Saturday, 14 December 2013

An Open Letter to my so-called 'Buyer'.

Dear Sir,

Almost a month ago now you made an offer for our house in Abingdon Road, London W8.

It was a good offer, £2.2m in cash. You also agreed to exchange contracts within 5 working days of the papers being in order.

You did all the right things. A good firm of solicitors was appointed. You quickly nominated an overseas company to make the acquisition. And you were happy for our agent to talk to your Finance Director and confirm your company's status and intent.

The necessary papers were all quickly collated. Questions answered. Queries sorted.

The solicitors were ready to exchange. All they needed was you and your deposit money.

At this stage, even the profoundly cynical, like myself, might have believed things were on track for a successful and speedy conclusion.

Then you disappeared. Went off the radar. Didn't answer emails. Or phone calls.

Apparently you were in 'the States' for Thanksgiving. Couldn't be contacted.

That's strange. After all, you have offices in four countries and according to your website conduct offshore investments on behalf of international investors.

You should therefore, by now, have mastered the art of picking up a phone or tapping out an email. But seemingly not. You apparently have to be physically present in the London office to conduct business in London.

These days the euphemism for a delaying tactic is not "it's in the post", it's "he's travelling." And you have used this relentlessly.

Yesterday, for example, our agents received an email from you (finally) saying that you had "arrived from the US at 1pm and would be flying to Dublin at 9am in the morning". It's nice of you to keep us posted on your itinerary, but honestly don't bother. It's not remotely impressive or in any way an excuse.

(Just in case you were wondering, I'm travelling to Clapham for lunch today and will be heading to Mells in Somerset and then Bristol tomorrow morning.)

Your cash offer also seems to have morphed into a much less desirable deal requiring Lloyds Bank funding. This was casually dropped into a your recent email with hardly a comment, yet it's a fundamental change.

We aren't interested in your travel schedule, your financial arrangements or your internal approval systems. We are interested however in the fact that you have wasted my time, our agent's time, the time of two solicitors and caused all of us enormous frustration.

You are at the very least disingenuous, possibly a fantasist, but mostly just an arrogant bastard.

Your company is named after a famous cigarette brand (sadly not Marlboro, because the cowboy connection would be most appropriate). But dealing with you is far more dangerous to one's health than a few fags.

You had a chance to acquire a very rare, unmodernised W8 terraced house in a rising market. You messed up, and and we will now redevelop the property ourselves. Which is a shame for your clients.

We don't need to deal with rude, insincere buyers like yourself. And won't.

Yours faithfully

The Doer-Upper.

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