You will have probably noticed over the past few months that some people are rather desperate to sell their properties and are trying out new ideas to realise deals. Frustrated with watching their homes or businesses sit on the market without interest from potential buyers (or else attracting what they think are derisory offers), people are embracing alternative methods of "sale".
We have already heard about houses being offered as prizes in raffles, but this has caused some controversy to date, with arguments that such schemes fall foul of gambling laws. However, this week I noticed in the news that there has been a slightly new initiative, this time involving a competition as the acquisition tool. In fact, if you are any good at quizzes maybe this is for you, as all you need to do is enter an online pub quiz for £10, win the quiz and the pub is yours!
The pub in question is the Plash Inn at Whitland in Carmarthenshire. The owners are said to be keen to sell due to family circumstances (they have a disabled son and feel they cannot commit enough time to the pub) and, after several unsuccessful months on the market, came up with the idea of a pub quiz. There is now a live website for you to submit your entry where there are 4 questions followed by a tie breaker. The website will then close at the end of June on the basis that there are 95% of the 30,000 entrants they are after (otherwise it will be extended until September). The winner will then be chosen by two independent judges.
The exact mechanics of exchange and completion have not been disclosed yet (it may well all be set out once you formally enter the competition) but ideally, if you win, you will still have the chance to carry out your standard due diligence and review and negotiate draft documentation (as opposed to, let's say, an auction where you are deemed to have exchanged contracts at the time your bid is successful and will have carried out all your investigations beforehand). Buying a property or a business can carry significant liabilities and buyers should of course beware before buying any property or business (even if it did only cost £10). It is too early to tell whether this idea will work, never mind on a grand scale, but provided all the rules and conditions governing traditional sales are followed, then this might be a solution for the anxious seller (although I suspect that valuers and estate agents watching their roles diminish will not be so enthusiastic about the idea). Buyers, however, may still prefer the traditional route and the comfort of a standard arrangement. Time will tell and we can see what happens come June in this case.
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