House purchase - house we're buying been repossessed


Well-known Member

Just wondered if there were any estate agents/solicitors/conveyancers here or anyone who might have been in the same position we've found ourselves in.

We've accepted an offer on our house, our offer has been accepted on the house we want.

We've had a date for the survey to be carried out on our house but we had a phone call today from our mortgage lender saying that they can't gain access to the property that we are buying to carry out survey because nobody has a key.

Anyway my better half has been on the phone to their estate agent and it turns out, unofficially, that the house has been repossessed and the bank has the keys. The estate agent has assured us that it won't alter anything and the sale will go through as normal.

Now I'm a bit sceptical of stuff like this and personally think it will throw a massive spanner in the works.

The estate agent has said they can't go into any detail about it until next week when the bank give the nod as to what is happening.

I want to stay optimistic because out of the 3 houses we've lived in this is the only one that I immediately thought "this is the one"

Has anyone got any experience of this happening?




Distinguished Member
So who is the seller?

If it is the bank or an agent working on the bank's behalf then I can't see any problem.

If the bank has repocessed a house from the seller then I imagine the bank would only be too pleased to sell to you - result for them.


So you have viewed a repo property, guessing you would have viewed with an estate agent? So, they must be holding the keys, they would not send them back to the bank!

You do realise that as a repo, the estate agent will be instructed to market the property right up until completion, it will never leave the market until you have the keys in your hand. I am wondering if multiple estate agents are marketing the property (I would certainly be checking rightmove to confirm this) it could be that various agents are sharing the keys (this happens very often) so when your surveyor turned up to collect, they were elsewhere.

** edit **
Just re-read your post, do you mean you viewed the property at a time when the owners still had possession and it has been re-possessed since? Its not terribly clear!

** another edit **

If my first edit is correct and I was in your shoes, I would immediately withdraw my offer with the estate agent. Now its a repo, its an entirely new game. The bank primarily will be looking to recoup their own losses (mortgage related), wait and see how much they ask, its bound to be cheaper than what you have already agreed.

The bank must be complete bastards though, if this suggests the sellers had found a buyer/had a sale agreed although were still re-possessed, that is pretty low :/
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Well-known Member
Sorry didn't make myself clear.

House wasn't a repo to start with, we put an offer in about 3 weeks ago and it turns out for whatever reason the house has been repossessed from the seller in the last week.

Sellers a really nice bloke he showed us round the property on a Sunday afternoon as he and his wife have moved to a bungalow because his wife isn't very good on her feet. Impression he gave us was he was in no rush to sell as they were renting the bungalow until this sold to then buy a property once sold.


Active Member
As already suggested I would remove the offer and go in much lower.

I don't think I could handle the anxiety having the property marketed right up until exchange, good luck.


Distinguished Member
I would have thought that your offer was null & void already as you agreed a sale with someone who no longer owns it.

Also repossessions do funny things to people. The house may well no longer be in the same condition as when you viewed it. So I'd suggest starting all over again with another viewing when keys are available.

By all means try a lower offer but bear in mind that the bank & estate agent already know what you're prepared to pay. So they could reasonably expect someone else to be willing to pay the same. I don't see any merit it dicking around as they will simply market elsewhere.
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As already suggested I would remove the offer and go in much lower.

I don't think I could handle the anxiety having the property marketed right up until exchange, good luck.

It can be very difficult dealing with the purchase of repo's. The agent are not allowed to refuse any offer (many will try it on though as not everyone will be aware of the legalities) They have a duty to present any offer to the bank (however low it may be).

Is the property likely to be in demand? Are they selling like hot cakes in the area? If so, they next problem could be qualification, for instance, if someone makes an offer lower than yours by say 5k although were looking to pay cash, the bank would more or likely go with them as any deal could be concluded quicker.

I have brought a repo in the past where I had the only offer for 2 weeks, the estate agent then decided to have an open house weekend 3 days before completion. 7-8 offers resulted and the bank insisted that every party must present a sealed tender. I was far from impressed although luckily, I had everything in place.

Its a hard scenario you are facing, you might want to decide if you have the stomach for it. This can so easily lead to disappointment.


Distinguished Member
My sister had exactly this issue, although the owners were effectively squatting at the time, as the property had been repo'd and they then moved back in!

It delayed things by a month, but she got another £20K off it and the agent was very fair with her.


Our first house was a repo. Didn't make any difference other than having to get a locksmith to change all of the locks which the estate agent paid for before viewings commenced (although we did change all of the locks on the day we moved in at their expense as they 'lost' a key).

Mark Greaves

Active Member
First off - good luck!

Pretty much the same thing happened to us 4 years ago. Like you I came here for advice :smashin:

What we found was that once the "repossession machine" had started it was like talking to a brick wall. We (and my solicitor and estate agent) were chasing anyone we could, all to no avail. We were desperate to try get the bank to see that they already had a cash buyer waiting to purchase but it was no good.

There is (or at least was) some guideline that says the bank must wait 6 months to give the seller chance to clear their debts. Our sellers handed the keys in so the 6 months waiting period came into play and the house didn't come onto the market until that time was up. Hopefully it will be different for you since it seems that the bank has come to the seller to repossess so some or all of that 6 months should have been used up already.

As others have said - scrap your current offer and go in lower.

Hope it works out for you.



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