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  • Legal FAQs

    28 days to exchange on offplan

    I've committed to an offplan (paid £3k into the developers solicitor's account).

    Can someone please explain to be why the pressure to exchange within 28 days, and what would happen if we don't exchange within that timeframe?

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    They would get to keep your reservation deposit. Personally, I don't think this is fair, as there may be odd / unreasonable terms in the documentation.

    For off-plan, there are more risks such as long-stop date for completion, acceptable reasons for delay in completion, provisions for increases in ground rent, notice period for completion (so you can arrange funds), protection of your deposit, making sure internal spec and design is per your understanding...

    I would request to review the legal docs before providing a deposit. Once you provide the deposit, you have no bargaining power on the terms.

    Developer wants to get buyers locked in asap e.g. possibly as a funding condition / cashflow for development. It equally wouldn't be fair for buyers to drag their heels for ages just with 3k down and no certainty for the developer which can't sell the unit to someone else.

    I would check but would think the 28 days to be a strict right for the developer, not something that they would exercise on provided you had everything progressing on the right track. It's in their interests for the sales to go through. Also potentially the agent too which may get paid part of their commission on exchange / completion.

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    Thanks Sam. I suppose I should have checked here before sending them the £3k. I'm getting an independent solicitor onto it. Hopefully it all works out well

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