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Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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Can you tell me what the usual process is with regard to a

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Can you tell me what the usual process is with regard to a house sale and exchange and completion of contract. I am being pressurised to accept a completion date for 5th Sept but still no exchange on contract. This is a sale post-divorce of a smallholding that we have lived in for 20 years and I have argued all along that I need a reasonable time frame - E.g. Two weeks - between exchange and completion. I d not want to start clearing before we have even exchanged contracts. Is this an unreasonable position to hold?

Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this.

Have you exchanged yet please?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Once you exchange there is no backing out. Therefore if you exchange and completion is 2 weeks, both parties are bound.

But its usual to have at least a week or two between exchange and completion

But I agree, until you have exchanged contracts either party can pull out at any time

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
i had sent several emails stating my position that in order to complete by 5th Sept then I wanted to exchange contracts the week of 15th August. The buyers were silent then came back with more questions and I then puta second deadline of 24th August which was missed. I've now had an email from my solicitor who is acting on my and my ex's behalf from buyers that says nothing about X change on contract only the completion of 5th Sept. My ex agrees - as he wants to push the sale through because he knows I will make another offer - but I do not want to be pressurised.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
my question is - if I say that since we still have no exchange of contract that I am unable to agree to the 5th Sept - is that a reasonable position to hold. To expect 10 workings days between the two?

Yes it is. You need a reasonable time.

Does that clarify?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Now if I put in an offer that is higher than what the buyers are offering is my ex bound to accept given we have a financial settlement for the house to be sold? So the question is (I) is that legal to do so late in the proceedings with another buyer and (ii) does he have any grounds to refuse a higher offer?

1) Yes that is fine

2) Its up to the seller whether or not they accept it. You cant make them

Does that clarify?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I need a little more clarity on the second. He has refused three previous offers I have made over the last two years - all of which have been higher than the current one. So I guarantee that he will refuse any offer from me on the grounds that I am 'not serious'. The offer I would make would be higher than the current one he has accepted so if we are legally bound to sell the house due to a court order and split the proceeds then on what basis could he refuse my offer?

If you are asking a specific family law question, sadly I can't help you with that. I answered your question based on the fact I can assist with conveyancing, ie was it an unreasonable position to hold.

If you need a family law answer for that aspect I will have to opt out and let a colleague assist.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
one more question the regarding conveyancing. If I as a joint owner offer to buy him out then do we need to pay estate agent fees? The house has been on the market with an estate agent for over 2 years.

You would need to check the contract to see what it says. If it is silent on this situation then no, you do not have to pay.

If you do, you certainly have an argument to get the fees lowered because of the length of time and lack of interest

Does that clarify?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Please clarify: which contract? The one with the estate agent? And secondly, what do you mean by 'silent on this situation'?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Also how would you go about getting the fees lowered? They charge 1.35% so is there any specific process that can be referred to to have this lowered because of the time taken?

Yes contract with the estate agent. If the contact with the estate agent is silent on this situation then you do not have to pay fees.

As for lowering fees its just a matter of argument. You could argue they have failed to act with all reasonable skill and care as per S.13 Sale and Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982 by taking so long

Does that clarify?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Right we are almost there! So 'silent on this situation' means if the contract says nothing about a joint owner buying out the other owner then I can assume no charges will be made?
And finally to answer my question regarding what I can do if he refuses a higher offer from me you say that another family lawyer colleague can answer this. Does that mean another payment?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Are you still there?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Seems you have gone. Rather abrupt if so!

Yes I am just considering my response.

Correct in terms of the contract.

You can post a new question regarding the family law one. I cant say whether its another payment as I only see the questions sadly, not the billing area.

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