MANAGING DIRECTOR OF
CENTRAL LONDON ESTATE AGENCY, KAY & CO

Q.I am looking to upsize but want to make sure I’ve found something else to buy before I put my property on the market. What do you advise?

A.At present the prime central London market lacks fluidity and it is very difficult to tie in a sale and a purchase. You really need to put your property on the market first. Once you receive an acceptable offer, you can then start looking in earnest for something to buy. If you find yourself in a position whereby you find a buyer for your own home but have not found anything suitable yourself, remember, you do not have to accept offers, but it will pay to have started the process when you do see something you want to buy. Given the current shortages of stock many people are willing to agree an exchange of contracts followed by a delayed completion, giving you the certainty of having sold but a bit more time to find something to buy. Failing that, temporary renting is a good and increasingly common option.

Q.My property was under offer to a cash buyer but they reduced their offer just before exchange. We have since found a committed second buyer who is having trouble getting his mortgage finalised. The first buyer has changed their mind again and can exchange immediately. What should I do?

A.Sadly there is no guarantee that your existing buyer will actually get his mortgage offer. Tell your original buyers to do the following. One: Confirm that they have no further enquiries. Two:. Confirm that their solicitor is in receipt of a full 10 per cent deposit to exchange contracts Three: Then and only then, send them a contract and advise them that they have until close of business on the day they receive the contract to exchange at the agreed price. Unfortunately your buyer will find out that you are dealing with another party once any “meaningful contact” is established with another buyer but by following these steps you are putting the ball firmly in the original purchaser’s court by only sending them a contract once they have their ducks in a row.