I agreed a sale on my investment property over six months ago to a first-time buyer but unfortunately when it came to the date for my tenants to vacate they refused to go. The buyer was really understanding and despite me having to go through the normal legal channels and evict the tenant they still agreed to proceed with the purchase. I am now ready to exchange but I look around and realise prices have risen – in the case of my flat by about £30,000. Should I dump my buyer despite their good faith or take a hit myself?
Dear Tempted Seller
Situations like this occur every day in the property market, especially when prices are rising healthily.
The whole situation is worse simply because you have a buyer who could have pulled out on you but didn’t.
The fact that they hung around for six months waiting for the eviction process to play out shows enormous good faith on their part.
You have three choices. The first is to run with the sale and lose out on extra profit because you feel obliged to continue with your agreement.
The second is to speak to the buyer and explain your predicament to see if you can get them to pay some more money.
The third is to withdraw from the sale altogether and go back on the market.
The latter will leave you with a very disgruntled buyer and rightly so given their time and financial commitment thus far.
Still, you are running a business and need to get the best deal you can. Selling is not a charitable act.
As a measure of good faith, if they are unable to pay more, you could offer to pay for their survey or contribute towards their Solicitors fees.
Although you do not need to do so legally (until exchange of contracts both parties can withdraw from the sale/purchase at any time), you may find that offering some financial contribution eases the moral dilemma, leaving you free to part ways.
Dawn Sandoval is the owner of Dawn Sandoval Residential in Canary Wharf .