Exchange: Could it be Happening?

Dear reader…

We’re here. We’re completely caught up.

As you have followed me so far on this journey, everything I have told you was in retrospect. But here I am, on Sunday 5th June and we have completely caught up on the journey! Everything you know from now will be happening in real-time, how crazy is that?!

Anyway. I left you on a bit of a cliffhanger last time (sorry!!!) with a flurry of activity beginning on Monday 30th May. The solicitors had confirmed they had what they needed to start the exchange.

Tuesday 31st May

On Tuesday, after more unexplained and unnecessary delays and another non-exchange on Monday, James raised the question whether the buyers are aware that they only have to transfer 10% of the purchase price to their solicitor to exchange, rather than the full amount of their house deposit listed in the mortgage application.

Turns out they weren’t aware of that, they hadn’t been advised at all by their solicitor (CLASSIC!) so were now trying to get the full deposit together instead of just the 10% necessary to exchange. We were all understandably pissed off that once again, solicitors had literally not done the one job they were tasked with – to guide their clients through their purchase.

On Tuesday morning, I get a call from an estate agent who is covering for Amelia this week. She advises me that thanks to James raising the question, the buyers have now been corrected, are taking immediate action to get the money over to solicitors and we should exchange TOMORROW. I couldn’t have been less interested, and I just asked her “what is there that we’re unaware of that could hold this up?” Confused, she advised me that this is it, that once the buyer has transferred the funds, we can start the ball rolling. I advised her that, no disrespect to her, but we’ve been told this several times already and I would believe it when I see it, at which point she kindly put it into layman’s terms and said that this would be it. All that’s required is that the solicitors are ready and waiting to do it tomorrow, and are all in agreement of a date.

WHOOP, there it is.

Why don’t I believe we’ll be exchanging tomorrow? Because you have literally just told me it depends on solicitors agreeing on something. I know by now that solicitors do not agree ANYTHING in such a short timeframe, we have been trying to get ours to simply reply to emails and answer our calls for a week, and not to mention that the day after tomorrow, Thursday 2nd June, marks the beginning of, you guessed it, ANOTHER bank holiday. FOUR whole days without any contact to celebrate the queen’s jubilee. What chance would we have that they would all agree, and at such short notice as tomorrow?! She reassured me that there really was no reason this shouldn’t happen tomorrow now, and that she would push for it.

A Change in Direction

Not long after getting off the phone to her, thinking that while doubtful, maybe, just maybe this could happen tomorrow, I received not one but two emails. One from this new estate agent, emailing our solicitor basically demanding that we exchange tomorrow and that he works with the others to make it happen as a matter of urgency, and one back from the solicitor CONFIRMING this!!!!!!!

Upon receipt of that, gobsmacked, I realised we could actually, very very possibly exchange tomorrow.

Wednesday 1st June – Exchange day?

Wednesday arrived, and I felt something I’ve not felt for a LONG time in this house journey: excitement. Excitement and hope.

Could today be the day?!

James was away but was coming home that evening because he gets bank holidays off work, and I couldn’t help but think how fitting it would be if we exchanged today. Not only would he be coming home and we could do what I’ve always said we would do – have champagne to celebrate one of the few joys along this journey – but we would then have four whole days together where we could start to think about all the things we had been holding off until we exchange.

The day was spent with A LOT of back and forth, and my adrenaline levels begin to soar when James calmly advised me that it was happening.

It was happening.

The buyers’ solicitor had received the funds, had communicated with our solicitor for the sale, as well as our solicitors for the purchase, and all parties were working to exchange today. We had agreed a date, then another date, and then another 3 dates, all in the space of a few hours, but we had settled on a completion date of July 28th.

By late afternoon, I was trembling with anticipation. We were on tenterhooks.

I was checking my phone every 10 seconds for an update from James, who told me that he felt the same at this point, but that things were definitely happening. He had received confirmation from solicitors and was receiving notifications from the HM land registry which meant that some important things were happening, and the ball was rolling.

