You know what they say about the best laid plans of mice and men… The offer was accepted on our ‘perfect’ house. We signed various agreements and went to the notary to grant power of attorney for most of the purchase proceedings, but not for the final day, we wanted to be there ourselves to sign the purchase forms at the Notary on completion day, set for 12 weeks’ time. We paid over the 3,000 euros deposit and a date was agreed for the second payment.
The vendors were a Spanish couple who were selling their weekend holiday home as the wife was sadly terminally ill. Although very sad for this couple that we had never met we knew that selling their second home would be a relief to them, freeing up much needed funds and making things less complicated for the husband. He signed the forms but she was taken into hospital with unexpected complications. Without her signature things couldn’t complete but our solicitors worked with theirs to do as much of the work as possible. They expected the lady to be out soon so she could attend the Notary and give power of attorney to her solicitors to sign everything on her behalf in the future.
Then the phone call came – the lady had died. I felt guilty at being so disappointed, after all losing the house was nothing compared to what the poor man had lost. It wasn’t going to be possible to continue with the purchase so we were back to square one. In the normal course of events when buying a property both seller and buyer deposit 3000 euros with solicitors. Whichever party pulls out loses their deposit.
However as the lady had never signed anything both deposits were still held by our own solicitors, not paid over, and in the light of the tragic events it was agreed that the best option was to just each settle our own solicitor’s costs to date, it was a financial blow but a relatively small one in the grand scheme of things.
However, when we returned to Spain for our next house hunt we felt much wiser, more knowledgeable and more confident about pursuing our dream.