Can't complete on time. Can the contract be extended?

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06 Nov 2017 21:35 by catlady Star rating. 25 posts Send private message

In september I found a property I love. We put in an offer and it was accepted. All was going well until our spanish laywer advised us to give him POA.  We attended a notary in the UK. The POA took almost 3 weeks to arrive as it ended up on the other side of the world. When it finally turned up our laywer informed us the notary had not included certified copies of our passports. We had to go back to the notary to collect the certified copies of our passports. These have also been delayed in the post. They've been in Barajas for 2 weeks according to the tracking info on the correos website. 

The big problem here is the contract we signed when we paid the deposit. We agreed to exchange before 30th November. Two months seemed like a reasonable amount of time as we are cash buyers. However, there is no way this is going to happen now. We don't want to lose our deposit or the house, but can't see a way around this. Would any experts on here know if the contract can be changed to a later date? I can't find any info on this anywhere and I've searched and searched. Thank you in advance x

 


This message was last edited by catlady on 06/11/2017.



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06 Nov 2017 22:05 by DuncanThickett Star rating. 80 posts Send private message

Hello catlady and welcome to the forum.

Have you considered asking this question of your Spanish lawyer, your legal representative in this matter and the person you are paying to deal with these type of things.



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06 Nov 2017 22:31 by catlady Star rating. 25 posts Send private message

Thanks for your reply, Duncan. Yes, I have. He just says "a circumstance like this could easily be defended" 





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07 Nov 2017 08:38 by inspectahomespain Star rating in Orihuela Costa, Spai.... 2417 posts Send private message

Vip Supporter

There are frequently delays in this type of paperwork and the first step is to always tak to YOUR lawyer and ask the vendor if they are willing to extend, it is very much in their hands, but make sure that you have another reasonable alternate date

You don't want the legal speak, you want YOUR lawyer to ask for a later completion date, the lawyer possibly wants to get more money for an action to get back your deposit, aslo ask the agentt that you worked with for help, ask can we complete for example 2 weeks later, it is easy to issue a new sales contract

If you really want the property and they refuse is the obvious, get on a plane and  come over for a couple of days to do the paperwork in person, it takes a couple of hours at The Notary to do a POA, perhaps come over for  day



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Roy Howitt Independent Property Consultant www.sonrisaproperties.com www.snaggingspain.com WE CAN FIND YOUR DREAM HOME 627 955 748



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07 Nov 2017 10:15 by scollins Star rating in London. 52 posts Send private message

Does the lawyer act for both you and the seller? This is quite common in Spain and if so I would invite the lawyer to speak to the seller and agree a deferral without any penalty in terms of any additional fees. I can only speak from my experience of buying a property in Spain and one of the  first things I was asked to do was execute a POA to enable the lawyer to do a lot of the legal and admin functions involved eg entering into a binding contract, dealing with the mortgage fomalities and sorting out utility supplies. I don't know the history of your transaction but it sounds to me that the request for the PoA has come rather later in the day and that has led to the delay, although due primarily to the UK Notary.

 

If you are separately represented you should still ask the lawyer to contact the sellers lawyer and the point about the lateness of the delivery of the POA is still relevant .

 

I agree with Inspectorhome - if all else fails you would have to get on a plane and sort it in person. If you are doing that you would need to make sure the lawyer had arranged an appointment with a Spanish Notary  that day to complete the POA and sign anything else needed . In Spain, Notaries ( senior  solicitors) have a stranglehold over real estate transactions and a Notary will be  required to sign off the transaction as well as , in this case, authenticating a fresh PoA if that is ultimately needed.



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07 Nov 2017 11:09 by catlady Star rating. 25 posts Send private message

Thanks for replying, scollins and inspectahomespain. We chose the lawyer ourselves. He is nothing to do with the agent or the seller. I haven't had any contact with the agent since we found our lawyer. I'm sure he will have contacted the sellers lawyer to inform them of the delay. I have emailed him this morning to ask if the seller will give us more time. Even if we jump on a plane tomorrow, we would still not have enough time to complete with the current contract. The seller has the upper hand here. I know she is desperate to sell as the house has been on sale for about 8 months. A lot of properties are for sale in the area. But she could change her mind and keep our deposit if chooses to and there is nothing we can do about it. Got to keep positive!

 


This message was last edited by catlady on 07/11/2017.


This message was last edited by catlady on 07/11/2017.



