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We sold our house in June 2011 to a first time buyer. We are moving into rented accommodation, so it should have been a straight forward sale. WRONG! Because of Countrywide’s incompetence we are still at it now 17 weeks later.
Countrywide sent our first set of questions from our buyers lawyers at the beginning of August. As we were on holiday I could not respond until we returned on 14 August. They received them back by 17th August. It took three telephone calls to them to ask why they had not sent the questions back to the buyers lawyers. I was told they were reviewing them. After a very irate telephone call they were sent back on 2 September. This was accompanied by a telephone call from the actual solicitor asking me what exchange date and completion I wanted. I realise now that was just to soften me up. On 6th Sept more questions were sent to our solicitor. We did not know about these until 23rd Sept. I responded immediately by getting them plans for the house extension from my council (who sent them through to me in 20 minutes) and emailed them through. All they had to do was forward my email to the buyers lawyers. It took numerous telephone calls to get this done, and finally this was sent on 7th October. We then waited and were led to believe that our buyers would be ready to sign the exchange the following week as everything was now in place. In all fairness our buyers had problems with their mortgage which also contributed to holding things up, but until 7th October Countrywide were not aware of this, but they used it as an excuse for things not getting things done. I was reliably informed that their mortgage was now in place.
On 11 October Countrywide contacted my estate agent and told them more questions had come through. (Did not let us know) my estate told them to email me and let me know. I telephoned them to find out what the questions were. They now wanted building certificates. I got straight on to my faithful council who sent them through to me within minutes and I emailed them through to Countrywide accompanied by a telephone call asking them to send them straight on. They did - two days later. My husband called them two days after that to get an update, and was told they were waiting for a response. They had not bothered to contact them and find out what was going on, so my husband asked them to send us the complaints procedure. They had the cheek to ask why. (A few examples – delays in sending information on and returning it. Do not return telephone calls even though they promise. Lose paperwork. ) It was amazing after he put the phone down, he got another call from 'the head of department'. There is still no end to this saga. We had told them we must exchange by Tuesday next week or we lose our property, but who knows!