I was close to happy tears pretty much the entire day. I couldn’t believe it was happening. Even though I would be working the entire bank holiday weekend, knowing that we had exchanged and our house sale was as good as done would more than make up for it. We could actually start to plan for our big move, and our new life in a new place. I could start to mentally say goodbye to this house (yes I know I’m weird but I’ve been holding off until I know we’re actually moving!) Everything felt amazing and I was just so so ready for it. I was cautious about the fact that I was well and truly allowing myself to be sucked into this excitement when I had done so well so far to protect myself and not get my hopes up on any of the previous “exchanges”, but honestly, this one felt different. It was happening; all the signs were there.

One of the buyers even knocked on to have a quick chat about completion logistics, and we laughed about the humongous bottle of champers we’d hopefully all be devouring tonight. I told him I have a bottle of wine and a bottle of champers chilling in the fridge, one for celebrating and one to take the edge off what had been a VERY tense day if we didn’t make it through. So either way, I’d be drinking something, I just hoped it’d be the champagne. We laughed, it felt jolly, and I felt like I was drinking sunshine.

I went to pick my dog up from daycare, giddy as anything by this point. As I left my house at 5.10pm, I get a call from James telling me that he’s spoken to the buyer’s solicitor, and it should be done by 5.30pm.

I was borderline hysterical.

I drove to pick my dog up, this time crying happy tears. They’d started! I couldn’t control them because I was so giddy about the prospect. This was it! We could FINALLY plan for our new life that up to now had been on hold and uncertain. I was trying to contain myself and wait until it had actually happened before I could fully embrace all the emotions, but I was just so full of hope and excitement, dreaming of the champagne we’d be drinking within the hour and the joy we would feel together tonight, finally being able to plan to move.

And Then…

5.30pm arrived, nothing.

5.45pm arrived, nothing.

6pm, nothing.

I called James to see whether something was wrong, he advised he had been trying to get hold of our solicitor and was waiting in a service station en route home in case the solicitor rang and needed immediate action from him to secure the exchange. He didn’t know what was happening.

And at 6.10pm, I get a text from James.

“It’s not happening. It’s gunna be Monday. But it’s fine, don’t worry.”

I was crushed. Completely crushed. I couldn’t believe it.

I had finally let myself believe that we were exchanging, that it would finally be happening, that we would thoroughly enjoy the long bank holiday weekend planning all the things we’d been waiting until we exchange to plan, and at the final hurdle, something had gone wrong. I should have seen it coming, but I had wholeheartedly let myself believe it was happening.

I composed myself to call James, who told me that our housing developer’s solicitors hadn’t come back in time to confirm the exchange, and like everyone else we needed action from, they were now off for the long weekend.

I honestly couldn’t believe it. OK, we had the security that they couldn’t do anything like take the house off us at this stage, because it was literally their solicitors holding this up, but I was FURIOUS that this had happened. I was angry, bitter about the fact that these dickheads would be able to get to enjoy their long weekend whilst I would not only be working every day but now completely desolate and moping about the fact that we were so close to confirming our home and they STILL couldn’t get their acts together. I was BEYOND frustrated about the fact that despite the amount of money they’re all receiving, our fate is once again in the hands of useless solicitors who clearly just wanted to finish and go home for the long weekend. And beyond all of the anger, bitterness, and clear victim mentality, I was just upset. So upset. I had just wanted it so badly.

I allowed myself to mope for the evening, and I still felt sad and defeated on Thursday. I was ready to throw the towel in with this damn house. I am DONE. Because let’s face it, we all know that Monday will come and what then?! What will the solicitors do then to hold up the exchange further?! OK, they’ve said Monday but really, WTF does that mean. It isn’t going to happen is it?! BECAUSE IT NEVER DOES.

I realised at this point that I couldn’t spend the next four days being angry, there has just been so much negativity these last few months and I can’t cope with it anymore. Go back to apathy if I must, but I had to stop being a victim, put my big girl pants on, and get on with it like we had with every other disappointment on this journey, and try again on Monday.


So as it stands, dear reader, tomorrow is Monday. Tomorrow is the day we’ve been told we’ll exchange.

But we were also told last Wednesday, and the Monday before that, and the Friday before that, so really, I’ll believe it when it happens, and only then.

But in the meantime, just in case, please keep everything crossed for us and send lots of good energy our way, that tomorrow will finally bring some really anticipated, much-needed happiness and good news!

Disclaimer: yes I know there are more important things going on in the world but this isn’t a series about the state of the world, it’s about my house sale and purchase journey!


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