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House sale…. Buyer missed closing date

  • 08-11-2022 1:31am
    Registered Users Posts: 7

    Any experience please, selling house to a cash buyer from Uk but living in Ireland. Contracts signed by both parties. Close date has come & gone but funds have not come through to our solicitor. we are a week over now! The buyer claims their solicitor has the funds. (communication is from EA) The buyers solicitor says they do not have funds as yet (communication is from our solicitor) their solicitor has been awful to deal with, hostile & unbelievably rude to our solicitor at deposit stage & during contracts but I doubt they would lie about this. It makes communication very unstable.

    we are now out great expense for removal companies cancelled on the day twice, days off work etc. no clause in our contract for late closing penalties.

    our solicitor has advised the ONLY option now is to issue a 28 day close notice forcing them to close but is reluctant to do so as could annoy buyer. Are we that powerless?

    Our issue is we can’t wait 28 days we are due to sign on our new house next week & if we now have to wait 28 days we might lose the house.

    also our solicitor says that they can still pull out & get deposit back even though they have signed contracts too! Hoping I’ve misunderstood this.

    so stressed 😥



  • Registered Users Posts: 14,001 ✭✭✭✭Dav010

    Typically if the buyer pulls out after contracts are signed, the deposit is forfeit, unless your solicitor allowed a clause in the contract entitling the buyer their money back. There are sometimes clauses allowing the buyer to pull out if they are unable to draw down mortgage, but as a cash buyer, that should not be an issue.

    You need to talk to your solicitor, ask why they would be entitled to deposit back after signing contract, and I wouldn’t give a **** about upsetting the buyer or their solicitor, they agreed to complete on a day and haven’t, they obviously don’t mind upsetting you.

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,817 ✭✭✭✭the_amazing_raisin

    To echo what Dav010 said, any deposit that has already been paid is typically forfeit if the buyer pulls out now. There might be an exceptional circumstances clause, but I think failure to pay the funds doesn't really count

    I don't know what level of communication you have with the buyer, but I think you need to make it clear to them that your hands are tied and they need to figure out what the issue is

    It's quite possible their solicitor has messed up, having a good solicitor is key I've found. A bad one will completely wreck the process

    If your buyer is serious about purchasing the house then they should be ringing the solicitor every day to figure out the problem. So if they're dragging their feet then it might be on them, hard to know at this point

    In any case, they're the ones failing to deliver. It's important to be constructive and polite in your communications, but equally you should be quite clear that if the funds don't come through soon then you'll have to issue the closure notice

    I know that leaves you in the lurch with the current purchase, not really sure what you can do other than play for time or look at increasing the size of your mortgage to cover the shortfall?

    "The internet never fails to misremember" - Sebastian Ruiz, aka Frost

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,444 ✭✭✭Former Former Former

    Have they signed contracts or have you exchanged contracts?

    If the contracts have been exchanged, then they're committed to the purchase. Forfeit of the deposit is only step 1 and you can take legal action to force them to complete. Whether you've the stomach for that is another question and it ain't happening in the next 28 days.

    If contracts have only been signed but not exchanged, then they can walk away with no penalty, but you wouldn't be transferring funds if that was the case.

    Most likely culprit here is the buyer's solicitor putting this at the bottom of his to do list.

    My (non legal) advice is sign your contract for purchase and tell your solicitor not to exchange until you close on your sale.

  • Posts: 3,656 ✭✭✭ [Deleted User]

    Hi OP

    I am in slightly similar situation . I've sold my house and contracts are signed a few weeks ago. No closing date was given then despite asking my Solicitor several times to secure one. The buyers are drawing down a mortgage. In this case MY Solicitor is the awful one, really rude, almost had me in tears on the day I signed contracts, saying there was no guarantee of closing date, no guarantee of sale NOT falling through as buyers might get sick, lose a job etc. I would not get deposit as she put in a clause allowing buyer to pull out if unable to draw down mortgage.

    I have found the EA far more proactive. My solicitor was on holidays all last week so that was another week gone. I am moving this weekend as I have to, I am paying rent in another short term let on the other side of the country where I am moving to...... and need to be there. I am also Sale Agreed on another property in that county.

    I am just letting this go over my head now as otherwise I will have a heart attack with stress. I have 2 cats moving with me and I am getting a family member this weekend to help me move, rent a removals van (I don't have much stuff).

    Its harder when you have kids and jobs, in my case I work for myself and am single. The only thing in my case is that a closing date was never given but its common to close 2-3 weeks after contracts signed and with ECB interest rates increasing on 14 Nov, I am hoping that will speed up drawdown.

  • Registered Users Posts: 7 tiredAF

    Thanks good advice, I think my solicitor feels we may spook them off & knows we dont want to start the process again. No clause that I am aware of

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  • Registered Users Posts: 7 tiredAF

    Thank you, appreciate the input. No communication with the buyer, just through the EA who is now out sick this week. My gut says the buyer has messed up & is just very self-absorbed, we have had a number of issues at the contract stage & deposit. Delays from pure silliness. They are dragging their feet I think as they are having builders come in for work and I think that has been delayed so, in turn, they are delaying but who knows so stressful. its just so unfair they can do so and not even communicate.

