Some people are proper shits. Unfortunately the system in our country allows it, I have no idea why it is this way. Just have a decent legal document that you write how much you are offering, and sign the bottom, the seller signs the bottom, and you are tied in or have to pay X in a sensible timeframe, say 6 months. Then everyone knows the score, everyone is tied together, and they know that they aren't spending thousands based on a trust agreement with someone they've never met before.You exchanged well done you.
Now I can share my bad experience (didn't want to worry you before, now its ok)
I had a buyer drop out on the morning of the exchange.
There was me sitting on a spare house and a bridging loan, interest rates at their peak 18% (base plus 2.5%) and the housing market in free fall. Wife was 7 months preggy with number three.
Lost sale cost me a packet, legals £1k, interest £8K, price drop £10k. Nice!
The buyer gave no explanation at all, I believe they had 2 deals on the go and mine was the fall back plan. Thanks a bunch!
Luckily our sellers were perfectly nice, if a bit naive and lazy, but there's no way of knowing when you offer on a place that the estate agent has shown you around.