Jump to content
House Price Crash Forum
Ursa Minor

Legal Onus On Offers

Recommended Posts

Hi

A friend and colleague is house hunting right now (I know, I know - but he is determined). Anyway, he has made an offer on a house and apparently the estate agent was quite aggressive with him - they told him he must not see any other houses or make any other offers, that it was illegal. Now I thought that offers were not legally binding in any way until exchange of contracts but what do I know?

Any thoughts?

Ursa Minor

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh sorry, London.

If they really said that then they are lying scumbags - your friend is perfectly entitled to continue viewing other houses and putting in offers, and the person selling him the house is entitled to show other people around and accept other offers (unless either party has signed an exclusivity contract).

This can go on right up to the point of exchange. It's a crazy system, and it sucks, but that's how it is.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm sure trading standards would like to here about that one

Well I thought it sounded wrong and I told him to check with his solicitor, because I'd never heard of that before.

UM

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi

A friend and colleague is house hunting right now (I know, I know - but he is determined). Anyway, he has made an offer on a house and apparently the estate agent was quite aggressive with him - they told him he must not see any other houses or make any other offers, that it was illegal. Now I thought that offers were not legally binding in any way until exchange of contracts but what do I know?

Any thoughts?

Ursa Minor

Yes, whoever the EA's are, they're talking rubbish!!!!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hi

A friend and colleague is house hunting right now (I know, I know - but he is determined). Anyway, he has made an offer on a house and apparently the estate agent was quite aggressive with him - they told him he must not see any other houses or make any other offers, that it was illegal. Now I thought that offers were not legally binding in any way until exchange of contracts but what do I know?

Any thoughts?

Ursa Minor

Given that he is having to ask for this advice, he certainly should not be placing offers on property. He is by any stretch of the imagination wet behind the ears, the agents for sure have identified that to even consider pushing this sales lie to him.

An agent can take a deposit on an offer, something like 100 quid, even then you are within your rights to withdraw any time you please and they have to by law return that deposit.

Exchange of Contracts is the only commitment, even then it has been known for people to pull out and get away scott free.

Tell him to take a friend, parent in the know, his is most likely paying FAP for this property and should not be.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How's business Mildura? Have you had any purchasers pull out due to fear of interest rate rises?

Not so far, but have to admit it is a little quieter than last month. Sales still Ok, but not as busy as March/April.

Will keep you posted....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

He should complain about the agent, who must have known the statement was nonsense.

I agree with the comments above suggesting that it sounds like the agent is desperate to close the deal, and maybe his offer was too high.

Edited by contrarian

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Baffled_by_it_all

Ha, ha - that's hilarious.

I'd very gravely say that you (sorry, your mate) would never consider putting an offer in on another property. Then just carry on looking. Maybe you could even go back with a lower offer later. What are they going to do?

After all, a lie to a liar is no lie at all.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi

A friend and colleague is house hunting right now (I know, I know - but he is determined). Anyway, he has made an offer on a house and apparently the estate agent was quite aggressive with him - they told him he must not see any other houses or make any other offers, that it was illegal. Now I thought that offers were not legally binding in any way until exchange of contracts but what do I know?

Any thoughts?

Ursa Minor

The EA is talking through his/her backside - so many people state things are illegal and have no idea about the law

There is nothing to stop them looking at any other property at all - period

Offers on properties are not binding in England, Scotland may be different however would agree with EA he shouldn't have more than one offer in on a property at any one time (unless he can afford to buy more than one) (buying a house isn't e-bay) - but it is not illegal - the vendor could instigate Civil Action for any loss or inconvenience if he pulled out (everyone has the right to do that) but it is doubtful whether such action would succeed as the costs could outweight the benefits etc etc. Furthermore no one ever does it

CS

Edited by Cornwall Sceptic

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi

A friend and colleague is house hunting right now (I know, I know - but he is determined). Anyway, he has made an offer on a house and apparently the estate agent was quite aggressive with him - they told him he must not see any other houses or make any other offers, that it was illegal. Now I thought that offers were not legally binding in any way until exchange of contracts but what do I know?

Any thoughts?

Ursa Minor

Absolute nonsense but most estate agents besides being ignorant tossers think they are property lawyers. Funny that most left school without qualifications. Strictly the offer is probably "an invitation to treat" i.e an opening to discussions.

"Illegal" suggests a criminal act, which is doubly nonsense.

Edited by Scooter

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Given that he is having to ask for this advice, he certainly should not be placing offers on property. He is by any stretch of the imagination wet behind the ears, the agents for sure have identified that to even consider pushing this sales lie to him.

