How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Thomas Your Own Question
Thomas, Lawyer
Category: UK Law
Satisfied Customers: 7407
Experience:  BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
Type Your UK Law Question Here...
Thomas is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I am in the process of buying a house for my Mum. A property

This answer was rated:

I am in the process of buying a house for my Mum.

A property was chosen, an offer made and accepted. After I received the contract documents for review and also in response to the areas highlighted in the survey, I asked to allow additional independent inspections for electrics and gas/water plumbing.

Shortly after this the sellers' solicitor contacted my solicitor to say that they did not wish to sell to me, and that the property they had put an offer in on had fallen through so they were taking their property off the market.

The same day, their property was readvertised on RightMove for £5k more than the original asking price.

From my reckoning with all the costs on local authority searches, surveyors fees etc. I have spent just under £2,000 and would like some way in which to recover this. I am waiting for confirmation from my solicitor on just what costs have been incurred from the conveyancing side.

What I do not understand is that the offer was accepted, I can spend this money and potentially have no recourse to claim it back.

Can you please advise what options I have open to me?

Best regards,


Thanks for your patience.

I am extremely sorry to say that you have no legal recourse to recover your costs in this transaction.

All property transactions are ‘subject to contract’ until such time as contracts are exchanged. This means that legal contractual relations are not formed until contracts have been exchanged. This means that neither you nor the seller are under any contractual obligations until you have exchange contracts and therefore either party is free to withdraw from the transaction if they wish without incurring any liability.

Indeed, you could similarly withdrawn from the transaction without giving any reason whatsoever and the Seller would not have been able to sue you.

Unfortunately the money that you have spent is not recoverable from the Sellers.

It’s part of the vagaries of house buying in the UK unfortunately. I am very sorry.

Please remember to RATE my answer OK SERVICE, GOOD SERVICE OR EXCELLENT SERVICE or above if you are satisfied that you have received the correct legal advice (even if it is not the answer you wanted to hear), otherwise I do not receive any credit for answering your question.

If you are not willing to rate my answer as OK SERVICE, GOOD SERVICE OR EXCELLENT SERVICE then allow me to assist further by replying asking what clarification you require rather than rating my answer at levels below.

If you wish for me to provide you with further guidance on any question you may have in the future then please submit a further question to the board requesting me either by my profile or by marking your question. “FAO Tom”.

Kind regards,

Customer: replied 3 years ago.


Thank you. What about the Estate Agents? Do I have any recourse with them? Are they not bound by: OFT guidance for estate agents: compliance with the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 and the Business Protection from Misleading Marketing Regulations 2008 - a consultation Within this the following statement is made: - not acting with the standard of care and skill that is in accordance with honest market practice and in good faith (failing to show professional diligence) [p36-38]

The Agent contacted me on Friday 21st September and told me that the vendor wanted to exhange contracts by Friday 28th September with contract completion by 12th October. This was before I had received any documentation from my solicitor. Is this not against the guidelines above by putting on undue pressure, which my solicitor anecdotally

told me was for the Agent to achieve his sales figures in September?

The property was being marketed on their site as Sold Subject to Contract until today when I was told on Friday that the vendors would not be proceeding with the sale with me.

Your further thoughts are appreciated.

Best regards,


Hi Fiona,

If it was the vendor's genuine requirement then it cannot be a breach of the regulations. So to have the basis of a complaint against them you woudl have to show that it was contrary to the instructions given to the agent by the vendor.

Even if you were able to do this, this would not mean you woudl be able to claim your search fees from them because you would incurred these irrespective of the statement made by them. The loss you have suffered is too remote to say that they were caused by the agent's statement and therefore it is no claimable if the regulations were to form the basis of a claim.

I'm not trying to be obstructive, it's just better that you reconcile yourself with the fact that you are not going to be able to claim your costs from the seller or the agent.

Believe me, I do this for a living and lament this behaviour as much as anyone. The property agency system is nowhere near as regulated as it should be.

Please remember to rate my answer.

Kind regards.


Thomas, Lawyer
Category: UK Law
Satisfied Customers: 7407
Experience: BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
Thomas and 4 other UK Law Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.

What Customers are Saying:

  • A quick response, a succinct and helpful answer in simple English. I believe I can now confront the counter party with confidence -- worth the 30 bucks! Rick Leeds, UK
< Previous | Next >
  • A quick response, a succinct and helpful answer in simple English. I believe I can now confront the counter party with confidence -- worth the 30 bucks! Rick Leeds, UK
  • I did not know a French Law service existed and I was very impressed with the speed of reply --- very professional. Many thanks! Ms. Baker Alfafar, Spain
  • Thank you so much for your help. Your answers were really useful and came back so quickly. Great! Maggie USA
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
  • This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!! Alex Los Angeles, CA
  • Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult. GP Hesperia, CA
  • I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion. Justin Kernersville, NC

Meet The Experts:

  • Ben Jones

    Ben Jones

    UK Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
< Last | Next >
  • Ben Jones's Avatar

    Ben Jones

    UK Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
  • INC's Avatar



    Satisfied Customers:

    LL.B, Pg.Dip, LL.M, M.B.A (Pending), Solicitor-Advocate. UK Practising Certificate issued by SRA., DIFC Courts Registered (Dubai)
  • Jenny Mackenzie's Avatar

    Jenny Mackenzie

    Satisfied Customers:

    Over 10 years experience in general legal matters
  • Matthew J's Avatar

    Matthew J


    Satisfied Customers:

    4 y PQE (Partner) - Commercial / Residential Property & Property and Civil litigation experience
  • Stuart J's Avatar

    Stuart J


    Satisfied Customers:

    PGD Law. 20 years legal profession, 6 as partner in High Street practice
  • Clare's Avatar



    Satisfied Customers:

    family solictor with 25 years experience
  • Thomas's Avatar



    Satisfied Customers:

    BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor