A client of the firm has been ready to exchange contracts for over three months on his house sale. Although the buyers are eager to move in apparently their lenders are delaying things by asking for more information about the property. For example, they want information on when the rear extension was built and whether we have planning permission to replace the roof tiles. Our client wanted to find out if there was anyway they could claim compensation for this delay.
Until contracts are actually exchanged there is no legally binding contract between the buyer and seller. So prior to exchange of contracts the buyers can withdraw their offer at any time or the seller (our client) could decide not to sell to them. In these circumstances neither of the two parties would be responsible for any costs that the other party may have incurred in relation to the proposed transaction.
There is also no contract with the buyers solicitor and therefore you have no right to claim compensation from them for causing delay or for any other matter.
The buyers lender usually need to ensure that the property will provide adequate security for the loan to be granted to them. The lenders need to ensure the title of the property is satisfactory and until this is done they will not release the loan to the buyers. This results in the buyer being unable to proceed unless they can fund the purchase in some other way. There is little that can be done about this other than walking away from this transaction and finding new buyers.