David Gilman is partner in charge of Blacks Connect
Ever feel like your conveyancer is holding up your client’s case?
It can be frustrating when you and your client are desperate for a deal to complete but the legal proceedings seem to be delaying everything.
And when you phone for an update, you don’t always get a straightforward response.
Conveyancers are often blamed for holding up the property purchase process, but it’s rarely the case that they are simply being lazy, or prioritising another case in favour of yours. The vast majority of us are working hard to get the case through to completion.
Like you, we get paid on completion, so it is never in our interest to stall a case for our own sake. Although we may sometimes do it for our clients.
Working to order
We work for our clients and do everything in their best interests, from ensuring the purchase process is conducted properly to proceeding at their preferred pace.
Usually a client wants to complete the process as quickly as possible, but sometimes they instruct us to go slowly, for any number of financial or personal reasons.
Perhaps they have Early Repayment Charges on their existing mortgage deal, for example, so they want to try to push back the completion date a month or two until they have expired.
This might save them a few thousand pounds, and they might instruct their conveyancer to go slowly in order to help them achieve this. Within the profession we all understand that this happens, but because of solicitor-client privilege we are not able to disclose this to the other parties. It’s our job to take the flack.
Next time there are delays in your client’s case, remember that somewhere in the chain someone might be instructing their conveyancer to go slow.
Waiting for others
A more common reason for delays is that we are waiting for information from other parties involved in the transaction. At Blacks Connect we never sit on jobs. We get our side of the process done and almost all the delays we face are caused by waiting for others.
For example, we may be waiting for the lender to send us the mortgage offer, or we are waiting for one of the searches to come back.
If you are using one of the leading conveyancing firms they will be doing everything in their power to keep the process moving, and usually working hard to chivvy others along too.
Doing the job properly
Property transactions are complex and while we may all want to move to completion quickly, what we need to do is protect our client and make sure we spot any potential problems and deal thoroughly with any issues that arise.
After all, that’s our job, and what we are being paid to do. There are so many of these potential problems that it is impossible to list them all, but experienced conveyancers are adept at dealing with diverse issues such as a lack of rights of way on a property and insufficient length of time left on a lease for the lender’s requirements.
We need to do the job properly for our clients because the consequences of making a mistake are simply too great.
If you are not getting the right feedback and updates from your conveyancer, find one that takes your needs seriously. But even the best in the business will not be able to guarantee you a quick turnaround with every single case.