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 Thomas Your Own Question
Thomas, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 7676
Experience:  UK solicitor holding an England and Wales practising Certificate.
Type Your Property Law Question Here...
Thomas is online now

when buying a property you make an offer threw estate agent,

Customer Question

when buying a property you make an offer threw estate agent, next day excepted buy the owner of the property.through the agent.

My sister pays her solicitors' money to do the searches,next day the agent telephones her to say the owner has been made a better offer. Is this legal is their anything my sister can do after excepted.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  Thomas replied 4 years ago.


Thank you for your question and patience, I’m Tom and I’ll try to help you.

It’s a shame but there is not going to be anything that she can do about this.

In house sales/purchases in the UK the sale is “subject to contract” right up until the moment your solicitor and the seller’s solicitors exchange contracts for the sale and this only happens after searches have been obtained and the sellers have answered detailed pre-contract enquiries on the property.

Up until contracts are exchange either party is free to walk away from the sale without the other party being able to sue them. If your sister had suddenly decided to withdraw then she could have done so without fear of being sued by the Seller.

In the circumstances the only thing that your sister can do is 1) consider whether to put a higher offer in for the property or 2) get her solicitor to get in touch with the Seller’s Solicitors and get them to inform the new buyer’s solicitors that you will shortly obtain the searches and will offer to sell them to the buyer so that you don’t lose too much money.

It’s a very, very frequent complaint of parties in a property sale transaction here in the UK, but there is nothing to be done about it unfortunately.

My goal is to provide you with a good service. If you feel you have received anything less, please reply back as I am happy to address follow-up issues specifically relating to your question.

Kind regards,