CConveyancing Problems - A Survival Guide!

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RESOURCES - Conveyancing:
Most conveyancing transactions will go ahead without a hitch. The “average” time from the start of the legal work to the moving day is 4 - 6 weeks for a house or 6 - 8 weeks for a flat and this is often achieved. But what if you do have conveyancing problems?
Delays with conveyancing can be extremely frustrating. From the point of view of most buyers and sellers a deal is done once a price has been agreed and what follows is just a case of dotting the is and crossing the ts. Conveyancing problems when they do occur are often difficult to understand for clients who can be left questioning their importance.
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Finding the Source of Conveyancing Problems

Before any conveyancing problems can be solved you first need to find the source. This can be difficult, particularly where there is a long chain. You can speak to your own solicitor but none of the others in the chain. Ask the selling agents to call the other firms in the chain, all the solicitors will usually speak to them. Identify what the problem is and whether there is anything you or your solicitor can do to resolve it.

Conveyancing Problems With Your Own Transaction

Often there will be nothing you can do about problems elsewhere in the chain but obviously you have much more control over conveyancing problems with your own sale/purchase. If the problem is with your transaction then speak to your solicitor and ask him to explain in plain English what the issue is and what possible solutions there are.

You may take the view that your solicitor is being over zealous and you may think that the issue is not so serious. You are the client and if you are buying cash you can instruct the solicitor to proceed regardless though if you are buying with a mortgage then remember that your solicitor has to protect the interest of the mortgage lender also. If the lender comes across any negative conveyancing issues when it sells (should it ever have to repossess) then it will probably look to your solicitor for any losses it suffers.

Alternative Advice on Conveyancing Problems

Where a transaction is being held up because of problems with the conveyancing, you may find that you are offered advice from various sources, the selling agents, a mortgage broker, even the other party's solicitor (via the other party, the solicitors should never contact you directly).

Whilst it might be tempting to listen to whoever is telling you what you want to hear, remember that only your own solicitor is liable to you for any loss you suffer as a result of not dealing properly with any conveyancing problems. Also, your solicitor should not have any agenda other than ensuring that you get the best advice possible.

If you do believe that your solicitor is not giving you the proper advice and this is jeopardising the transaction then you are free to change solicitors. Provided you are on a “no exchange, no fee” deal you will probably not lose any money however you should only do this as a last resort. It will inevitably lead to a delay and you may end up in the same position.

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