What does 'Time Costs Deals' mean when buying a property?
Find out what Time Costs Deals means when you are buying a property. 'What does Time Costs Deals mean?' plus over 150 other property related terms and jargon in plain English
Time Costs Deals
OK, this isn't so much a term as it is a mantra. In How to Really Buy a Property I devote an entire chapter to it ... but why?
The period of time between Sale Agreed and Exchange of Contracts can be weeks or months during which you or the buyer can simply walk away. Neither of you are legally obliged to go through with the deal.
It takes such an age because your solicitor needs to gather together numerous documents from a number of different parties, all of whom can drag their feet be it through overwork, laziness or just general incompetence. Few have any financial motivation to make the deal happen.
Solicitors get paid (except for the ones who offer "No Deal No Fee"), surveyors get paid, managing agents get paid. All regardless of whether or not you get your property. The only party that is financially invested is the estate agent but whether they care or not varies greatly. Some don't - they just accept a certain percentage of deals will fail.
The longer the period of time, the more probable events will happen that will kill your purchase - as someone once said to me "I was going to get back to you but then life happened" which I think is a great way of explaining it.
As a buyer you need the seller to carry on wanting to sell until you exchange contracts at which point they are legally bound to sell. But the seller is just a person like you and things can happen in their lives that will make them change their mind.
They can lose their job and decide they can't afford the place they were thinking of moving to. A Buy to Let investor can get a great tenancy offer and decide to rent the property out instead. A couple can break up and so decide to put the whole sale on ice while they sort themselves out. In the book I list dozens of things that can happen in life which will cause the vendor to stop selling.
Most of the events I list are going to happen to all of us at some point in our lives so its just a simple case of probability. If those events are going to happen then the longer it takes to get to exchange of contracts, the more likely it is one of those events will take place and the deal will "fall through".
So your aim, and that the estate agent, is to minimize the time period through Deal Chasing - chasing up all the parties that need to provide documents and generally being the person who, because their calling every other day, all the parties just want to get rid of by getting your deal through.
In How to Really Buy a Property I'll tell you exactly what you should be doing and when at every step of the way so you can chase your own deal through to a fast completion.