On Tuesday August 20th we had a call from the agent as promised about ‘Ivy Cottage’. She said they had just received another offer which was ‘considerably more than ours’. I couldn’t do anything about it as we weren’t about to get into a bidding war, so once again I walked away from my dream.

It didn’t occur to me at the time, but wasn’t the timing of this new offer a bit of a strange coincidence? The more I thought about it the more the timings seemed wrong and it began to look more like someone having messed up trying to cover their back. Anyway, I thought things couldn’t get any worse that day, but I’m afraid they did.

We had asked our solicitor to reply to our buyers request for a 30th August completion date offering 27th September as an alternative, after all they had said from day one they were not in a hurry.

She thought this was a perfectly reasonable suggestion, given that now ‘Ivy Cottage’ was off the menu for good (again) there were only 6 working days left before the 30th due to the Bank Holiday, not a lot of time to find somewhere suitable to rent, because that’s what we were going to have to do or risk losing our buyer.

So we were shocked and surprised to hear that our buyers were ‘disappointed’ at this date as they were rather ‘cramped’ in their present accommodation. Accommodation that they had already been in for at least 12 months to our knowledge.

In a further message they changed their story saying they wanted the 30th because their mortgage offer ran out on that date.

If that was true, why say they were ‘cramped’, if that was true why hadn’t they told us before? After all they had obtained their mortgage offer around the first week of July, didn’t they read it?

Also on August 1st when we had bumped into them at the local store, we had actually asked if there was a time limit on the mortgage offer and had been given a definite ‘no’. Believing this reply could have been born of youthful ignorance, Peter’s parting remark was ‘OK, but I think you ought to run your ruler over it just in case and let us know if there is a problem’. We then heard nothing for 2 weeks until the ultimatum for the 30th arrived.

We discussed our situation at some length and decided we would not be bullied from our own home and therefore would stick with the 27th.

The following day we received the next message which was that by delaying completion to the 27th we would be costing them money, (some convoluted story about having withdrawn saving and lost interest due to us rushing them in the beginning and then dragging our feet) so in order for them to comply with the 27th they wanted a ‘discount’ on the agreed price of £1500 to cover their expenses. Now all of a sudden it seemed to be our fault.

Our response was predictable, no ‘discount’ but we would complete on the 17th instead of the 27th providing contracts were exchanged by 5pm that day. Needless to say 5pm came and went. Nothing.

In the space of 48 hours I have lost my dream home (for the umpteenth time) and lost our buyer. How much worse can it get? I must have aged 10 years.