Get your free preview copy
How to Really Buy a Property
≡ Menu
≡ Menu

My solicitor says there is a problem that cannot be solved

Answer

This can sometimes be the case where the party who needs to answer a question is not available, such as the freeholder. To get round many problems indemnity insurance is widely available. See the section Legal Matters in Property Purchases.

Search Results for '' in
How to Really Buy a Property

"... as many Financial Advisers as possible; What to do before you start viewing so you don't loose your dream home; Who the surveyor, solicitor and estate agent are really working for; How to make an offer to get things your way; Who to trust and who, with the best intentions, may be misleading..."

"... Friends, family and work colleagues are also very keen to offer their analysis, often based on that very same media. It would be interesting how many of these advisers would be interested in knowing what Estate Agents, solicitors and Surveyors forecast for the industries that they work in! ..."

"... you are well prepared for your search in terms of finances but are happy to discuss further options That you have given some thought to a solicitor but this is open to discussion That you are focused on what you want That you will listen to advice and not think you know best just..."
"... from an agent if you can show that you have given some thought to: Your finances - see Sorting Out Your Mortgage Your solicitor - see Choosing a Conveyancer or solicitor What you want and why you want it The negotiator in a successful and professional agency is busy, especially in a..."

"... take too long to transact the deal |NO | Shortlist! The secret agenda of some solicitors; Why it's worth choosing a solicitor before you start looking for a property; How different solicitors work; Why the cheapest..."
"... Shortlist! Why it's worth choosing a solicitor before you start looking for a property; How different solicitors work; Why the cheapest solicitor can kill your purchase; How your lender can force..."
"... this chapter The secret agenda of some solicitors; Why it's worth choosing a solicitor before you start looking for a property; How different solicitors work; Why the cheapest solicitor can kill your purchase; How your lender can force you to pay for a second solicitor; Why you should..."
"... solicitors; Why it's worth choosing a solicitor before you start looking for a property; How different solicitors work; Why the cheapest solicitor can kill your purchase; How your lender can force you to pay for a second solicitor; Why you should avoid small firms; How to tell if a..."
"... you start looking for a property; How different solicitors work; Why the cheapest solicitor can kill your purchase; How your lender can force you to pay for a second solicitor; Why you should avoid small firms; How to tell if a solicitor is 'trapped in the past'; Why a friend's..."
"... can kill your purchase; How your lender can force you to pay for a second solicitor; Why you should avoid small firms; How to tell if a solicitor is 'trapped in the past'; Why a friend's recommendation can lead to disaster; The quick check-list for choosing a solicitor; True stories of..."
"... small firms; How to tell if a solicitor is 'trapped in the past'; Why a friend's recommendation can lead to disaster; The quick check-list for choosing a solicitor; True stories of solicitors who made mistakes. - Before You Start Viewing Properties - The last thing you want to..."
"... 'trapped in the past'; Why a friend's recommendation can lead to disaster; The quick check-list for choosing a solicitor; True stories of solicitors who made mistakes. - Before You Start Viewing Properties - The last thing you want to do when you have made the decision to start house..."
"... last thing you want to do when you have made the decision to start house hunting is bother with looking for a solicitor (and in this chapter we will use 'solicitor' to mean solicitor or conveyancer). It is however, one of the single most important decisions you will make and getting it wrong wastes your time and money and could result in you loosing the property you want for no good reason. In the vast majority of cases the following principle..."
"... majority of cases the following principle applies: If you buy the property the solicitor gets paid but may be sued for missing something. If you do not buy the property the solicitor still gets paid and has no chance of getting sued. It is therefore subconsciously in the solicitors..."
"... sued. It is therefore subconsciously in the solicitors interest to make sure the deal does not happen although not that many spend too much time thinking about this. They have, after all, got to marry the advantageous of you not buying with the disadvantageous of you not recommending. In..."
"... not buying with the disadvantageous of you not recommending. In almost any location the choice of solicitors and the variations in price are mind boggling but there are quick and simple ways to narrow the choice down quickly. Finding the right solicitor has nothing to do with price, this..."
"... the right solicitor has nothing to do with price, this is truly a field of getting what you pay for. If you are at offer stage and almost all of your savings have been taken up in deposit money and stamp duty it's tempting to try and save a few hundred pounds on the legal services. It's also a mistake that you will kick yourself for as you sit on hold, or wait for your fourth call of the day to be returned, or chase them to raise the enquiries that will allow..."
"... and could leave you with many regrets. If the cheapy solicitor that you choose does not return calls or is overloaded with work there is an extremely high chance the vendor will loose confidence in you as a serious buyer and pull out of the deal. Remember above everything that swift..."
"... confidence in you as a serious buyer and pull out of the deal. Remember above everything that swift progress to exchange is crucial (see Chapter 19: Time Costs Deals). An efficient solicitor who knows this should work as follows: Receives contract and title deeds (or office copy entries) and..."
"... you of any unusual circumstances, and confirms you are happy to exchange In other words everything happens at once which dramatically reduces timescales. An inefficient or "traditional" solicitor works like this: Receives contract and title deeds which he files He waits to get the..."
"...Once the local searches are back he then gathers all the papers together at one time. He looks at the contract, title and lease along with the local searches. He now raises enquiries all at once as this is easier and takes less of his time. These will take 2-4 weeks, often depending on the efficiency of the managing agents, the local council and the vendors solicitor. ..."
"... traditional approach will easily take three to four months from offer to exchange whereas the modern approach can usually keep the timescales to within four weeks! The traditional solicitor will argue that if anything were to go wrong at any stage he has saved you money. If your survey is a problem, for example, at least you will not have paid for local searches or his time to look at the contract. It's a contradiction - the longer a sale drags on, the more likely it is to fall through (see Chapter 19: Time Costs Deals) and cost you money..."
"... solicitors are more likely to be found in rural areas of the UK where, to be fair, there is less urgency on a sale and they may save you money. They are not to be used for purchases in a major city or booming markets where their slow pace can have the vendor doubting how serious you..."
"... where their slow pace can have the vendor doubting how serious you are. If you are in doubt and if you want an easy life one of the best ways to choose a solicitor is ask several Estate Agents who they would recommend. Any of these names are likely to be good. Estate Agents only recommend..."
"... of these names are likely to be good. Estate Agents only recommend solicitors who work fast and return calls. It makes their lives easier too, especially when there is a change of buyers and sellers involved. Collusion between solicitors and agents is extremely rare as the law surrounding the obligations of solicitors and your rights to sue are very..."
"... is extremely rare as the law surrounding the obligations of solicitors and your rights to sue are very advanced. - How your lender can force you to pay for a second solicitor - Before we move onto how you can chose a good solicitor it is worth bearing in mind the following. No matter who you..."
"... you to pay for a second solicitor - Before we move onto how you can chose a good solicitor it is worth bearing in mind the following. No matter who you chose your lender, if you are taking out a mortgage, might end up forcing you to hire a second solicitor. Lenders are risking their money on..."
"... surveyor will confirm the market value of the property but it is the solicitor who will raise flags on anything unusual that may affect this value. If, after receiving the paperwork from the solicitor you hired, the lender feels the conveyancing has not been carried out competently they will refuse to lend until a solicitor they trust has been over the documents and raised any enquiries of their..."
"... the documents and raised any enquiries of their own. This comes as a profound shock to many buyers because they also find out that the lender is expecting them to pay for the second solicitor as well. These situations are common where: There is a high Loan to Value (LTV) - in other words..."
"... is a high Loan to Value (LTV) - in other words the buyer is borrowing most of the money. The solicitor is small and relatively unknown - and this usually means cheap which was why they were chosen. In the end the buyer ends up paying for the cheap solicitor and the lenders more..."
"... cheap which was why they were chosen. In the end the buyer ends up paying for the cheap solicitor and the lenders more expensive solicitor which, in total, cost more than if the buyer had simply chosen a quality conveyancer in the first place. If you are in doubt, or your finances are..."
"... the first place. If you are in doubt, or your finances are stretched and you do not want to risk this outcome, it is recommended that you contact the lender and ask them for a list of solicitors that they recommend. Most have specific panels for each area of the country. Otherwise the..."
"... they recommend. Most have specific panels for each area of the country. Otherwise the remainder of this chapter explains how to find a good quality solicitor who will do the job right within a sensible time scale. - Big Firms and Little Firms - Small companies are to be avoided at all..."
"... two or three solicitors working in an office may seem all very cosy. This is the traditional model but in a rising market with much activity they can very quickly become overloaded with work. Holidays, illness or someone leaving only compounds this problem. They may have been recommended to you by a friend or a colleague but this will be little consolation if they are slow and you get gazumped or the vendor pulls out, frustrated at a lack of process and assuming you are not serious about the..."
"... When things get busy solicitors can end up spending all day answering calls from their clients and not looking at the legalities which they need to get resolved in order to progress the sale. Justifiably they take shelter behind a secretary or answering machine so they can get on with things. ..."
"... good modern solicitor should have their systems automated. This means they can quickly access your file or, in their absence, someone else can bring you up to speed. For an agent it is very easy to spot an out of date solicitor. If they 'phone up and ask on progress the solicitor does one of the..."
"... As a buyer you won't be able to hear this until it is too late so make sure to ask how they track the deal and who can access that information in your solicitors absence. Some very modern companies now offer internet access so you can keep informed on progress at any time of the day or night. ..."
"... check and make sure the solicitor has email. It is a much more efficient way of keeping in touch as they are usually extremely busy and chances are, if you can afford to buy in a major city, so are you! Avoid solicitors without email, it says a great deal about their understanding of modern technology, and about the way they work in..."
"... to most people solicitors have their own postal system known as DX (Document Exchange) which allows them to move large documents rapidly between each other. Very small solicitors or extremely old fashioned ones have not invested in this and so much backwarding and forwarding is reliant on the post. Considering the number of strikes at individual sorting offices over the last few years the last place you want your signed contract is in a sorting office while postal workers argue over health and safety or pay and..."
"... or pay and conditions. If a solicitor does not have DX avoid them - it speaks volumes about their investment in their own business and their understanding of even the most basic technologies. It also speaks volumes about how fast they intend to transact the deal. - Holidays - When your..."
"... your solicitor disappears off on his spring break he will either leave your case to one of his partners or hire a locum (a temporary solicitor). They may want to read over the paperwork again and, knowing that it is them who will take the fall for any issues they allowed to get through at exchange, raise some more enquiries. The result is that when you thought you were exchanging on Tuesday morning, suddenly your solicitor wants a bunch of new questions answered. Depending how rocky the transaction has been to date this can often be the straw that breaks the camel's back for the..."
"... sure the solicitor you choose has a colleague (not a temporary solicitor drafted in from somewhere else) who will handle your case in his absence and that within the firm there are agreed protocols on what questions must be answered before exchange to avoid any nasty delays. Most importantly check your solicitors holiday plans at the start of the transaction and make the vendor and/or agent aware so no one is taken by..."
"... big advantage of large companies is that you are unlikely to be dealing with the boss or senior partner. This means you will be able to push the matter higher if you think the solicitor acting for you is inefficient. With a small partnership you probably are dealing with the boss and any complaints procedure will involve external parties. The investigation will take so long you are bound to have lost the property before anything is..."
"... are bound to have lost the property before anything is resolved. - The New Breed of Conveyancers - In recent years there have been two changes in the world of conveyancing solicitors: Small firms have recognised the future is in size and merged, bought other firms or been taken over..."
"... solicitor needs some sort of local knowledge or to work with colleagues that do. Otherwise they will not be able to picture the type of property you are buying and this will lead to irrelevant inquiries being raised that frustrate and annoy the vendor. They will also not have contacts within the area (such as the local borough council) which mean that certain enquiries cannot be resolved instantly...."
"... a city centre solicitor should understand the urgency of taking an agreed price to exchange in a highly competitive market. A point often lost on a solicitor in North Wales who may constantly tell you to relax and not worry about anything as he gazes out over the green hills contemplating what to do when he leaves at three o'clock that..."
"... years old and in extremely good order. He actually lived in Harpenden and initially wanted to use his own solicitor that did most of the family business but did listen to reason and instructed a solicitor based in the next street to the property. When the local search came back it..."
"... the local search came back it revealed that the building had a 'dangerous structure' notice issued against it. The solicitor called a friend in the local council who found out within the hour that this related to a porta-cabin that had become unstable during a storm when the building was actually..."
"... A solicitor with a poor understanding of the local area may well have taken the news of a dangerous structure to the buyers who could have panicked and pulled out. If they had not the solicitor would have had to write to the local council which may have delayed the exchange by another two weeks. ..."
"... permission from 1903! Frank and Sarah had offered on a Mansion Block apartment in Clapham. The price was agreed but they wanted to use a solicitor based in Exeter because the firm had been recommended by a friend and was cheaper than any quote they had had from London. The Mansion Block had..."
"... than any quote they had had from London. The Mansion Block had been built in 1903 but this was not the kind of building that the Exeter solicitor was used to dealing with and so she requested the planning consent and the architects original drawings. The vendor thought that the buyers were..."
"... architects original drawings. The vendor thought that the buyers were probably not serious and considered whether to withdraw the papers and look for a new buyer. He only backed down after the buyers interceded and asked their solicitor to drop the enquiry. - The Conveyer Belt Method -..."
"... even on the survey. When the replies have come back they pass the results onto the next team who are qualified solicitors. They look at the replies and all the paperwork and then raise further enquiries where their standard systems have not closed off the gaps. This system is slow and..."
"... is a very tempting offer from solicitors and even though it is not quite as good as it sounds, it means your solicitor is motivated to get the conveyancing completed quickly. Technically the "no fee" relates to the labour part of the fee. In other words you will still have to pay for local searches and other charges but they won't charge you for their..."
"... fixed fee offer from a solicitor is another relatively new product. It is usually more expensive than a standard estimated quote but remember that estimated quotes are based on everything going through without a hitch. This is rarely the case, especially with strange leaseholds and various extra legal documents such as deeds of variation can often lead to unexpected costs...."
"... to unexpected costs. Depending on your financial circumstances the Fixed Fee option may be well worth considering. It is also a bonus to see a solicitor offer this as it shows they are forward thinking in their business attitudes and have control over their costs. - Recommended by a..."
"... is potentially one of the worst ways to choose a solicitor but an understandable mistake made by many buyers. If someone says to you 'use solicitor X because they are really thorough" ask them how they know. The only way to be sure a solicitor has been thorough is when you come to sell and your solicitor at this time doesn't say, "who the hell let this transaction go through?"..."
"... people base the word "through" on how many questions and enquiries their solicitor raises but has no idea if these are actually relevant. There is a fine line between being thorough and going over the top to cover any eventuality under the sun. Too many enquiries that are seen by the vendor as irrelevant can simply lead him or her to believe that you are not a serious buyer and pull out of the..."
"... friend, for example, may have bought a brand new apartment where the builder has an experienced legal team that drew up a full set of papers months ago. A solicitor has to be seriously incompetent to cock up that transaction whereas they only need to be mildly incompetent to mess things up with your Victorian leasehold where the freeholder who produced the lease is a bank in Japan or the Earl of..."
"... or the Earl of Cornwall! Your friend may also have bought a property in Wandsworth using a Wandsworth solicitor. That solicitor knows Wandsworth and the idiosyncratic nature of Wandsworth legalities but when it comes to your place in Leytonstone he is all at sea. - Summary - Choosing..."
"... he is all at sea. - Summary - Choosing the right solicitor saves time, money and stress and ensures you will get the property you want. At the same time you can rest easy that there will be no nasty surprises when you come to sell your home. The flowchart on the following page is a..."
"... you are offered. On a final note be prepared for the fact that not every solicitor will actually want your work. The most successful firms can pick and choose. Some decide, for example, not to handle leasehold work, others not to deal with first time buyers, and so on. Flowchart for..."
"... choose. Some decide, for example, not to handle leasehold work, others not to deal with first time buyers, and so on. Flowchart for Choosing the Right solicitor Does the solicitor have three or more staff members? --- NO ---> Avoid - Holidays and..."
"... not to deal with first time buyers, and so on. Flowchart for Choosing the Right solicitor Does the solicitor have three or more staff members? --- NO ---> Avoid - Holidays and sickness have a massive impact on their ability to process your transaction ..."
"... have a massive impact on their ability to process your transaction |YES | Does the solicitor have a computer system that allows other staff in his office to give you feedback? --- NO ---> Avoid - you can spend all day trying to get through to one person and if they..."
"... trying to get through to one person and if they are off sick no one else can process the transaction |YES | Does the solicitor have email? --- NO ---> Avoid - it says a great deal about how they understand technology and modern working methods |YES..."
"... Avoid - it says a great deal about how they understand technology and modern working methods |YES | Does the solicitor have DX? --- NO ---> Avoid - it says a great deal about how they understand technology and modern working methods |YES ..."
"... deal about how they understand technology and modern working methods |YES | Does the solicitor regularly carry out conveyancing in the area that you are buying? --- NO ---> Avoid - small issues will take a long time to get resolved as they do not have the..."
"... quickly and he will not be familiar with the types of properties and their legalities. |YES | Does the solicitor operate a 'conveyer belt' system? --- YES ---> Avoid in a busy market - they will take too long to transact the deal |NO | ..."

Chapter 13: Your Own Homework
"... Permission for This Property? - If you have looked at a property that is new or appears to have had an extension you can check if planning permission exists for this before going down the expensive road of hiring a solicitor and paying a surveyor. It is important to note that some..."

"... advantage is that, should you make an offer, the vendor is only reliant on you and your solicitor to get the sale through. If you have something to sell, even if an offer has been agreed on it, there is still twice as much to go wrong and the vendor you wish to purchase from knows absolutely nothing about the stability of your buyer...."
"... Free Property: A vendor who will sell his property and move out as soon as the solicitors sort out the paperwork and the buyer has the funds in place. This is different from the chain situation where a vendor accepts an offer subject to him finding a place to buy. Chain Free Properties are extremely attractive as any purchase should only involve five parties - you, the vendor, the lender and the two solicitors. The fewer people involved and the shorter the timescales, the more likely it is that everything will happen..."
"... is possible to buy a property which is currently rented out. A landlord, for example, may want to sell his property but the tenants are only halfway through their twelve month lease. Many investors do buy tenanted properties, it saves having to find tenants themselves! It's possible but its not easy and both the lender and solicitors will need some badgering to make it..."
"... on the property. The lender will organised for anyone in the property to be removed, locks to be changed, and a solicitor to be instructed. They have not come to this decision lightly, it has been expensive and they are now sitting on an empty property. They are in a hurry. This means..."
"... that is not insured, its all down to you to find the cash! Some solicitors see Freehold properties as so much easier to deal with that they actually refuse to handle transactions involving leasehold or share of freehold properties. - Making an Offer on a Property - Once you have some..."

"... In exchange for offering the asking price you should expect, and request, that the vendor withdraws his property from the market although they may not be prepared to do this until you have instructed a solicitor and paid for a survey (i.e. spent some money yourself to show you are serious). ..."
"... confirm that I wish to offer £235,000 on 10 High Street, London, E6 2JN. The offer is to include the curtains, carpets and cooker. My offer is made up of a £200,000 mortgage from Barclays Bank and £25,000 in cash. I have nothing to sell and would want to exchange in four weeks time and complete four weeks after that. I attach my Agreement in Principle and a copy of a bank statement to confirm my finances. The solicitor I will be using is ... and their telephone number is..."
"... will want to deal with you only. Show your serious intentions by attaching proof of your ability to proceed (an agreement in principle or pre arranged mortgage), the solicitor you have chosen and a bank statement or otherwise proving the cash element. Things that will always act in your..."
"... bank statement or otherwise proving the cash element. Things that will always act in your favour are: Using the solicitor the agent recommends or one with a knowledge of the local area Using (or at least visiting) the financial adviser the agent recommends Being open and clear with your..."
"... The solicitor you use - the agent can sell you better if you are using a solicitor from the local area or one that the agent has recommended. They type of solicitor is also important in this process. Full details on how to choose the right solicitor are in Choosing a Conveyancer or solicitor ..."
"... as simple as a washing machine. By doing these simple things the vendor knows exactly where you are coming from and treats you as a serious buyer. It also greatly reduced the possibility of arguments after you have spent money on solicitors and surveys. When you are considering the..."
"...Many buyers are often at pains to show how serious they are about the property they have offered on. As such they offer to pay a "non-refundable deposit" to the vendor as a sign of their honourable intentions. Estate agents are not allowed to handle these transactions so they must be done through the solicitors. ..."
"... solicitor is likely to be against such an idea. To start with it may seem like a great way to send positive messages to the vendor but any such agreement is likely to be complicated. If in the process of buying it is discovered that, for example, the property has subsidence or the house next door has got planning permission to double in size and block out all the sunlight to your garden, it would be fair for you to pull out of the..."
"... scenario as we will see in Time Costs Deals solicitors that do agree to try and sort out such deposit can take weeks agreeing terms when they could be getting on with doing the paperwork that would allow you to exchange, complete and move in! - Summary - Many agents are poorly..."
"... yourself in the shoes of the solicitor and consider their position. The more the buyer shines in terms of the way they have prepared for the purchase, the more comfortable the vendor is going to feel and the more likely they are to say to themselves, "I wasn't thinking of selling at that price but I will because I feel safer that this buyer is offering a low stress transaction for..."

"... the advice of family and friends causes some people to pull out of a purchase and regret it later; Why the solicitor you are paying may not be acting in your best interests; Why the surveyor who values or inspects the property may not be acting in your best interests; What is..."
"... to earn some commission (see Working With Estate Agents) The buyer does trust their solicitor even though, in most cases, the solicitor has a vested interest in the sale not going through (see Choosing a solicitor or Conveyancer) The buyer does trust their surveyor even though the surveyor..."
"... carefully if you would like to live in their home, and could you afford it? If not, take what they say with a pinch of salt. - The Advice of the solicitor - It would be fair to assume the solicitor you are paying will be protecting your interests when it comes to buying a property. They..."
"... would be fair to assume the solicitor you are paying will be protecting your interests when it comes to buying a property. They should be checking the paperwork and making you aware of any unusual discrepancies that they believe will be material to your decision making. And this is exactly what the most professional solicitors..."
"... most professional solicitors do. But there is a flip side which depends on the type of solicitor you have instructed. You will either be paying a solicitor a flat fee for their services or you will have hired one that offers a 'no purchase, no fee' promise. Flat fee solicitors - in this..."
"... fee solicitors - in this situation the solicitor knows he will get paid no matter what the outcome is. However he knows that if you exchange and complete on the property, and then later find he did not make you aware of some points which you feel were important, he can be sued. It is thus in his vested interest for you to pull out of the purchase - fee paid, no risk. For this reason very small firms of solicitors often appear extremely over protective and often present you with reasons why you should not proceed further on a particular purchase. Reasons a larger and more financially resourced, firm would not..."
"... purchase, no fee' solicitors - these firms usually calculate into their business model that a certain percentage of purchases will fall through. Those clients that do buy cover these costs which means they are generally more expensive. This aside a 'no purchase, no fee' solicitor has a vested interest in your offer going through to exchange and so may gloss over points that they really should bring to your attention. The likelihood of this will rise if the percentage of fall-throughs they are experiencing is rising above that of their business..."
"... if the percentage of fall-throughs they are experiencing is rising above that of their business model. For more details on solicitors see chapter 12: Choosing a Conveyancer or solicitor. - The Advice of the Surveyor - The surveyor is another property professional who is also paid by you..."
"... surveyors work on a flat fee basis. Here the problem is similar to flat fee solicitors. If you actually complete on the property and then find discrepancies in their work you can sue. If you don't complete they get paid and there is no risk of being sued. In general the smaller the firm, the..."
"... you will loose your property. (See The Balance of Power) They know, if they are experienced, when the surveyor or solicitor is trying to undermine the purchase and is not really acting in your interests for the reasons covered above - Summary - When most buyers enter into the home..."
"... most buyers enter into the home buying market they are aware of the common stereotypes, especially that of the estate agent. They are not so aware of some hidden motives and agendas kept by solicitors or surveyors. In the stress and nerve of making such a large financial decision they turn to family and friends for reassurance, only to find their frail confidence undermined by people who live in homes they wouldn't even dream of..."
"... or advice and consider - who is saying it and why might they be saying it? Choosing the right solicitor and surveyor, which is covered in a later chapter, will help you immeasurable in coming to the right decision. ..."

"... process should be as fast as possible; Who talks to who and how; Why dealing through an agent can help; What are the responsibilities of the buyer, the vendor and the solicitors; Why solicitors argue with each other; The pitfalls at each stage; Explanations of the documents and..."
"... who and how; Why dealing through an agent can help; What are the responsibilities of the buyer, the vendor and the solicitors; Why solicitors argue with each other; The pitfalls at each stage; Explanations of the documents and terminology; When the vendor's solicitor can cause the vendor..."
"... solicitors argue with each other; The pitfalls at each stage; Explanations of the documents and terminology; When the vendor's solicitor can cause the vendor stress; What is a complete document, and what is not. Before you can know what really happens, it is essential to..."
"... Before you can know what really happens, it is essential to understand what is supposed to happen because sometimes it does! If you are dealing with an Estate Agent, solicitor or Vendor who is new to the business this chapter is the set of events that they believe should occur. ..."
"... your offer has been agreed with the agent (or directly with the vendor if you are buying privately) there should be no need to have any contact with the agent or the vendor. Each party has a specific number of actions that they must take and theoretically this should all occur via the solicitors. Some solicitors feel so strongly about this that they refuse to accept calls from estate agents! It is how these actions are undertaken and their results that cause disagreement because there is no definitive protocol for buying and..."
"... is because of this that there are regular arguments between solicitors so it is often useful to have a second line of communication. This is either via the agent or, in the case of a private sale, directly with the vendor. Nothing that is spoken about in these secondary lines is binding until both solicitors are aware of it and it has been written into the contract but such discussions can be faster and more accurate as questions and answers are passed through fewer parties. It is worth knowing..."
"... of Communication (once the sale price is agreed) You, the Buyer «» The Estate Agent «» The Vendor «» Your solicitor «» The vendor's solicitor «» «» Private Sales Only «» The parties officially involved after a sale price..."
"... the sale price is agreed) You, the Buyer «» The Estate Agent «» The Vendor «» Your solicitor «» The vendor's solicitor «» «» Private Sales Only «» The parties officially involved after a sale price is agreed are: You, the..."
"... of Communication (once the sale price is agreed) You, the Buyer «» The Estate Agent «» The Vendor «» Your solicitor «» The vendor's solicitor «» «» Private Sales Only «» The parties officially involved after a sale price..."
"... the sale price is agreed) You, the Buyer «» The Estate Agent «» The Vendor «» Your solicitor «» The vendor's solicitor «» «» Private Sales Only «» The parties officially involved after a sale price is agreed are: You, the..."
"... these is covered in later chapters. - You, The Buyer in a Property Purchase - As a buyer your responsibilities are to: Instruct a solicitor to act on your behalf Specify an exchange and completion date that can be agreed with the vendor Raise the finances to purchase the..."
"... the finances to purchase the property Organise for professionals to inspect the property Sign the contract Give your solicitor funds to exchange and complete - Instructing a solicitor - Once your offer is agreed you will need a solicitor to act on your behalf. This..."
"... for professionals to inspect the property Sign the contract Give your solicitor funds to exchange and complete - Instructing a solicitor - Once your offer is agreed you will need a solicitor to act on your behalf. This solicitor will need to do two things: Check that..."
"... your solicitor funds to exchange and complete - Instructing a solicitor - Once your offer is agreed you will need a solicitor to act on your behalf. This solicitor will need to do two things: Check that the paperwork related to the property is satisfactory for the lender if you..."
"... are applying for a mortgage Check there is nothing unusual in the paperwork that should be drawn to your attention Their exact role is explained in Your solicitor below. Finding a good solicitor who can handle the local market is not easy so it is worth taking the advice of your lender..."
"... a good solicitor who can handle the local market is not easy so it is worth taking the advice of your lender (who may have someone in the area that they work with regularly) or the Estate Agent (who knows efficient solicitors that they have a good relationships with). Do not ask friends or family unless their recommended solicitor passes certain tests (see Chapter 12: Choosing a solicitor or..."
"... a solicitor has agreed to represent you they will send you a form to fill in. This is the official instruction. It includes questions on who your lender is and, if you have already chosen a property to buy, what you understand it to consist of (e.g. a private garden, parking space, two bedrooms, kitchen with cooker, etc.) which helps them verify that this is actually what you are..."
"... helps them verify that this is actually what you are getting. What Can Go Wrong You leave it until after having an offer agreed to find a solicitor and have to choose an unsuitable one in a panic You choose a solicitor based outside the area you are buying who does not understand what..."
"... offer agreed to find a solicitor and have to choose an unsuitable one in a panic You choose a solicitor based outside the area you are buying who does not understand what you are buying and asks irrelevant questions You choose a solicitor who is incredibly cheap, but then turns out to be..."
"... buying who does not understand what you are buying and asks irrelevant questions You choose a solicitor who is incredibly cheap, but then turns out to be incredibly slow because they are incredibly overworked You choose a solicitor who uses the conveyor-belt method (see Chapter 12: Choosing a..."
"... cheap, but then turns out to be incredibly slow because they are incredibly overworked You choose a solicitor who uses the conveyor-belt method (see Chapter 12: Choosing a solicitor or Conveyancer) You choose a solicitor who is a "one-man-band". He then falls ill or goes on holiday -..."
"... a solicitor who uses the conveyor-belt method (see Chapter 12: Choosing a solicitor or Conveyancer) You choose a solicitor who is a "one-man-band". He then falls ill or goes on holiday - Specifying Exchange and Completion Dates - It seems obvious to agree a date for the Exchange of..."
"... parties believe it is "obvious". The vendor may, for example, have chosen a solicitor in Wales. His solicitor has told him that it normally takes about twelve weeks to move from agreed offer to exchange. In the meantime your solicitor in London tells you there should be an exchange within three weeks. Both you and the vendor sensibly expect that your respective solicitors will have said the same thing and plan your lives accordingly. Fireworks will occur..."
"... lender has a different set of things that they want to know. These requirements are collated by The Council of Mortgage Lenders. The result is the CLM Handbook and every solicitor has access to a copy. When your solicitor knows who you are going to be borrowing from they open up the handbook and see what they need to find..."
"... to find out. It is always worth remembering that most of what your solicitor does is actually not for you, but for the lender. The solicitor passes on what he finds to an underwriter who works for the lender. If they are concerned they can decide not to forward you the loan. - Is it..."
"... a lender with unusual requirements in the CLM Handbook and your chosen property cannot fulfil them You change lender but forget to tell your solicitor who then collates the wrong information. The lender's final underwriter spots an error in the paperwork which means that they refuse to issue..."
"... you are busy making sure the property is as sound as you thought it was, your solicitor is busy making sure the paperwork surrounding it is just as solid. Once they are satisfied that they have all the information they will compile a report for you. This will summarise the property you are buying and point out anything the solicitor feels is unusual...."
"... this report will be a contract for you to sign. Putting your signature on this paper is not the end of the matter. Your solicitor will usually call you again once he receives it to confirm that you still want to exchange. He will also need: To have a deposit in his bank account to give to..."
"... call you again once he receives it to confirm that you still want to exchange. He will also need: To have a deposit in his bank account to give to the vendor's solicitor (see below). To know the date you want completion to occur on Once you give the green light he will call the..."
"... to the vendor's solicitor (see below). To know the date you want completion to occur on Once you give the green light he will call the vendors solicitor and effect the exchange of contracts. What Can Go Wrong The contract gets lost in the post and your solicitor did not keep a..."
"... green light he will call the vendors solicitor and effect the exchange of contracts. What Can Go Wrong The contract gets lost in the post and your solicitor did not keep a copy There are things in the report which show the property is not what you thought it was (e.g. there is no parking..."
"... there is no parking space when you were led to believe there was one) You start to try and understand everything in the legal paperwork and get bogged down checking the work you have paid your solicitor to carry out Your signed contract gets lost in the post causing a delay No one can..."
"... signed contract gets lost in the post causing a delay No one can agree the date for completion You go on holiday and your solicitor does not exchange because he is waiting for your verbal go ahead - Funds for Exchange and Completion - As discussed in Specifying Exchange and Completion..."
"... discussed in Specifying Exchange and Completion Dates (see above) your solicitor will usually need a cash deposit to give to the vendors' solicitor when exchanging contracts. The only exception is when you are using a one hundred percent mortgage or the vendor has agreed that you will provide a deposit of zero..."
"... percent. The deposit must be in cleared funds. What Can Go Wrong Your solicitor only asks for the deposit when he has received your signed contract and you have to write a cheque which takes five days to clear The cash is in an account which restricts the amount that can be removed at..."
"... in which a withdrawal can be made The cash is in stocks, shares or investments that have decreased in value - Your solicitor in the Property Buying Process - Once officially instructed by you, your solicitor has a set number of actions to undertake. Most are dictated by the..."
"... officially instructed by you, your solicitor has a set number of actions to undertake. Most are dictated by the lender you are using via the CLM Handbook (see above) but if you are lucky enough to be a cash buyer you can choose to opt out of certain requirements such as local searches (see..."
"... you are lucky enough to be a cash buyer you can choose to opt out of certain requirements such as local searches (see below). Your solicitors responsibilities are to: Check the set of paperwork sent by the vendor's solicitor Request any further enquiries from the vendor's solicitor Apply..."
"... to opt out of certain requirements such as local searches (see below). Your solicitors responsibilities are to: Check the set of paperwork sent by the vendor's solicitor Request any further enquiries from the vendor's solicitor Apply for searches Check your mortgage offer Issue you..."
"... (see below). Your solicitors responsibilities are to: Check the set of paperwork sent by the vendor's solicitor Request any further enquiries from the vendor's solicitor Apply for searches Check your mortgage offer Issue you with a report Exchange Contracts Complete - Checking..."
"... the Paperwork - Your solicitor will receive a set of papers from the vendor's solicitor. If the vendor is well prepared these will arrive in one parcel. If not they will be forwarded to your solicitor as soon as the vendor can get hold of them! The documents are as follows: The Contract -..."
"... Contract - this is a short document and basically says that you agree to buy and the vendor agrees to sell the property. The contract is only signed by the vendor and you once all the other checks have been made. Once you have signed your part and the vendor has signed theirs the documents are exchanged between the solicitors. Hence this moment is known as Exchange of Contracts or more often as simply the Exchange. It is the moment of no return when you must buy and they must sell even though, usually, no full payment has been made. The first contract that your solicitor receives is usually known as the Draft Contract as it has not yet been..."
"... Title Deeds - this document is only held by the person who owns the property. In most cases this is not actually the vendor but the lender that he has his mortgage with. The vendor's solicitor will ask the lender to send the title deeds to him. The lender can refuse or place conditions on the request if they are concerned the property will be sold for less than the current mortgage balance and the vendor cannot prove where the shortfall will come..."
"... Insurance - your solicitor will want to know that the property is either currently insured or that someone is prepared to insure it. The easiest way to confirm this is to find out who is covering the property at the moment. This is essential if you are applying for a mortgage because, should the structure burn to the ground the day after you move in, the lender will be able to recover the money you have borrowed. If you are purchasing for cash you will still want to have the same piece of..."
"... was a structural part of the property. The Lease (Leasehold and Share of Freehold Only) - This comes from the vendor's solicitor and defines what the freeholder expects from you as a leaseholder. See Chapter 14: Viewing Properties and Making Offers Service Charge Accounts (Leasehold Only) -..."
"... Charge Accounts (Leasehold Only) - where you are buying a leasehold property it is important to gain an idea of how much the managing agents charge every year to maintain and run the property. These charges could include lift maintenance, cleaning, lighting, care of a communal garden, even looking after the TV aerial and satellite dish. The most important factor is that these charges are consistent and reasonable with what is being provided. As such your solicitor will ask for at least the last three years accounts to confirm this or spot any trends that you should be aware of. Any debts that the vendor may have with the managing agents are identified here and are extremely important. Service Charge debts are based on the property. If you buy when there are outstanding debts they will become your..."
"... Rent Receipts (Leasehold Only) - the ground rent is a charge made by the freeholder. Again the last three years receipts will be sought by your solicitor in order to make sure the premiums are not excessive or rising sharply. Any debts that the vendor may have with the freeholder are identified here and are also extremely important. As with the service charge, ground rent debts are also based on the property. If you buy when there are outstanding debts they will become your..."
"... of that freehold must agree to issue you with shares. What Can Go Wrong The problems with paperwork fall into issues at the vendor's solicitors side and issues that your solicitor will have. The latter are: Your solicitor is old fashioned and argues that, despite having some of the..."
"... will have. The latter are: Your solicitor is old fashioned and argues that, despite having some of the paperwork, it is not worth starting work until all the documentation has arrived which slows down the process and adds to the risk of the purchase falling through Your solicitor does not..."
"... down the process and adds to the risk of the purchase falling through Your solicitor does not believe the contract is legally adequate and gets into an endless argument with the vendor's solicitor over the wording. There is no definitive protocol for what a seller's pack should look like..."
"... gets into an endless argument with the vendor's solicitor over the wording. There is no definitive protocol for what a seller's pack should look like and your solicitor believes that the one provided is inadequate. There is no definitive protocol for what a fixtures and fittings list should..."
"... like and your solicitor believes that the one provided is inadequate. There is no definitive protocol for what a fixtures and fittings list should look like and your solicitor believes that the one provided is inadequate. The buildings insurance on the property may not be adequate for the..."
"... are from companies no longer in business There has been building work that does not require planning consent but your solicitor is not familiar with the area's requirements and so asks for documents that are not required and do not exist. There has been building work that does not..."
"... that are not required and do not exist. There has been building work that does not require Building Regulation Approval but your solicitor is not familiar with the area's requirements and so asks for documents that are not required and do not exist There has been building work that requires..."
"... not exist There has been building work that requires Building Regulation Approval but the work was carried out before Building Regulation Approval came into force. Your solicitor is not be familiar with when this actually occurred in the area and so asks for documents that do not exist Leasehold..."
"... years and the previous agents are refusing to pass on any documentation. Leasehold only: Your solicitor believes the service charge accounts are not adequate but the managing agent refuses to provide any further information Leasehold only: The vendor owes the managing agents money but is..."
"... is in dispute with them. Leasehold only: The freeholder is absent (has gone missing and no one knows where they are!) and so no ground rent payments have been made. Your solicitor may be concerned that he will reappear and want to claim the outstanding debt from you. Leasehold only: Your..."
"... he will reappear and want to claim the outstanding debt from you. Leasehold only: Your solicitor does not think a deed of variation is adequately worded and wants a new one drawn up. The freeholder is offended and refuses to do so - Requesting Further Enquiries - With so many pitfalls in..."
"... With so many pitfalls in the documentation it is not surprising that your solicitor may want to ask further questions of the vendor, his managing agents or his freeholder. Much of this comes from the fact that there are no definitive protocols for the forms and documents that pass between them. ..."
"... a perfect world they would ask, the vendors' solicitor would reply, and you could get on with buying the property. It's not a perfect world and solicitors are also a proud race. Taking criticism from another solicitor is not their forte. They also all tend to have their own methods of working and often scorn those of their counterparts...."
"... most common issue is that your solicitor does not believe a document provided by the vendor's solicitor is legally adequate. To the vendor's solicitor this is a smack in the face and an insult to his professional capabilities. All too often the process can get bogged down in an, "Oh yes it is" - "Oh no it isn't" circular argument. The most fiercely debated are Deeds of Variation, sellers packs and fixtures and fittings..."
"... your solicitor is not based in, or familiar with, the area in which you are buying they may not know about local regulations. As such they request documents that do not exist. The vendors' solicitor does not reply for exactly that reason but your solicitor sits and waits for the document that isn't coming. The most common is planning permission. Many solicitors are unaware, for example, that you can build an extension on a freehold house in certain conservation areas up to ten percent of the volume of the original house or fifty cubic metres (whichever is greater) . As such they waste time swapping letters in an endless attempt to find planning consent on something that requires no..."
"... solicitor is lazy (or some might argue clever) and has created a list of enquires that need answered in order to satisfy every lender and client. He does not read the documents that have been sent through but simply sends this enquiry form off. The vendor's solicitor believes your solicitor is simply trying to get him to do all the work by trawling through the documents and extracting the relevant facts. The vendor's solicitor only fills in replies to the questions not answered in the original paperwork. