Jump to content
House Price Crash Forum
Jaybee

Is This An Unreasonable Demand By The Ea?

Recommended Posts

Hi all,

First post so be gentle.... ;) Here's the story:

Wife and I sat in rented at the moment with capital from a previous sale, nothing to sell and mortgage in principle for an LTV which won't exceed 50% so in this market I would have thought we were a good bet as potential buyers. We want to pick up a bargain, have been waiting for a couple of years watching stuff slide down and though I fear prices will drop further we're building 10% into our offers. It's all a gamble at the end of the day but we'd love our own place again so we can get on with life. Rented is fine but having a mortgage would be a lot cheaper pcm.

A couple of weeks ago we looked at a number of properties and finally had a shortlist. We offered and bartered on the first choice and secured it for a good price a way from the asking price and the property had already been reduced (it's been on the market for over a year). The EA said the seller "had a place lined up" as a previous chain had fallen through earlier this year and this house the seller was after was end of chain. All good as the thought of a large chain (given that stats show 30% of them are collapsing) is not what we want at all, especially as the sector we are in (4 bed detached) is oversupplied with properties and a lot are end of chain.

So we offered and secured (or so we thought) the property. We were told that the seller was now going to make an offer on the property they had earmarked (assumed this was the one they'd had accepted before in the previous chain). However, as we had offered lower than the (recently reduced) asking price the seller had their revised offer rejected. They subsequently found (after a week so no real delay here) a cheaper property and have had their offer accepted.

Here lies the problem.

That new property is not end of chain. The owners say they are now going to look at properties and will "go into rented if need be". However, the EA is now demanding that we start conveyancing. They will not mark the property to show we've had an offer accepted on as "under Offer" or "Sold STC" until we instruct a solicitor. We don't want to instruct (we have one lined up) as we don't want to spend close to a grand on surveys, searches and mortgage app fees (let alone start the clock ticking on mortgage applications) while the chain has no clear end. The EA won't even write to us saying the offer was accepted! It's all verbal only. All we want is a clear end to the chain, then we all kick off conveyancing and if something happens down the line to the chain then that is that, these things can happen - we are fully aware of that - , but at the moment there's IMHO unacceptable financial risk. I don't want to commit £ to this property only to find the chain goes on, up and up for months without a clear end.

We have noticed (with the aid of the wonderful Property Bee) a load of properties "Sold STC" that have been "in stasis" for months. This scares the hell out of us!

We are the ones starting this whole chain off so we should be in the driving seat right? We offered based on the fact the vendor had a place that was end of chain lined up so it would be a quick two house conveyance - that's clearly not the case now.

The EA has been difficult from the second viewing where 10mins in she said "Oh I have another viewing here in 20 mins" and was generally non-plussed about our interest in the property, it was surreal, almost an "anti-sale".. There is a building conversion that had no docs and a fag packet quote (literally just a figure) from a builder on some work that still needs doing. The EA has had this property for over 12 months yet knew very little at all about the building work and it's sign off/permissons. We obviously queried this and it's been like pulling teeth to get to the bottom of whether it needed planning or not. We've finally got some paperwork but there's still a risk involved which we are happy to take for the price. Given all this the attitude of the EA has been quite condescending and totally unlike all the other EAs we've ever dealt with. It's almost like they don't want us to buy it.....

We're now at an impasse. We will not start to spend money until this chain is complete, the EA is now threatening to remarket the property (however nobody has bought it in 12 months so....). They just won't mark this Under Offer even until we "commit" by instructing a solicitor. Of course once we're £1k into fees they'lll have what they think is a safe bet and if it takes months to complete then..... you see the problem?

We will of course be fully committed once we can see a projected end to this chain. We never ever intended (or ever wanted) to be at the bottom of a long chain and in our position and with other interesting properties out there reducing all the time we're happy to wait a few weeks to see what happens but would have to pull out if it's clear that the chain isn't going to 'complete' within a reasonable amount of time.

Unreasonable? or are we just managing our financial exposure to what could be a very long wait, this is supposed to be a buyers market after all...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, I think they are being unreasonable. However, you could 'instruct' a solicitor and tell them to do nothing for now. You're going to need one, eventually, right? Unless, of course, you plan on convenyancing yourself. No reason why not..... tell them this is a holding strategy. You can always change you mind later and instruct one. Also, make sure it's your solicitor, not the EAs mate or the same as the vendors.

