Q. I am in the middle of selling my investment property and nothing seems to going anywhere fast. I am constantly fobbed off and told that things are progressing towards exchange and then we hit another brick wall. I am wondering if it would be a good idea to ask for the buyer’s contact details so I can talk to him directly rather than through Lawyers or my Estate Agent. Can you advise?
A. Although on the surface it would seem like a perfectly great idea to connect with your buyer directly and cut out all the mediators and have a grown up one to one conversation but my honest opinion from past experience on this debate is that no, this will never ever be a good idea. When buying or selling emotions can run high if things are not going exactly to plan and naturally people can become heated and look for someone to blame. Most sales start off fairly organised and simple but then as it progresses and certainly as exchange of contracts starts to loom things can become disconcerting and buyers and sellers start to feel anxious that things are not going according to plan especially when delays crop up from nowhere it can seem that there are hold ups for no good reason. Do remember that most sales are reliant on third parties such as managing agents and the local authorities as well as financial services, and your buyer and his solicitor may be on the ball but if they are waiting for replies to enquiries from the managing agent for instance or for a mortgage offer to be issued these matters will be totally out of their control. Not to say that they can’t assist by following up with these third parties or asking the agent to step in and play devil’s advocate but on a serious note most delays are neither wanted nor encouraged by anyone trying to purchase a property. A good agent is worth his weight in gold as he should be able to manage the sale by keeping everyone calm when things flare up. Talking to the buyer directly will usually only end up in you both blaming one another for the delay becoming irate, losing your tempers and then jeopardising the sale form going any further and aborting. Take a step back and leave it to the experts and if you really want to get involved then follow up regularly with your solicitor and your agent to see if there is anything that you can assist with. Sometimes being the owner you can make one phone call to get things moving again. But please don’t be tempted to take matters into your own hands, as from my experience this never ends well.