An agent can take a deposit on an offer, something like 100 quid, even then you are within your rights to withdraw any time you please and they have to by law return that deposit.

Exchange of Contracts is the only commitment, even then it has been known for people to pull out and get away scott free.

Tell him to take a friend, parent in the know, his is most likely paying FAP for this property and should not be.

I probably shouldn't suggest this, but I wondered whether the agent thought they could BS a bit because he is foreign.

His offer is over the top - I pointed him gently in the direction of nethouseprices and he nearly had an apoplexy! The most that street has achieved to date (in Jan 06) is about 75K less than he has offered and he offered less than the asking price. I'm gently directing him to other websites which might help his knowledge of the property market in this country - I'm taking my time, because I don't want him to feel I'm trying to unduly influence him, any good suggestions gratefully received, especially in the area of the law and conveyancing.

UM

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The EA is talking through his/her backside - so many people state things are illegal and have no idea about the law

There is nothing to stop them looking at any other property at all - period

Offers on properties are not binding in England, Scotland may be different however would agree with EA he shouldn't have more than one offer in on a property at any one time (unless he can afford to buy more than one) (buying a house isn't e-bay) - but it is not illegal - the vendor could instigate Civil Action for any loss or inconvenience if he pulled out (everyone has the right to do that) but it is doubtful whether such action would succeed as the costs could outweight the benefits etc etc. Furthermore no one ever does it

CS

Offers are not binding in Scotland. Many think the Scottish system is superior. It most certainly is not. Offers are only binding once both parties have signed what is termed the missives (contract). This can be a number of weeks after the offer has been given and accepted in writing.

Give me the English system any day.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Alba -- has the situation changed in Scotland in the last few years?

frugalista

Hi

A friend and colleague is house hunting right now (I know, I know - but he is determined). Anyway, he has made an offer on a house and apparently the estate agent was quite aggressive with him - they told him he must not see any other houses or make any other offers, that it was illegal. Now I thought that offers were not legally binding in any way until exchange of contracts but what do I know?

Any thoughts?

Ursa Minor

Obviously it would not be illegal for your friend to look at other places and indeed make other offers. Has the estate agent made him sign something to that effect?

Normally, until contracts are exchanged, the sellers can also pull out for any reason.

frugalista

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Offers are not binding in Scotland. Many think the Scottish system is superior. It most certainly is not. Offers are only binding once both parties have signed what is termed the missives (contract). This can be a number of weeks after the offer has been given and accepted in writing.

Give me the English system any day.

Thanks Alba

I know quite a bit about English law but am not au fait with Scottish law

CS

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Obviously it would not be illegal for your friend to look at other places and indeed make other offers. Has the estate agent made him sign something to that effect?

Normally, until contracts are exchanged, the sellers can also pull out for any reason.

frugalista

No he hasn't signed anything (thank goodness) but the agent put the fear of God into him! I was mad about it - he's a nice guy trying to make a life for himself and his family and some sod is trying to take him for a ride. And he is an intelligent man, just not knowledgable about how the property market works - he can't be unusual. On the basis of what he saw on nethouseprices, he is now considering withdrawing his offer, and looking around again. I think he might avoid using that agent now.

I appreciate all the replies - I didn't think it was right when he told me but since I don't work in law or property I couldn't be sure. Apparently the EA told him it was to protect the seller since they take the house off the market. I said I knew that vendors can continue to show the house to other prospective buyers hence the phenomenen of gazumping, so it would be pretty unfair to impose a restriction on buyers, especially when the offer hasn't even been accepted yet.

UM

[Edits - really bad typing!]

Edited by Ursa Minor

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not only is it wrong of the EA, but it is a little sad that any buyer would believe them. If an EA said that to me I would call his bluff, and probably get very angry about it.

But should a buyer be looking for a house without knowing basic information like this? Unfortunately, I think your friend may have come accross a gullible to the EA - of which many buyers probably do when there's still the euphoria about buying property!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not only is it wrong of the EA, but it is a little sad that any buyer would believe them. If an EA said that to me I would call his bluff, and probably get very angry about it.

But should a buyer be looking for a house without knowing basic information like this? Unfortunately, I think your friend may have come accross a gullible to the EA - of which many buyers probably do when there's still the euphoria about buying property!

I think it's true to say that he knows very little about the property market but how many people really do? A straw poll of my friends and co-workers (not a good sample I admit) showed that lots of people get into property without knowing anything about how the system works.

I think he was under the impression that EAs were professionals by which I mean the traditional definition where there is extensive training, formal qualifications and a professional body. So when the EA told him this stuff, he took it as gospel.

UM

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.

  • 301 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.