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07 Nov 2017 12:28 by DuncanThickett Star rating. 80 posts Send private message

Hello catlady

Just for clarification, what are you wanting someone on EOS to tell you that your lawyer cannot?.



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Justice? - You get justice in the next world. In this one you have the law.



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07 Nov 2017 13:53 by Roberto Star rating in Torremolinos. 4534 posts Send private message

Roberto´s avatar

" Even if we jump on a plane tomorrow, we would still not have enough time to complete with the current contract."

Why not? You said the contract stated completion before Nov 30th. You can normally get an appointment with a notary within 48 hours or so (you don't need to bother giving your lawyer POA if you're present to sign for yourself), and your bank should be able to issue the necessary bankers' cheque within 24 hours. You could have it all done by the end of this week theoretically.

But anyway, as has already been said, there's no reason why the seller wouldn't agree to a reasonable extension to the original completion date - it's highly unlikely they've got a plethora of alternative buyers knocking their door down, and they probably want to lose the sale even less than you do. Also, as Duncan has said, there's nothing really that anyone here can tell you that your lawyer can't - other than perhaps that you should trust in Ryanair far more than the Spanish Correos. 

Edit: Just a couple of points to add having re-read the post by Scollins:

" I was asked to...execute a POA to enable the lawyer to do a lot of the legal and admin functions involved eg...sorting out utility supplies." You don't need a POA for that, any gestor (or lawyer) should be able to do that for you with a simple autorisation from you. "...it sounds to me that the request for the PoA has come rather later in the day and that has led to the delay, although due primarily to the UK Notary." The way I read it, the delay was caused firstly by the lawyer not asking precisely what is needed, drip feeding his requests, which is typical of Spanish functionaries - don't be surprised to find he next tells you that everything needs to be translated into Spanish and then legalised - and secondly by the unreliabilitily of Correos. (never send anything registered or recorded, it will almost certainly get delayed, sometimes indefinitely)

 


This message was last edited by Roberto on 07/11/2017.


This message was last edited by Roberto on 07/11/2017.

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07 Nov 2017 19:58 by inspectahomespain Star rating in Orihuela Costa, Spai.... 2417 posts Send private message

Vip Supporter

Roberto it depends where the property is, on the Costa Blanca and Murcia you can normally get an appointment the same day

I am asuming here that step one is to get the NIE number which the lawyer needs the POA for, the the authority for the bank etc but again this can be done at the Town Hall on the same day

The lawyers do not need any POA to arrange the changover of the utility bills, this is correct

All you need to complete in person is the payment, bank details, lawyer and NIE number so there is NO REASON why you cannot come over and complete in person, you don't then need the POA at all

Based on a completion date of Nov 30th, which is over 3 weeks away, you would absolutely be able to complete before this date, in fact my clinet did this last week, 48 hours for the complete process, so catlady, speak to your lawyers, book a flight, plan the trip and come over to complete, easy, no loss of anything, unless of course there is another problem and you don't have the funds in place

 

 


This message was last edited by inspectahomespain on 07/11/2017.

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08 Nov 2017 13:13 by johnzx Star rating in Spain. 5247 posts Send private message

Inspector

I am asuming here that step one is to get the NIE number which the lawyer needs the POA for, the the authority for the bank etc but again this can be done at the Town Hall on the same day

Typo:     NIE's are issued by National Police not town halls.   

 But if one insists the police can do it the same day.  You may need to ask for the Complaints forms though. (I speak from experience).

 

 

 

 


This message was last edited by johnzx on 08/11/2017.



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08 Nov 2017 18:10 by inspectahomespain Star rating in Orihuela Costa, Spai.... 2417 posts Send private message

Vip Supporter

sorry yes getting confused with Padron but in Orihuela Costa the actual offtce for the National Police is in the Town Hall at Playa Flamenca

Normally we take people to Elche where they issue same day



_______________________
Roy Howitt Independent Property Consultant www.sonrisaproperties.com www.snaggingspain.com WE CAN FIND YOUR DREAM HOME 627 955 748



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09 Nov 2017 07:11 by acer Star rating. 1415 posts Send private message

Catlady,

The original answer was right - you can extend the contract by mutual consent.  If the vendor declines to do so your deposit may be in jeopardy.  

My advice would be to speak to the vendor direct and explain what's happened.  Then agree a new date that you know will work for you. 

