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Old 22.05.2020, 18:42
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Buying a home with postponed signing/ entry date

Hello everyone!

We're in a bit of a sticky situation and I was hoping to benefit from others' experience. We found a nice apartment to buy in Geneva and finally agreed to pay the full price (as the sellers wouldn't budge), only to discover that due to tax reasons (which they just discovered), they want to only finalize the sale in June 2021. But they still want us to sign the agreement and pay the 10% downpayment immediately.

Since we've been looking for quite a while, we agreed - as long as we can live in the apartment from the date of downpayment, for free or near-free.

Then it turned out they will not vacate the apartment before Oct 2020. Their current proposal is that we pay the down-payment now, then move in around Nov/ Dec, from which point we will pay the charges + a little margin, until next June when we pay the rest and become owners.

This sounds pretty unfair to me. And also scary: what more will happen over the next 12 months? I've bought real estate before and this deal is already 10x more complicated than it needs to be.

...But with the market in Geneva (and with these particular sellers), it doesn't feel like there's much room to negotiate. Though I doubt they'll easily find another buyer who will agree to those conditions - the apartment is a bit quirky and they only got one other offer in 5 weeks of visits - I am also quite sure they are ready to just say "no" to us and continue until they find someone. Indeed, the real estate agent is already completely fed up with them, but I guess he has no choice but to do what they say...

So, I guess I'm looking for any experience that will help me understand how odd/ common/ acceptable this situation is. Or any advice?

Any or all will be appreciated!

Thanks!
A Frustrated (Potential) Future Home-Owner
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Old 22.05.2020, 18:58
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Re: Buying a home with postponed signing/ entry date

This happened to one of our daughters in the UK - the sellors said they didn't want to move until the new school year- so asked daughter to wait. As they really want the place and had their grand-mother's place to live in and no children, they agreed to be really helpful to the sellors who seemed really nice and honest. 5 months later - the sellors said the price had gone up in the meantime and wanted to put the price up accordingly. Daughter told them to 'go away' - and found a much better place. The flat took over a year to sell and sold for less than daughter had agreed.

Really, I would get serious advice - and walk away if you don't get everything tied down.
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Old 22.05.2020, 19:17
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Re: Buying a home with postponed signing/ entry date

A real estate sale is only legally binding once both parties signed the contract at the notary public.

If you draw up a pre-contract it must also be signed at a notary public or it will be unenforceable.

If you pay a downpayement make sure that it secured. For example with an escrow account.
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Old 22.05.2020, 19:31
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Re: Buying a home with postponed signing/ entry date

Extra costs and extra troubles and time and it all has to come from you since they imho had no clue what they were doing. I would walk away unless the price or your love for the object justifies all the extra hassle.
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Old 22.05.2020, 20:10
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Re: Buying a home with postponed signing/ entry date

Sounds like they are letting you watch while they learn bit by bit what's best/most convenient for them and tell you each step to adapt. Not to mention that they didn't have a clue when they started their selling-project.

My five cents: Don't bother. Walk away or better jog .... run if you're fit.
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Old 22.05.2020, 21:27
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Re: Buying a home with postponed signing/ entry date

Walk away....
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Old 23.05.2020, 15:44
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Re: Buying a home with postponed signing/ entry date

My house had the sellers put it on the market but nobody could move in for over a year. This put off buyers so I put in a cheeky low bid... and it was accepted, despite being in a period when prices were galloping up.

Moral of the story is that if they start imposing conditions then the deal is worth less than the normal market price, especially today with a recession coming (whether prices rise or fall, who knows but it's a card you can play).

If you're still set on it then it's good of them to try and let you move in but you'll need this in writing, tenancy agreement, enforceable etc in exchange for the deposit.
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Old 23.05.2020, 16:23
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Re: Buying a home with postponed signing/ entry date

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This sounds pretty unfair to me. And also scary: what more will happen over the next 12 months? I've bought real estate before and this deal is already 10x more complicated than it needs to be.
They're playing with you. The only reasonable prediction is to expect that to continue.

Why would you pay a downpayment in such a drawn out situation? Once paid you're entirely on the hook. Don't. Perhaps unless both parties pay the same amount and if the deal doesn't happen by <date> the entire sum is yours.

You need to draw a line in the sand, but be ready to walk away. Or walk away right away.
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Old 23.05.2020, 17:46
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Re: Buying a home with postponed signing/ entry date

out of interest - how did you find the house. Via Agency ? In which case, have you discussed this with them? Or via a website or word of mouth, etc?
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Old 23.05.2020, 18:27
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Re: Buying a home with postponed signing/ entry date

The price could easily drop 10%, possibly more, if they want a delayed completion then either they must accept a reduced price now or that the final price will be reduced if the average price in the area drops by completion.

You cant have your cake & eat it, I completed on a property on 19/03/20 with a price agreed in November 19. Clearly the sellers won by at least 100k, I suspect my offer would have been 200k lower on 19/03/20 had I been bidding on that day.
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Old 24.05.2020, 23:46
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Re: Buying a home with postponed signing/ entry date

One of my colleagues did something like this - a few months later the seller asked for 30% more.



Took him months to get his deposit back...
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Old 25.05.2020, 00:03
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Re: Buying a home with postponed signing/ entry date

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The price could easily drop 10%, possibly more, if they want a delayed completion then either they must accept a reduced price now or that the final price will be reduced if the average price in the area drops by completion.

You cant have your cake & eat it, I completed on a property on 19/03/20 with a price agreed in November 19. Clearly the sellers won by at least 100k, I suspect my offer would have been 200k lower on 19/03/20 had I been bidding on that day.
I don't really see any such price changes as of now.
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