I believe you can put something into the contract (to buy/sell) that stipulates it has to be exchanged by date x and completed by Y. This would protect you and put the ball back in the vendors court. maybe any older EAs or solicitors on here can point you in the right direction?

If after all this the vendor still wont go SSTC, then go and find yourself another place to buy. One with no onward chain, this time....

ETA: Seems to me like they know you're a newbie to this game and are trying some sharp practice to try to lock you in, as you say yourself. Dont play their game. You hold all the cards. SSTC now or show them the finger and walk away.

Edited by General Melchett

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If it needs work doing and owner sounds like a newbie, *and* you've made an under-value offer, maybe the EA or a mate wanted in?

Trying to make it harder for you now so that it falls through and he can pick it up?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the opinions guys!

We were beginning to believe we'd entered some kind of parallel universe. Have bought/sold since 95 with periods of rental in-between so we were scratching our heads to try and work out why we are being met with such disinterest and quite frankly, discourtesy.

I think both those scenarios may be at play. The EA is way too cagey about the property re questions on the building work done etc. On both viewings the vendor was never there so we couldn't ask direct questions either. you know when you get that gut feeling that says something just isn't right?....

We have today emailed an easy list of requirements to be met within 24hrs. One of which is that the property is marked at the very least "Under Offer" and that we get some paperwork to show our solicitor!! We don't even have the vendors name, this is all so crazy. If they won't meet us on that requirement we've decided to deploy the order of the single digit and walk away ;)

Gen Melchett: noted the idea to instruct to "stand still" as it were, that's a good call and yes they've already tried the "here's our recommended conveyancing solicitor" angle (who followed up an uninvited quote with a "sales call" 12hrs later!!). We're not falling for that (plus they were about £300 dearer than others we checked). We will use our solicitor as and when we're ready to start, if the chain ever ends though this one smells so bad I doubt it'll ever get that far.

I'm sure they are not playing along to NAEA standard practice. As stated, we're not exactly newbies at this so it's all the more bizarre that we are being treated like FTBs that do not know the pitfalls of chains or the conveyancing procedure in general.

Will keep you posted....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, I think they are being unreasonable. However, you could 'instruct' a solicitor and tell them to do nothing for now. You're going to need one, eventually, right? Unless, of course, you plan on convenyancing yourself. No reason why not..... tell them this is a holding strategy. You can always change you mind later and instruct one. Also, make sure it's your solicitor, not the EAs mate or the same as the vendors.

I believe you can put something into the contract (to buy/sell) that stipulates it has to be exchanged by date x and completed by Y. This would protect you and put the ball back in the vendors court. maybe any older EAs or solicitors on here can point you in the right direction?

If after all this the vendor still wont go SSTC, then go and find yourself another place to buy. One with no onward chain, this time....

ETA: Seems to me like they know you're a newbie to this game and are trying some sharp practice to try to lock you in, as you say yourself. Dont play their game. You hold all the cards. SSTC now or show them the finger and walk away.

+ 1.... I agree totally with General Melchett ........but I would add prices will only go down from now, so do not be afraid to keep saving a deposit and buy cheaper in a year or two.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Update:

Well, we got a written reply from the EA via email responding to our not unreasonable requests. They were not willing to mark the property "Under Offer" nor give us a piece of paper saying our offer had been accpeted or any assurances that the property would not be remarketed while we all worked out the position of the "top" of the chain. They said they were "acting in the best interests of their client".

Unfortunately for them this triggered the deployment of the single digit salute, the "Bannatyne" as we refer to it in our house. We pulled our offer. So I really don't think they were acting in the best interests of their client, instead their slavish adherence to the 'rules' has lost them a buyer in a great position prepared to take on a house that hasn't ever gone UO or STTC according to Property Bee (despite their tales of a previous broken chain) for over a year! All because of 'protocol'. They have cut off their nose to spite their face all because we won't play their 'game' and sit in a chain until the end of time....

Ah well if they don't need the commission...... Meanwhile the world looks like it's about to disappear down another economic black hole. Happy days ;)

Thanks again...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We have noticed (with the aid of the wonderful Property Bee) a load of properties "Sold STC" that have been "in stasis" for months.

This, means nothing more than the EA hasn't taken the listing down. It doesn't, necessarily mean that the sale hasn't completed

tim

Edited by tim123

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • 337 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.