Sunday, 23 August 2009

Something new every day

Last week we sold our house.

Not this one - not the one with the carpets.

No, our home in London. Its final hurrah! for us was our holiday at the end of July.

Now I have to be careful - I've discovered my solicitor reads my blog. But over the years I have managed to own houses in England and Scotland (very different systems for buying/selling) and rent them, and rent from people in England, and rent in Zambia. I have had quite a lot of experience of purchase and sale, of hiccups in the system.

But this sale was the most remarkable. The day of completion of sale: the buyers' solicitor informs my solicitor that he's only just discovered that there was a mortgage involved in the purchase. No paperwork completed: no sale today, thank you.

This is when I realise the true benefits of using a solicitor when buying and selling property. (Of course, I have to say this - he's reading the post...!) He does all the legal stuff to inform them that as of 14:00 they will be breaking the contract and will have to pay interest on the outstanding amount.

Meanwhile, no doubt, our buyers are running round like headless chickens, chasing the bank, the solicitor, the mortgage provider, desperate to get the money to our solicitor. Eventually it arrived - but after 14:00 on a Friday, so that counts as Monday in legal terms, resulting in an extra three days of interest.

Thankfully for us we were not financially dependent on this: the money is earmarked for the renovation of our home here (have you seen the carpets??) - which has only got as far as finalising plans with the architect. But not completing an exchanged contract was a new problem for me. Just goes to show, even when you think nothing more could happen, something new is always around the corner.


Troy said...

I would have thought the first question the buyer's solicitor would have asked is "how are you financing this purchase".
I must confess that someone not completing on the day is a new one for me although solicitors usually let it go right to the wire (sitting on the doorstep chatting with the removal men whilst waiting for confirmation to get the key).
Maybe I'm getting old but I now prefer money in the bank to having spare property.

lulu's missives said...

I bought a flat when I lived in America, again a different system, but I have yet to buy now that I'm back England.
I think that you can never have too many questions.

Hadriana's Treasures said...

Great news! Maybe the property market is picking up again. Glad it heralds new things for you.

Working Mum said...

I do know a colleague of mine who did all her own conveyancing, but knowing some of the horror stories of other colleagues there was no way I would move without using a solicitor. Our solicitor even found out that the previous owner of our house had been paying the wrong amount of ground rent for 40 years and so they had to make up the shortfall so we wouldn't have to! I would never have spotted that!

Congratulations on your sale btw and don't take any notice of my miserable post about my house; just look at my latest one on my fabulous kitchen and you can see the benefits of doing up the house yourself - you get to have exactly what you want!

Liz@Violet Posy said...

Normally you have to have proof of a mortgage offer or proof you have the money in your bank account. But my grand MIL had a similar problem, so I guess it's more common than I thought. Well done on selling your house though :)

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