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LondonlawyerJ
LondonlawyerJ, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 814
Experience:  Solicitor with over 15 years experience.
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When we purchased our home a re-possession from the HSBC bank

Resolved Question:

When we purchased our home a re-possession from the HSBC bank some six years ago, our offer was initally accepted at £220,000 which was confirmed in writing. Shortly after we were informed that another buyer had put in a better offer and it would have to proceed under sealed bids. The bank wanted re- assurance that we were cash buyers so we could proceed with a sale, they were very clear that the offer could only be made if we were in a position to proceed from both parties. Our subsequent off was accepted at £232,000 (12K more than our first offer). Later, we discovered that the person we thought we were bidding against had withdrawn their offer as the sale of their home had fallen through so they were un-able to put an offer on the table. So as it turned out we were just bidding against ourselves, we did not know until after it was too late to do anything about it. I can not help but feel that we were mis-lead into our second offer and we should have been informed on the morning of the bid that our offer was the only one on the table, it would have changed our decision on our second bid. It still grates at me and I wonder not only if this is ethical but is it really legal?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  LondonlawyerJ replied 2 years ago.
LondonlawyerJ :

Hello, I am a solicitor with 20 years experience. I will try to help you with this.

LondonlawyerJ :

Have you discussed this with the solicitors who acted or yo in the sale at the time?

Customer:

No, we did not know what had happened until after the sale was complete.

LondonlawyerJ :

OK 1st there may be a time limit within which to bring any action of 6 years from the date of the wrong doing so time is important here. Also I think, even though it is quite a while ago it might be a good idea to start with your purchasing solicitor to see what he/she thinks as they may well have easy access to all the documents from the time and whether you have a claim or not may depend on the precise wording in correspondence. invitations to tender etc and whether there is a mistake or misrepresentation contained within those documents. You may well have a claim but you will need to start by considering the documents from the time.

Customer:

We purchased the house in February 2009, I could contact my purchasing solicitors, however, I have copies of most communication at the time, I doubt that they would have known that the other party had withdrawn from the bid. The information was innocently leaked to me by the estate agents as, the lady at the estate agent said that she was glad that we had finally got the house but it was a shame the way it had happened she then proceeded to tell me what had happened with the third party, we were astonished and we made a few general enquiries with other estate agents but no one seemed able to confirm the ethical practice in our circumstances, so in ignorance we did not take it any further. I am not sure whether I still have a copy of the letter to re-submit our offer. I feel that the mis-representation came with the fact that we were not informed that we were bidding against ourselves.

LondonlawyerJ :

You need to read the documents carefully. Is the situation that your offer was rejected and he property remarketed through a sealed bids process? If so you have no claim even though you were the only bidder.

Customer:

We have a letter confirming first offer of £220,000 I can not put my hand to a communication from the estate agents rejecting our first offer, we did a 28 day exchange on the property and everything happened very quickly. I understand where you are coming from and I realise I need to ascertain a few relevant documented facts, however, I still feel that we were mis-lead as we would not have put in the second offer had we known that we were bidding only against ourselves.

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