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Hi all first post but long time lurker on this forum for years 

so we finally decided to make the move out of London, bite the Bullet and buy a house in the countryside mostly for our three kids sake . We exchanged before the virus crisis had taken hold here and our completion was delayed due to lockdown. Clearly  A LOT has changed since we exchanged and having cold feet on the purchase. Is there any advice? I’m guess no way to get out of the purchase without loosing deposit which is a very saved up for 50k savings. Very concerned . Would appreciate advice thank you in advance 

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Are you selling a London place? In a chain?

When you exchanged it would have stated a completion date. Was this just extended? Any other clauses introduced?

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Thank you for your reply. No we are at the bottom of the chain and have been staying With family while we saved up our deposit: Yes completion date was extended but left open ended due to not knowing how long lockdown would last. We have not settled as of yet on a new completion date. Since we exchanged everything in the world has changed including my partners job which looks in jeopardy 

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An open ended completion date isn't great. What if your mortgage offer expires (if you need a mortgage)?

Personally, I would get a back stop date completition date for 7 days time. If they can't agree, I would want the exchange to be voided. If it is voided, you could always still exchange and complete again if you wanted that.

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56 minutes ago, Misshertforshire said:

I’m guess no way to get out of the purchase without loosing deposit which is a very saved up for 50k savings.

I think you should seek advice from your solicitor on this.

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11 minutes ago, “Nasty Piece of work” said:

Solicitor, not internet.

Yes aware that this is the most sensible option but also know that a lot of people on this site have a lot of combined knowledge and wanted to see if anyone had any other bright ideas! 

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8 hours ago, Will! said:

I think you should seek advice from your solicitor on this.

+1

I'm not aware of how you can back out from a purchase once you've exchanged without losing your deposit - but then I'm just a random person on the internet.  Speak to the professionals on this one.

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11 hours ago, Misshertforshire said:

Hi all first post but long time lurker on this forum for years 

so we finally decided to make the move out of London, bite the Bullet and buy a house in the countryside mostly for our three kids sake . We exchanged before the virus crisis had taken hold here and our completion was delayed due to lockdown. Clearly  A LOT has changed since we exchanged and having cold feet on the purchase. Is there any advice? I’m guess no way to get out of the purchase without loosing deposit which is a very saved up for 50k savings. Very concerned . Would appreciate advice thank you in advance 

https://www.rlb-law.com/briefings/property-litigation/covid-19-force-majeure/

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12 hours ago, Misshertforshire said:

Hi all first post but long time lurker on this forum for years 

so we finally decided to make the move out of London, bite the Bullet and buy a house in the countryside mostly for our three kids sake . We exchanged before the virus crisis had taken hold here and our completion was delayed due to lockdown. Clearly  A LOT has changed since we exchanged and having cold feet on the purchase. Is there any advice? I’m guess no way to get out of the purchase without loosing deposit which is a very saved up for 50k savings. Very concerned . Would appreciate advice thank you in advance 

I live in Hertfordshire and love the place - firstly I would say remember why you chose this strategy 

Go back to the fundementals its good for your kids right ? Then fight for it don’t get cold feet because of a temporary event - if it was a good decision before it’s a good decision now 

Totally concur re advice from professionals but your in a contract now - I know my view is when selling if I have your deposit happy days - if the buyer backs out  tidy little bonus - there is no sentiment in these situations 

You and your family aren’t getting any younger and you have sacrificed a lot to save that money - a young family needs it’s own space I would be fighting to seal the deal not try to get out of it - you never know when you will be able to pull all the  elements  together again 

If your partner loses their job will you will be able to get a mortgage ?

You might also complete at a lower price if everyone agrees in the chain 

edit: good info re force majeure from @thirdwave my worry would be it could be a Pyrrhic victory - it won’t be without legal wrangling and would require funds that you don’t have 

 

Edited by GregBowman
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1 hour ago, GregBowman said:

 

Totally concur re advice from professionals but your in a contract now - I know my view is when selling if I have your deposit happy days - if the buyer backs out  tidy little bonus - there is no sentiment in these situations 

 

That's kinda harsh in the circumstances, there are people seriously risking their lives to save others in this national emergency, but property transactions should be ruthlessly enforced?

I don't know, I just feel you'd expect a bit more give and take socially and economically currently, that's all.

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2 hours ago, Si1 said:

That's kinda harsh in the circumstances, there are people seriously risking their lives to save others in this national emergency, but property transactions should be ruthlessly enforced?

I don't know, I just feel you'd expect a bit more give and take socially and economically currently, that's all.

Didn’t mean it like that - just that with lawyers involved people will dig in and you could be worse off 

House transactions seem to be notoriously harsh anyway compared to the other deals I have done and generally for the same or more money 

My view though is try to see it through otherwise you could be with mum and dad for years with 3 kids - they are buying a family home  which will be so good for them and the kids 

I would expect as I said some movement in the whole chain on price 

edit : I don’t quite see the connection between people risking their lives and someone enforcing a legal contract - If I was the vendor I would hold them to the deal but be a little flexible on the price 

In the end not to enforce contracts through sentiment would seem to make matters worse ie apply that to employment law - there will be many redundancies after the furlough scheme ends shall we let employers be a little Laize faire with their legal obligations because they are in different circumstances 

 

Edited by GregBowman
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2 hours ago, GregBowman said:

 

edit : I don’t quite see the connection between people risking their lives and someone enforcing a legal contract - If I was the vendor I would hold them to the deal but be a little flexible on the price 

 

I was just illustrating the point about general exceptional circumstances, that's all

I suspect that ruthless housing transactions may be the exception to this as you say.. shame, but not your doing obviously.

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6 hours ago, GregBowman said:

I live in Hertfordshire and love the place - firstly I would say remember why you chose this strategy 

I lived in Hitchin for a few years, and it was probably better than OK. But as far as I am concerned it is not nearly far enough away from London. Mind you South Cambs is about as far away from London as the furthest Herts areas and there are places where it's hard to imagine you are only 45 miles from London it is so rural, the villages between Royston and Saffron Walden for example.

Once I am done moving for the last time in my life it will take me hours on empty roads before I hit London ever again ? 

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2 hours ago, Si1 said:

I was just illustrating the point about general exceptional circumstances, that's all

I suspect that ruthless housing transactions may be the exception to this as you say.. shame, but not your doing obviously.

They are but many me included think it’s just s*** going on - if I was going bankrupt in the middle of a boom it would be my own little weather system 

Edited by GregBowman
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2 hours ago, crumblingcon said:

I lived in Hitchin for a few years, and it was probably better than OK. But as far as I am concerned it is not nearly far enough away from London. Mind you South Cambs is about as far away from London as the furthest Herts areas and there are places where it's hard to imagine you are only 45 miles from London it is so rural, the villages between Royston and Saffron Walden for example.

Once I am done moving for the last time in my life it will take me hours on empty roads before I hit London ever again ? 

South Herts suits next move to the sea perhaps - sort of done with London or thinking about going back. I like grease under my finger nails not mud ? so as in all things the beauty is we like different things 

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Let's be honest nobody should ever enter into a purchase contract with and open end.

its legally a can of worms, what if it drags on months...years even

"left open ended due to not knowing how long lockdown would last" is borderline negligent imho

Any decent legal professional would put a backstop in there so check again (usually 3 months max)

As others have said seek legal advice and then if it is truly open get your solicitor to give them a reasonable time to complete and get it set so that it ends everything once it expires.  Now some folk are back at work I would say 30 days is sufficient.

If they refuse and it is truly open ended.

  • Either its both ways then you do not have to complete either and can just wait for everything else to collapse in the chain (long game).  It may well fall to bits before it gets too far.
  • or it is not both ways and then you have to say is the contract unfair as how come you have to complete and they have it open ended.

Keep a record of correspondence as if you have been legally advised to enter into a non time limited open ended contract (and not pressured your solicitor) I would consider that incompetent advice.

 

Edited by Fromage Frais
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Basic answer is you don't have a legal leg to stand on and will have to complete otherwise you will lose your deposit. 

You should get your mortgage pulled if one of you has lost your income. Then you will also lose your deposit. 

You would also get sued for the 20% house price drop ( If there is one) if you fail to complete. Also interest. 

So you have to complete. 

You might get very lucky if someone else in the chain couldn't complete as well, but even then you would lose your deposit. 

Only real option is to complete. And then sell again if necessary. 

Don't waste time wondering if you can  get out of it; you can't generally. If your solicitor says there's no way out, then you must complete.  

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  • 415 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%



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