August 8, 2013

Contract Races: The Pitfalls and Perils

This post was written by: Nick Powe

When purchasing a property it can often be both time consuming and costly without any certain results. However, many property purchasers are now entering what is known as a Contract Race. A Contract Race is the process in which multiple people attempt to purchase the same house; and if the seller is keen to get the house off their hands they will often start a contract race and sell the property to the first to make a contract. However, with a Contract Race there are multiple pitfalls and perils which accompany it. You are not only taking the risk of being caught out by a faster opponent than yourself without knowing but also the terms of the Contract Race may not be as clear as originally thought. Below are more pitfalls to entering a contract race:


  • You have no guarantee of winning as you can be racing against a faster opponent without knowing their position.
  • You may incur costs without gaining ownership of the property.
  • You must use a solicitor who is used to winning Contract Races.
  • You must have a reliable and fast lender who can provide a Mortgage quickly so you need to get your proposed loan underwritten in advance so an offer can be issued as soon as the surveys are complete.
  • You need to act quickly when you are advised there is a Contract Race so all searches are carried out as soon as possible.
  • Meet your Solicitor so you know the property deeds etc. as soon as possible and do not scrimp to find a flexible Solicitor in terms of speed of actions – top of pile not bottom.
  • Always check the terms of race to ensure you’re aware of the things you need to do to win and weather its 1ts past the post wins.
  • Do not attempt to enter a Contract Race if you have a chain of sales  – it never works as you need to be dependent on yourself and not others


All the best and hope you win!

Nick Powe, Senior Property Solicitor

If your in the process of buying or selling a property please contact our specialist conveyancing solicitors who can assist with the sale or purchase of residential and commercial properties. Furthermore, if you require further advice in regards to contract races please get in touch. Our conveyancing solicitors in Slough can be contacted by calling 01753 486 777 or emailing Alternatively, you can visit our offices at 135 High Street, Slough, Berkshire, SL1 1DN.