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How to Avoid Conflict When Your Vendors Are Splitting

View profile for Emma Gilroy
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Emma Gilroy, Director and Head of Residential Property at JCP Solicitors, shares some tips on dealing with vendors who are splitting.

Without wanting to take the gloss off the New Year, we all have heard that festive fallout can occur around December and January. So, if you are house hunting at the moment, you are likely to come across sellers who are splitting.

Of course, in today's climate, it is highly possible too that you will meet sellers who have bought property together, not because they are life partners, but because it has suited them financially. It may have helped them to get onto the property ladder.

Whatever the scenario, buying from people who plan to split their assets comes with its own challenges that a buyer should be aware of.

The most important thing to remember is that you may be dealing with a duo who aren’t ‘on the same page’ when it comes to selling up.

If one partner is less keen to sell they may put up roadblocks. For instance, they may make viewing difficult or they may give their estate agent incorrect information.

Be aware too that the decision to sell could be reversed if one partner is able to raise the equity to buy the other out, or if there is a reconciliation.

It is also common for a property to be listed at an unrealistically high price if the end goal is for both parties to buy seperate homes at the end of your transaction This may mean thay are less flexible or willing to consider any offers on the property which are below the asking price.

There are, however, things you can do to help things run smoothly in this scenario:

Try to get a clear picture of the couple’s situation. By all means ask the agent, who may be willing to let you know. You can also talk to the sellers themselves, or, if they are reticent to go into detail, look out for clues during your viewing. Is it clear from the bathroom and master bedroom that one party has moved out?

Try to keep things as straightforward as you can from your side of the transaction by sticking to your agreed price or timescale, wherever possible.  Joint sellers who are dealing with an already complex or fraught situation can be easily spooked by changes and any ’sudden moves’ can scare off your seller.

Try to press for a swift exchange, to mitigate the risk of the sellers pulling out of the deal.

Keep your options open. Even if you feel like you have found your dream home, no-one wants to deal with a nightmare scenario in order to bag it – and, as any estate agent will tell you, you would be surprised just how many dream homes are out there.

For further advice, please contact our specialist property solicitors in:

  • Swansea: 01792 773773
  • Cardiff: 02920 225472
  • Carmarthen: 01267 234022
  • Caerphilly: 02920 860628
  • Cowbridge: 01446 771742
  • Haverfordwest: 01437 764723
  • Fishguard: 01348 873671

Or request a quote for your conveyancing here.