/ Buying and Selling Houses

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m0unt41n on 07 Jan 2017
As a buyer I have to prove to the Estate Agent that I can afford to buy the house, whether from a mortgage offer and equity in a sale or proof of funds.

As a seller I do not even have to prove I own the house let alone whether I really want to sell it.

As a buyer I have to pay for searches and examination of whatever claims the seller is making.

As a seller I can just put “not known” against anything I can’t be bothered to answer or find out.

As a buyer I have to put down a 10% deposit on exchange which not only will I lose if I do not complete but I can be hammered for other sellers loses in the chain.

As a seller I have to repay eventually the buyers 10% and I will have to pay my buyers actual costs but whilst they could try and take action to make me to complete they are very unlikely to do so.

As a buyer it would be a disaster from which I would be stuffed. Understandable since I entered into a “binding” contract.

As a seller I can walk away without it being a disaster and two fingers to the word “binding”.

As a buyer I am currently pretty pissed off with the whole crazy system.

Thanks for reading

Rant over.

Dax H - on 07 Jan 2017
In reply to m0unt41n:

I just sold a house a few months ago and it's anything but rosy from the sellers side

> As a buyer I have to prove to the Estate Agent that I can afford to buy the house, whether from a mortgage offer and equity in a sale or proof of funds.

This is fair play, stops time wasters

> As a seller I do not even have to prove I own the house let alone whether I really want to sell it.

Land registry shows who owns it

> As a buyer I have to pay for searches and examination of whatever claims the seller is making.

I had to prove the claims I made including taking out an indemnity policy to cover a wall that was removed about 30 years ago without approval from building control.

> As a seller I can just put “not known” against anything I can’t be bothered to answer or find out.

I was unable to provide a FENCA certificate for the double glazing (lost it) so I had to track it down on the national register. Also had to pay for a full electrical inspection

> As a buyer I have to put down a 10% deposit on exchange which not only will I lose if I do not complete but I can be hammered for other sellers loses in the chain.

As far as I know my buyer didn't have to do this, I certainly didn't get it or see and reference to it

> As a seller I have to repay eventually the buyers 10% and I will have to pay my buyers actual costs but whilst they could try and take action to make me to complete they are very unlikely to do so.

See my comment above

> As a buyer it would be a disaster from which I would be stuffed. Understandable since I entered into a “binding” contract.

> As a seller I can walk away without it being a disaster and two fingers to the word “binding”.

It would have been a disaster to us too, paying a mortgage and 2 lots of council tax and 2 lots of insurance was hitting our savings hard, had the buyer dropped out and the process started again it would have come close to flattening us.

> As a buyer I am currently pretty pissed off with the whole crazy system.

Yes the entire system from both sides is crap and as a seller we got raped for fees.

> Thanks for reading

> Rant over.

Fredt on 07 Jan 2017
In reply to m0unt41n:

You don't necessarily need an estate agent. I was selling my mother's house for her, and a friend of a friend was interested.
They made us an offer and we accepted, and handed the whole thing over to our solicitors. (Don't both use the same solicitor)
Timmd on 07 Jan 2017
In reply to Fredt:

Some friends of a sis in law wanted to buy my Dad's/my old childhood home, so it was done solicitor to solicitor without an estate agent.

Coincidentally, he managed to buy his new home direct too.
hang_about - on 07 Jan 2017
In reply to m0unt41n:

You have my sympathy. We sold our house and had to provide certificates or insurance for everything. The insurance especially is a complete rip off. In the new house the wiring was dodgy. The owner was an electrician and had self-certified. When we queried it was - "you'd have to take him to court which would cost you more than fixing the wiring". Whilst a basic level of indemnity seems reasonable, I became convinced it's a complete rip-off by insurers/solicitors. Don't even get me started on the solicitors!
m0unt41n on 07 Jan 2017
In reply to Dax H:

I guess it works both ways, except the problems do seem to be loaded against the buyer who has a lot more costs before exchanging. And sellers who are just testing the market to see what their house is worth. Two months ago we had one we had agreed our offer done some of the searches and a basic survey to find they took it off the market and the Agent somehow found out that they just wanted to see what the highest price they could get and then would use that when working out a price when they were going to put it on for real next year. The Agent wont deal with them again but doesn't help us.

