How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Alex J. Your Own Question

Alex J.
Alex J., Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 3493
Experience:  Solicitors 2 years plus PQE
13113900
Type Your Law Question Here...
Alex J. is online now

I was due to exchange on a property this Friday only to be

Customer Question

I was due to exchange on a property this Friday only to be informed last Thursday by our vendors solicitor via my solicitor that they were exchanging with someone else and it was happening as they were speaking. As they were previous potential buyers on the property, again I was informed that there contracts were in place so they could proceed immediately.

Effectively it looks like a contract race that I had no knowledge of. Although I have had conflicting stories from estate agents, solicitors that the previous contracts had been withdrawn while they were proceeding with ours.

In short

a) Is it legal what they have done?
b) Can the vendors have 2 contracts open at once without all parties knowledge?
c) is it possible they could just re-open the other buyers contract and proceed with them with just a call of notification to my solicitor this is happening, and withdraw our contract with an immediate effect therefore only having 1 live contract?
d) are we entitled to make a complaint and ask for a reimbursement of fees?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Alex J. replied 2 years ago.
Hi

Thank you for your question and welcome.

My name is AJ and I will assist you.

It sounds like what has happened is you have been gazumped which is legal and above board. There is no obligation on them to sell until contracts are exchanged.

What maybe illegal is that if there was genuinely a contract race then the solicitor should have given you notice. If you were not given notice then you could make a complaint against the solicitor to the Legal Ombudsman who have the power to pay compensation. www.legalombudsman.org.uk/‎


The fact that they had issued more than one contract means it could be considered a contract race. The problem you have is proving whether they allowed you to incur fees knowing they were not going to carry on with you. Presumably they are saying that the other buyer approached them and they cut off negotiations with you before continuing negotiations with the other buyer. The only way to know that would be to see the file of solicitor and therefore if you want to find out you may have to make a complaint.

I would start by actually writing to the solicitor and saying you believe this is a contract race and they have not notified you and ask them to repay your costs.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Kind regards

AJ

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • Thank you so much for your help. Your answers were really useful and came back so quickly. Great! Maggie
< Previous | Next >
  • Thank you so much for your help. Your answers were really useful and came back so quickly. Great! Maggie
  • A quick response, a succinct and helpful answer in simple English. I believe I can now confront the counter party with confidence -- worth the 30 bucks! Rick
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C.
  • This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!! Alex
  • Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult. GP
  • I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion. Justin
  • Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around. Esther
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Jo C.

    Jo C.

    Barrister

    Satisfied Customers:

    30316
    Over 5 years in practice
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/EM/emus/2015-7-7_192327_bigstockportraitofconfidentfemale.64x64.jpg Jo C.'s Avatar

    Jo C.

    Barrister

    Satisfied Customers:

    30316
    Over 5 years in practice
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/BE/benjones/2015-12-1_0437_ennew.64x64.jpg Ben Jones's Avatar

    Ben Jones

    UK Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    11553
    Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/BU/Buachaill/2012-5-25_211156_barrister5.64x64.jpg Buachaill's Avatar

    Buachaill

    Barrister

    Satisfied Customers:

    1754
    Barrister 17 years experience
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/JO/jojobi/2013-3-19_0265_maxlowryphoto.64x64.jpg Max Lowry's Avatar

    Max Lowry

    Advocate

    Satisfied Customers:

    894
    LLB, 10 years post qualification experience
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/UK/UKLawyer/2012-4-12_9849_F2.64x64.jpg UK_Lawyer's Avatar

    UK_Lawyer

    Solicitor

    Satisfied Customers:

    750
    I am a qualified solicitor and an expert in UK law.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/KA/Kasare/kasare.64x64.jpg Kasare's Avatar

    Kasare

    Solicitor

    Satisfied Customers:

    402
    Solicitor, 10 yrs plus experience in civil litigation, employment and family law
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/OS/osh/2015-7-7_19268_gettyimagesb.64x64.jpg Joshua's Avatar

    Joshua

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    8199
    LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice