The pitfalls of buying and selling a house

Based on personal experience of selling a house I have to say that the property market is in much need of an overhaul.

Sadly, both my parents passed away in the last two years and the family are now trying to sell their property. We put it on the market just in time for lockdown but managed to get a buyer in early July. We put a sold board up as is standard practice, we even met the buyer at the house to do some measurements for a conservatory, so we thought all was well. The buyers’ surveyor took an age to do his job, initially turning up at the wrong house; not checking with the agent what the correct house was and then left! It took them another 6 weeks to re-book the survey which is totally unacceptable and typical of the current chaotic market.

On the day he turned up to do the survey, some two months after the sale was agreed the buyer pulled out stating that the probate was taking too long!! The reality is he had found a cheaper property, so we are now back to square one having to re-market the property for sale and carry out the necessary work to make it presentable.

I am sure this scenario is repeated hundreds of times across England every month. Surely there should be some protection for sellers such as a penalty in place for such behaviour as valuable time has been lost marketing their property to genuine buyers.

The system in Scotland is infinitely superior to England in that there is a bid process with buyers registering their interest and a closing date is set by which time a decision is made as to whom will buy the property. The buyer and seller agree terms and that is the basis of the contract to which both parties are committed. If one of them pulls out they are liable to pay damages which could be very significant.

Given the current circus in the English market where both parties can pull out at any point before Exchange of Contract I feel we need to move to something more like the Scottish system giving certainty to both parties.

So if you are looking to buy a 3 bed, detached bungalow on the East Coast with plenty of opportunity to extend then please get in touch. Alternatively if you are thinking of selling a house then we will be happy to give you some pointers or maybe even make an offer.

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This Post Has 3 Comments

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