Personally I would not give a POA to a Spanish solicitor.   Certainly you need to keep him/her informed but you need to be in control if you want to be sure it goes through.  The formalities with the Notary can be completed in 48 hours, but you still need to be sure that your solicitor has completed the usual legal/debtor checks etc.

The vital feature is communication - make sure that everyone knows the position and keep them regularly updated, partcularly the vendor.  It's a stress situation when people can easily make the wrong decision if they don't know what's happening.



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09 Nov 2017 09:59 by catlady Star rating. 25 posts Send private message

Thank you all for your replies. The paperwork has finally arrived in spain. I couldn't keep track of it on the Correos website as it wasn't scanned when it arrived in spain. I'm assuming this is what happened. One lesson learned here. I will never, ever trust the postal service again with important documents! 

Lawyer says we can complete on time now. I've been a little ignorant and probably a tad over anxious about the whole thing. Initially, the agent told me it takes 4 weeks to get an NIE number. This is obviously untrue and I should have done my homework. 





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09 Nov 2017 10:24 by scollins Star rating in London. 52 posts Send private message

Hooray,

 

A good outcome . Hope all goes well moving in etc.



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09 Nov 2017 11:15 by Roberto Star rating in Torremolinos. 4534 posts Send private message

Roberto´s avatar

Good to hear it's sorted itself out, and wish you all the best for a successful completion etc.

It's a steep learning curve, indeed - buying property in a foreign country and navigating all the unfamiliar potential pitfalls. Lessons learned so far:

1) Never trust the Spanish Corrreos

2) Never believe a word estate agents say

3) Just when you think you've done all the research you can....do some more (forums are good for this)

4) Always remember that your lawyer only has one person's best interests at heart - his own!

Your lawyer will answer any questions you put to him, but he will not tell you what questions you should be asking. Assuming this is to be a holiday home and that you're not planning on becoming a resident in Spain, one very important thing you need to know about next is the non-resident income tax, otherwise referred to as form 210. Search the forum for loads of discussions about it, or ask your own questions if need be. I'm always amazed at how many non-resident property owners seem to be blissfully unaware of this obligation, which can cause major problems down the line.



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"Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please"

Mark Twain

 

 

 




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09 Nov 2017 12:26 by mariadecastro Star rating in Algeciras (Cadiz). 9335 posts Send private message

Legal Questions? Speak to Maria Direct

Great!

but.... allow me to say.... there are some good lawyers around ;)



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Lawyer

Director www.costaluzlawyers.es

El blog de Maria



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09 Nov 2017 16:04 by hughjardon Star rating in Jaywick Sands. 419 posts Send private message

hughjardon´s avatar

Cat Lady you are going to have to CHANGE your whole perception on what is the NORM in the UK and what is the NORM in SPAIN

** EDITED - Against forum rules **

WELCOME to a very FRUSTRATING new way of LIFE

Asta La Vista Baby

Love Hugh xx

 

 


This message was last edited by hughjardon on 09/11/2017.


This message was last edited by eos_moderators on 24/11/2017 20:02:00.

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22 Nov 2017 20:58 by catlady Star rating. 25 posts Send private message

Hello again :) Well, we completed today, but our solicitor has to go back to the notary next week with our NIE numbers as they are not ready yet. We had a problem with the bank too! The funds we transfered were held by the bank (the money was sent to our solicitors client account) due to suspected money laundering :o I had a feeling they might not like a large sum of money going into an account without prior warning. 

Roberto, you're not wrong. lol





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22 Nov 2017 21:10 by catlady Star rating. 25 posts Send private message

Not sure if I should have started a new thread for this one. It's regarding the energy certificate. Today, is the first time I have seen it. It doesn't look too good. Obviously, this is the reason the seller has not provided us with this information until today. I've just looked up energy certificates and it says the seller should have shown us the certificate before she sold the property to us. true or false? 





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22 Nov 2017 22:02 by Roberto Star rating in Torremolinos. 4534 posts Send private message

Roberto´s avatar

By law, every property offered for sale must have an energy certificate (EU law? Same in UK?) and the notary would have insisted on seeing it. It should be included in the escritura.

But if you, or your lawyer, never asked to see it, I don't think there's any law obliging the seller to make sure you've seen it ;-)

I wouldn't worry about it not looking good, it's a largely pointless piece of paperwork, and just another way of extracting money from property owners.

P.S. get a new lawyer ;-)

 


This message was last edited by Roberto on 22/11/2017.

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"Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please"

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