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Aston Lawyer
Aston Lawyer, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10779
Experience:  Solicitor LLB (Hons) 23 years of experience in Conveyancing and Property Law
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I had an offer accepted on a flat in Worthing on 23 September

Customer Question

I had an offer accepted on a flat in Worthing on 23 September and to date my solicitor has been chasing the seller's solicitor for questions that constantly remained unanswered by the managing agents! I have been constantly chasing my solicitor and the estate agent for updates from the seller's solicitor and the managing agents and to date these remain unresolved and I don't understand what the delay is. The flat I am buying is empty and I have been staying with a friend, however I will be homeless by the end of the month. I am utterly frustrated and very upset by the amount of time this is taking to resolve in order for us to move to exchange, have you got any advice or can you help me move this forward? Thanks
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Aston Lawyer replied 4 years ago.

Hi there,

Thanks for your enquiry and am sorry to hear of the delay with your Purchase.

Sadly, the conveyancing on a Flat does always take longer than with a Freehold house, in that the Managing Agents need to produce a Sales Pack which is passed on from the Sellers Solicitor to your Solicitor.

Your Solicitor will need this Pack before being able to advise you fully on your Purchase. It will include details on the service charge/ whether there are any service charge or rent arrears (you would be responsible for these arrears if you completed without an apportionment being made or confirmation that the Seller will pay off these arrears on completion)/whether there are plans for any major expenditure for the Flat which may increase the service charge once you have moved in.

However, if the Sale was agreed in September, the Sales Pack and any subsequent enquiries your Solicitor needed to raise following receipt of the Pack should have been done well before Christmas.

The good and the bad thing is that under law, neither you or the Seller is legally committed to the other until Contracts have been exchanged. You either therefore just sit tight or you put the only pressure you can do on the Seller by saying that if this information is not provided forthwith to enable you to complete by the end of the month, that you will pull out of the transaction, or you may consider doing so, depending on how you feel.

Only by threatening this behaviour will you get the Seller to act any quicker, and if you inform the Estate Agents, they will also try and push harder as they won't want to lose the Sale as it will be a lost commission for them.

I appreciate that you may indeed not want to or be able to pull out of your Purchase for financial or other reasons, but even if it is just to call the Seller's bluff, I would suggest that you phone your Solicitor tomorrow and instruct him to send a fax or email to the Sellers Solicitors saying that if completion does not go ahead by 31st January that you will be pulling out. Also phone the Agents and tell them this.

I hope this helps. I'm afraid that unless this pressure is put on the Seller, matters are likely to drag on.

Please let me know if you require any further clarification.

Kind Regards
Expert:  Aston Lawyer replied 4 years ago.

Hi Kim,

Can I assist you further?

Kind Regards