I never want to sell property in England again (Part 3: The Waiting Game)

Background can be found in: IntroductionPart 1: Finding a Buyer and Part 2: Formalities of Selling

By mid-June, we hadn’t heard much more. The buyer’s mortgage lender had the property appraised, and was getting her final mortgage offer documents sent out. Searches should have been back. We all wanted to complete (close) by mid-July and all was well. Mark and I headed for a weeklong (super relaxing) trip to Mexico, and as far as we knew, were only waiting for the buyer’s mortgage letter to arrive. A few days after our return, said letter had turned up, and we thought we were ready to roll. Woohoo!

By the start of July, however, we found out the buyer’s solicitor had only just sent her list of enquiries about the property (29 of them!) to our solicitor. This was rather frustrating so late in the game, as the enquiries had to be resolved prior to exchanging contracts (the only point at which anything is put in writing), and we needed at least 2 weeks between exchange and completion. Some of the enquiries were simple yes/no questions (will the seller be leaving the phone connected, and if so what is the phone number – no, we are leaving the country mid-July, so n/a). Others were requests for official documents (ie the original lease from 1985). Several were documents our managing agent should’ve included in their #400 sales pack. Which they didn’t. And, of course, our main point of contact had just left on holiday for 2 weeks. Having just finished work, Mark and I had plenty of time on our hands. We spent the next several days ringing the managing agent, chasing documents, and every time being connected to someone new, who would then not bother to get back to us. In the end, I had to send a stroppy complaint letter saying I had explicitly requested the documents be included in the paid for pre-sales pack (attaching my original email) and that this was holding up our sale. Unsurprisingly, the last of our document requests had magically appeared within 24 hrs. It’s a shame to have to complain to get results, but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do.

By this point (12th July), all our stuff had been shipped to the US and Mark and I had already booked a 10 day jaunt around Europe. We expected – after our incessant chasing had finally gotten answers for all the buyer’s enquiries – we would be ready to exchange. The timing was later than expected, but did have the added upside that we could stay in the flat for the 2 nights we’d be back in London after our European trip. Onward travel to the US was booked for 26th July; exchanging on the 13th and completing on the 27th would be perfect.

Continue on to:

Part 4: Last Minute Stress

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