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Property taken off market once offer accepted

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  • Property taken off market once offer accepted

    Would you be able to tell me, if it is standard proceedure for a buyer (whose offer has been accepted), to ask that the property be taken off the market, even though no contracts have been exchanged?

    This means that there are no other viewers, so no other offers will be coming in until the buyer's decides not to proceed with the purchase?

    with thanks

  • #2
    Yes that is very normal. Most independent advice for buyers is to ask for a property to be taken off the market as soon as an offer is accepted.

    This is to try and prevent gazumping where the buyer may have paid out thousands in solicitor fees, surveys, mortgage fees etc only to be gazumped at the last minute by a higher offer.

    The seller has no legal obligation to take the property off the market so it entirely depends on your position. On the one hand you could show you are serious about the sale by agreeing to their demands and therefore maintaining a goodwill (which could help prevent any potential re-nogiation in the future).

    Or, you can refuse at the risk of scaring the buyer away - lets say they have another house they are interested whose sellers will take it off the market - even though they prefer your house they may opt for the other 'safer' option.

    Find out how keen the buyers are and if they are part of a chain. If they are serious and there is no chain involved then personally I would take it off the market for them to show them you are serious about selling and want to give them chance to complete.

    If you think they are not 100% serious or are part of a chain you may decide you need to keep it on the market.

    In Scotland the law is different to England and Wales, once an offer is accepted the buyer cannot legally be gazumped as the seller is asked to sign a contract. In England and Wales there is no law to protect the buyer.
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    • #3
      Originally posted by Paul_MN View Post
      On the one hand you could show you are serious about the sale by agreeing to their demands and therefore maintaining a goodwill (which could help prevent any potential re-negotiation in the future).
      Thanks Paul for this re-assuring info.

      I was interested in what you say about "potential re-negotiation" is this referring to surveys or just to having to look for another buyer?

      I just wonder, because obviously we are quite worried, having already accepted a fairly low offer from the buyer, that they may try and push for an even lower offer with the results of the survey, although in my opinion they are already getting a bargain.

      I read in the rics guide to surveys, that an HSV report actually includes a valuation of the property. How accurate is this? And as the seller am I able to know what this valuation is?

      many thanks in advance


      • #4
        The buyer can re-negotiate or pull out completely at any point up to the time contracts are exchanged, equally you can pull out any time or even ask for a higher price up to this date.

        Usually a buyer will only attempt a re-negotiation if the survey throughs up something expected, although they may also do so if they feel the property was over-pirced (based on the evaluation) or if they happened to have found another property they like at a lower price.

        If you are confident the price is fair, that the survey will not bring up anything unexpected and that the buyer is serious then I wouldnt worry too much. Most people get attached to a property once an offer has been accepted and want it pushing through as fast as possible - only a major thing is likely to cause a re-negotiation situation.

        Unfortunately there is nothing much you can do to prevent this, the same as there is nothing the buyer can do to stop you pulling out before contracts are exchanged.

        The valuation from the survey is subjective but usually fairly accurate, as I say I wouldnt worry too much. If you are confident the buyer is getting a good deal then just do everything you need to do from your end and keep your fingers crossed!

        Good luck with the sale, Im on the other end of the stick at the moment as a buyer praying that the seller will not pull out of the deal before I complete!

        Unfortuantely its a nervous time for both the seller and the buyer when both are keen on the sale going through but all you can do is make sure it moves as fast as possible and hope!
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        • #5
          Just a thought


          It has been my experience in the past as a buyer and a seller that as soon as the property sale is agreed both parties continue to look better deals until legally tied in with exchange of contracts. This can be a real pain so you should give the buyer a limited amount of time to carry out the survey (maybe two wks) and during that time you could take your house off the market. Then after that agree through your solicitor that both parties lodge £1000 and the other party will receive it if either withdraws from the deal before exchange of contracts. The system in england is messy as it is often a month or two before contracts are exchanged so neither party has any comfort.. Good Luck..


          • #6
            At what stage would one expect an estate agent to put a "Sold stc" sticker across the For Sale sign?

            If it is "subject to contract", that presumably means the sticker would appear after an offer is accepted? Do agents still do this, or do they tend to leave the For Sale sign in place without a SOLD sticker?
            Renovation opportunity, 3b det., Carmarthenshire


            • #7
              - and when will an estate agent put up an UNDER OFFER sticker on the For Sale sign? As opposed to a SOLD STC one?
              Renovation opportunity, 3b det., Carmarthenshire


              • #8
                Going back to the original question -- is it possible for a seller to say they will take the property off the market once an accepted offer is UNCONDITIONAL? In other words, decline to do so if the accepted offer is conditional (on survey findings or suchlike). The onus is then on the buyer to get their survey done without delay if they want the For Sale sign taken down.
                Renovation opportunity, 3b det., Carmarthenshire


                • #9
                  It's possible to do whatever you want - whether the buyer will be happy is another thing. I'd only consider doing what you're suggesting if the buyer gave me reason to be worried as to how committed he or she was.