  • Registered Users Posts: 7 tiredAF

    Oh good question, naive of me but what qualifies as exchanging? Buyer signed over a month ago & we signed 3 weeks ago.

    what do you mean it ain't happening in 28 days? solicitor's advice last Friday was to give them until Wednesday 9th and we then have no choice but to formally issue a completion for 28 days. As of today, nothing has through & no communication from anyone.

  • Registered Users Posts: 7 tiredAF

    So sorry your solicitor is so awful, when all over name shame & complain, so many people end up with arrogant solicitors like this as they don't know. It's a very tough situation isn't it.

    I'm already in a short-term rental as needed to get kids in new area!I hope you get sorted soon, its really awful just being at the mercy of someone else.

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,817 ✭✭✭✭the_amazing_raisin

    Given the buyer is a cash buyer, my guess is they feel empowered to dictate the process, since they know they have some more buying power

    They probably have their finds tied up in something else, like their current house and are having trouble unlocking those funds to send to their solicitor

    I don't really have any solution for you, but it's worth bearing in mind that they probably don't want this sale falling through either

    So it's definitely worth having a chat with the solicitor and EA to see if there's some way you can make it clear that there's an expiry date on the sale without actually going through the legal close notice yet

    I think you'll also need to look at some way to either buy time with your current house purchase, or make the sale proceed without depending on selling your current house

    "The internet never fails to misremember" - Sebastian Ruiz, aka Frost

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,444 ✭✭✭Former Former Former

    Exchange means their solicitor has a copy of the contract with your signature, and your solicitor has a copy with their signature. You need to confirm with your own solicitor ASAP that this has occurred, otherwise they can indeed walk away. Do that today.

    Closing dates on contracts aren't really binding unfortunately. Slippage is common, you just need to find out why.

    I can imagine the stress of it for you.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 7 tiredAF

    Thank you, I think you are 100% right, they feel it's up to them. Their funds are sitting in a UK investment account but were released some months ago we were advised. Hoping I get some information tomorrow from emails I sent today. Thank You

  • Registered Users Posts: 7 tiredAF

    Ah I see, in that case yes exchange happened, silly I don't know the details of this. I queried today with my solicitor on why the buyer is entitled to anything & shes asked we hold off until tomorrow she feels from a brief conversation with buyer's solicitors secretary the issue might be resolved. Fingers crossed!!

    Thank you

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,297 ✭✭✭walterking

    Some people want to exert "power" over a seller.

    I had similar experience selling a property a few years ago. The buyer promised a "quick sale" and then started to bring up minor issues every week right down to asking for water to be lab tested!

    I had the last laugh though as he had not signed contracts and a week before what was to be the final closing with contracts signed at the same time a previous interested party made an enquiry and offered €500 more. (I suspect the EA told her to do so as the EA would have to bring the offer to me) and I dumped the original buyer on the spot. It was a holiday home, so was not as urgent as the OP.

    But boy, whilst it took another 4 weeks to close to the new buyer, it was so satisfying reading the threats the original buyer was making. He was mightily pissed off.

    Personally I don't think 28 day notices work, but putting the property back on Daft/MyHome can be the "encouragement" someone needs

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,841 ✭✭✭Jet Black

    If I was the buyer in this case I would be extremely worried that I transferred the money to the wrong account, that's if everyone is being truthful about the situation. Can you ask the EA to contact the buyer and say that their solicitor hasn't received the funds a week later and you are concerned that it could have been sent to the wrong account? I think the buyer is just holding out for one reason or another and is just dragging it out until he is ready.

    Maybe the solicitor does have the funds? I worked in a bank pre recession and would find that we would often get complaints from people who had issues of mortgages being drawndown but apparently not being received by the solicitor for weeks. Used to get dogs abuse about it with people in tears sometimes. Made no sense, the solicitors accounts would be sometimes be with our own bank as a business account and transfers would be instantaneous, external accounts would only take 2-3 days max. Didn't understand it until one day a solicitor walked in wanting to open a new business account and was very interested in interest rates, looking at his statements it was clear to see that he was maintaining a high balance on his account in order to accrue interest. Not his money of course but the money drawndown from people's mortgages kept in his account as long as possible to keep the balance high and collect interest. Not saying it still happens as the interest rate on deposit accounts are really bad now but there is potentially ways to still do it though other means.

    There was ways of combating this by asking which solicitor they were going with to make sure it wasn't one we were received complaints from.

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,817 ✭✭✭✭the_amazing_raisin

    When it came time to transfer the funds I rang up the solicitor to confirm their account details

    I had already gotten them emailed but considering that was basically all the money we had I wasn't taking any chances

    I got the office muppet the first time I called and he was having an extremely hard time grasping the idea that I wanted him to read out the account number over the phone so I could confirm it was the one they'd emailed

    He got the accountant to ring me back and they confirmed it

    Things can definitely go wrong with transfers and to be fair to the bank they asked me to be 100% sure the details were correct before they processed the transfer

    But it really shouldn't take that long. One possible delay is if it's an overseas transfer (since OP mentioned the buyer is in the UK) then they might not be able to transfer the full amount in one go

    "The internet never fails to misremember" - Sebastian Ruiz, aka Frost