‘I am frustrated with my conveyancer as the whole process is taking far too long’ - I hear this from time to time despite the efforts we make at the outset to manage a client’s expectation. It’s easy to blame and vent anger in the direction of the conveyancer but more often than not the source of the frustration lies elsewhere.
For most home buyers, once they have had an offer accepted on the property of their dreams the next thing they want to do is to start picking out furnishings and make plans to move. In simple terms one party wants to buy and one party wants to sell, what could be simpler and why should it take so long for the formalities to be sorted?
The reality is that there is no set timetable when it comes to a conveyancing transaction and so things only progress as quickly as the slowest moving part of the chain. At a time when banks are now looking closely at their lending criteria it can often be the case that a buyer may have to jump through more hoops that previously in order to satisfy their chosen lender. Also, one person’s idea of urgent may not necessarily accord with another’s, and buyers and sellers can face dealing with people and or their representatives who may not share the same views on how quickly a transaction should proceed.
People have their own agendas and rightly so often decide to keep these very much under cover. So even though on the surface he objectives are in common with each other there often exist complications which make it difficult for the conveyancer to push through things quickly.
If there is a sizeable chain of transactions then it is possible that one transaction can be ready to proceed fairly quickly, but is delayed whilst transactions elsewhere in the chain deal with complications.
Managing expectations and recognising that most conveyancing transactions will have complications or reasons for delay which are beyond the control of the conveyancer makes it advisable that buyers and sellers should not set their hearts on any specific dates for completion.
There is no harm if parties wish to work towards target dates, but moving home is stressful enough without adding in the stress of trying to complete a transaction by a specific date, which may turn out to be non - achievable.
Estate agents often raise expectations and set timetables which are unrealistic and for this reason it’s always advisable to speak to and rely only on the guidance given by your conveyancer.
Also keep in mind that the conveyancing process which has not changed since 1925 is antiquated and is not designed to promote a quick and efficient transaction. On the contrary it often contributes to delay and makes it difficult and costly for the home owner to sell and or buy. But that’s a different story!
Morgan Jones and Pett are solicitors who provide legal advice and services to clients based in England and Wales and who can be contacted on 01603877000 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org