pulling out of a house sale

doesn anyone know how much it will cost me if i break the chain im in? this is not a descision im taking lightley & im aware of how much i will hurt my buyers as they are such nice people & have become quite friendly with them, im aware of their grief as i have been in the position before, ive got valid personal reasons as to why it would be best for me to stay in my house, my partner & i have split & this house is the only one i can afford as i would be putting my children at risk by renting privately as i cant afford it, i thought i had covered all the details but its come to light that if i sell then then privately rent i will have to be on benifits till my youngest is at school! this is not what i hoped for myself or my kids, i am giving up a safe clean home. i can go on benefit & sponge off the state for a few years but i would rather not, ive allways worked but just couldnt afford the rent & my kids going without would be a heartbreak. if i was to stay in my house i could get a lodger maybe or get help with the mortgage so if i work out the for's & against's & it turns out im better off staying does anyone know how much it would cost me, ive not signed any contracts yet. the chain isnt very secure anyway as the first people keep having problems with their mortgage offer & they dont seem to be in any rush to move things along i just feel for my buyers, would they loose anything? ive had severys done & the hip's too. any advice out there, please be nice! ive tried for years to make things right.
13:32 Wed 30th Jul 2008
 
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People with far more knowledge than myself will post and help you but I think you will only have the cost of solicitor's work (so far) and hips cost. If your buyers have paid for their survey they will lose that money, obviously, plus their solicitor's work on an aborted purchase.
Ethel or someone else will post I'm sure, but thought I'd give you some info. in case they don't. Good luck.
It is one of the features of house purchasing / sale in England and wales that you can withdraw before contracts are exchanged without legal contractual penalty so I should try not to beat up on yourself. It is understandable that you feel you are letting the other parties down but you must do what you think is right and circumstances can alter between now and now.
As the above says, you will lose surveyor fees on your purchase, please the HIPS cost on your sale, plus (probably most) of your solicitors costs if you are close to exchange. Most of the legal work is already done. Check with the solicitors.
Then and now, not now and now.
-- answer removed --
As said above neither buyer or seller are legally bound to buy or sell until contracts have been exchanged.

So far you have paid for a HIP and survey (did you survey your own property?).

It depends what was in the HIP as to whether your solicitor would have had to pay for anything else needed to go to the buyer's solicitors eg other titles or copy documents. If your property is leasehold it could be more.

You should have got a letter from your solicitor right at the start of the transaction (usually to sign and send back). This should advise you as to whether any abortive fees would be payable if the matter did not get to completion.

It should also state the basis the fees are charged on. A fixed fee is more common though some firms still charge on an hourly rate.

If you got a letter, did you sign it and send it back?

Many conveyancing firms don't charge if a matter does not proceed but they would want to cover anything they have spent out so far. Ask for a breakdown of what was paid for and why.

If they ask for abortive fees and have reserved the right to charge them and notified you (in in their initial letters) then make sure they break it down so you know what they have done and whether the charges are reasonable.

Did you pay any monies on account? If so then check how much has been spent and on what.

Finally, did you use estate agents? If so then check your agreement as some now reserve the right to charge if they found a serious buyer and you pull out!

As for your buyers, their sale costs would be similar to yours.

Their purchase costs may involve abortives fees depending on their solicitors. They shouldn't have paid for any searches as they would have been in the HIP unless they undertook searches not in the HIP but required by them or their lender.

They may also have paid out on a valuation for their mortgage.

I guess they may have spent on other items in contemplation of moving but with no contract being exchanged they had nothing legal to rely on.
Question Author
thank you so much for all your help, wow! i didnt realise there were so many nice & helpfull people left! you really do know your stuff. it's saturday today so im going to sit & go over all my paperwork over the weekend & make a descision too. at the moment the way my situation is it would be best if i sold as i could move on & start over but there is something about letting a property go especially when it was so hard to aquire it in the begining! sorry to everyone out there who hasnt got the option of choice, i still see myself as lucky, i think its best to look at it that way as it could allways be worse!
thanks again everyone hopefully i will post another note when its all sorted so you will know how your help helped me :0)
Question Author
hi jenna1978, thanks for all your advice you certainly know your stuff :0)
i am selling the house im in & then going on to privately rent, in answer to some of you answers you gave me, i have had the hips done & i assume the people who are wanting to buy my house will be paying for the survey? is that how it usually works?
also would you be able to offer advice about my solicitors? i am forever trying to get hold of them on the phone & my solicitor works part time too so she's never around. they also seem to take a holiday every other week! i just rang my estate agents & the man who is dealing with my sale has gone on holiday too! its been 16 weeks since we agreed to the amount & instructed solicitors, do you think this is a long time? also when i do get to speak to my solicitors assistant she doesnt have a clue as to where we are in the sale & i have to tell her where its up to then she tells me to ring back tomorrow! is this right for the assistant to know nothing?
thanks again & thanks for listening to me go on!
kind thoughts are with you :0)
Question Author
oh well, thanks for all your help but they pulled out this morning! at least it wasnt me who pulled the plug!
it seems fate has better plans for me XXX

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