Don't know what the answer is but part must be requiring the seller to also put up some form of deposit on exchange. Cant be 10% since they would not be able to do a deposit on what they want to buy, but needs to be something that would hurt.


wintertree - on 07 Jan 2017
In reply to m0unt41n:

On the bright side you don't seem to be ranting about estate agents which suggests you've hit a stroke of luck.

If you want even more stress try and buy a repossession; the vendors will actively try and get someone to gazump you until literally the minute before exchange, using your offer to convince others that the property is worth buying. I can sympathise as they have a duty to recover as much money as they can for the evicted people after the creditors are paid off, but you can sink money unto a survey etc and then get totally shafted. At least we knew this going in to the process.

Good luck and take the long term view on it all.
Post edited at 20:26
Dax H - on 07 Jan 2017
In reply to wintertree:

> If you want even more stress try and buy a repossession; the vendors will actively try and get someone to gazump you until literally the minute before exchange, using your offer to convince others that the property is worth buying.

This isn't just repos, our agent carried on taking viewings and offers despite us finding a buyer.
They couldn't understand why I was not interested in accepting more money.
The fact I had agreed a price and shaken hands with the buyer didn't seem to be understood by the agent.

bouldery bits - on 07 Jan 2017
In reply to m0unt41n:

I recommend buying in Scotland
m0unt41n on 08 Jan 2017
In reply to wintertree:

It's the system I am complaining about, although cant really think of an ideal answer.

With Agents I've managed to come across both extremes but luckily our one was the good one.
Having dealt with an online one with one house we were interested in buying it was a total pain. It might save the seller a chunk of fees but it makes it harder for the buyer which is not really what you want to do unless a sellers market.

The problem I've had with Solicitors is that they, or maybe the assistants or whoever actually does things, are totally reactive. Instead of using a Completion date as a project target and then work back sorting out milestone dates and then use these to control progress they just wait for something to happen, react and then wait, and use ruddy Postman Pat for communications.

And of course house owners whose connection with reality becomes completely tenuous when it comes to what they think their house is worth and what the market is like. The Agents appear reluctant to tell them the facts of life, or insist on a sensible price. I guess they worry that the owner will then just go to another Agent who will tell them an inflated value.

I also wonder what on earth owners are thinking when in preparing for a viewing they leave the sink full of dirty dishes, bathroom with laundry scattered, stuff piled up on every flat surface. One place we saw was so crammed full of stuff that the Agent had to keep warning us beforehand to try and look through it. Still couldn't see the walls!

A sense of humour is definitely needed.
Jim C - on 08 Jan 2017
In reply to Fredt:

Always try and sell it yourself first, even if it's a sign in the house window, or word of mouth, or other cheap options.

My daughter gave her flat selling business to a EA, and it sold pretty much the day it was advertised.

Turned out near neighbour's elderly father was poorly, and they were looking for a small flat so he could live close to them, if they had just known it was coming up for sale they would have made an offer ( for more than the asking price) direct to my daughter.
Toccata on 09 Jan 2017
In reply to Jim C:

> Always try and sell it yourself first, even if it's a sign in the house window, or word of mouth, or other cheap options.
.

absolutely. Additionally if you want to by in an area and there are a few houses you'd be interested in, drop a letter through the door. You might find a willing seller happy to avoid estate agents. We bought our house this way.
pwo - on 09 Jan 2017
In reply to m0unt41n:
IMHO the whole system in this country is institutional corruption. How come when I bought (and sold) a house in Scotland the whole process only took me two weeks and cost an effing fraction of what it costs in England and Wales. I know the answer. The vested interests of politicians in their professions (check how many have legal backgrounds) coupled with lobbying interests and we end up getting well and truly stuffed.

John Stainforth - on 09 Jan 2017
In reply to pwo:

The whole process is also much more straightforward in the US than the UK, although the amount of (mostly rather superfluous legal) paperwork has increased tremendously in the last 15 years. The overall attitude is win-win for buyer and seller. The realtor (equals UK estate agent ) is much more of an honest broker than the British counterpart who is often highly biased, usually to the seller. There are really no equivalents of our appalling solicitors. In the US, the legal paperwork is managed by a so-called "title company". I realise, however, that houses in the UK tend to be far more complicated than in the US, with endless additions and modifications over many generations with all but the latest not meeting current regulations.
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