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          • #6
            Re: Buying A House - Laws Need To Change To Protect Buyers

            I was in the middle of buying a flat when it was discovered that the seller and/or their solicitor had deliberately altered legal documents before sending them to my solicitor. They had done this in an attempt to hide covenants in the under lease documents, that did not allow some internal works that the seller had done.

            I found out and asked the seller to get the under lease amended with the landlord. The seller refused. I then asked the seller to make changes to the property so that it was no longer in contravention of the lease. The seller refused again. Finally, I lowered my offer on the property so that I could do the work myself. Again, the seller refused. At this point I pulled out.

            This all came to light about 3 months into the buying process. I was really glad of the English house buying system as I'm not sure I could have walked away so easily under a Scottish type system. Sometimes it can work in your favour as a buyer

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            • #7
              Re: Buying A House - Laws Need To Change To Protect Buyers

              In cases like these, the seller should pay for buyer's expenses for the abortive sale.
              In your case you should report the buyer's solicitor to the Law Society and SRA!
              You could also have a case for taking legal action against the seller too.
              BRAND NEW HOMES
              Information for UK new home buyers
              New Home Blog The latest news and views

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              • #8
                Re: Buying A House - Laws Need To Change To Protect Buyers

                Agree with you there, in principle the seller should have paid my expenses. However I ended up having a lower offer accepted on a better property so ended up better off anyway. So I decided to put it behind me and moved on. The sellers on the other hand are still trying to sell the property one year on and lost the property they were buying and the associated expenses so didn't exactly get away with it lightly!

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                • #9
                  Re: Buying A House - Laws Need To Change To Protect Buyers

                  Well there's a thing!
                  "What goes around comes around."
                  "Do unto others as others would do unto yourself"
                  BRAND NEW HOMES
                  Information for UK new home buyers
                  New Home Blog The latest news and views

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                  • #10
                    Re: Buying A House - Laws Need To Change To Protect Buyers

                    I couldn't agree more with you hoodholmes. We have been trying to move for the past year and have been let down constantly by buyers and sellers alike. We have paid out for surveys twice and of course conveyancing fees too.
                    As contracts both times were not exchanged we have lost out hugely financially. We are at the point now where we say third time lucky or we give up. There really needs to be a law where everyone is protected as soon as an offer is accepted.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Buying A House - Laws Need To Change To Protect Buyers

                      Anyone buying, once the price has been agreed in priniple, the seller shoudl pay all the buyesr expenses if the sale does not go through, especially if deliberately undisclosed information is discovered!

                      It is up to buyers to get sellers to accept this condition as part of their offer.
                      BRAND NEW HOMES
                      Information for UK new home buyers
                      New Home Blog The latest news and views

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