I have had an offer accepted on a house that I really want to buy. However, does this mean that it is mine subject to contracts being exchanged, or could another buyer still beat me to it?
Either party can withdraw from a transaction up to the point of formal exchange of contracts. That exchange usually takes place once the buyer is satisfied with the results of searches and survey and that mortgage arrangements are in place.
Proceeding without any of these issues being satisfied represents a substantial risk. The downside to this is that either party can withdraw from the date an offer is made right up to contracts exchange. A buyer is able to withdraw should the result of his enquiries or survey be unsatisfactory or he fails to secure satisfactory mortgage finance, whereas the seller can also withdraw if he receives a higher offer.
This will very often be a question of morals and integrity on the part of the seller. However, in the event of a sale by a Personal Representative, Mortgagee in Possession or Trustees acting on behalf of third party beneficiaries, the seller has an obligation to secure the best possible price and a Buyer’s offer will always be at risk until contracts are exchanged.
• Emyr Pierce is Managing Partner of Emyr Pierce Solicitors in Rhiwbina, Cardiff, Western Mail Conveyancer of the Year, specialising in Domestic and Commercial Property. Contact www.emyrpierce.co.uk or email firstname.lastname@example.org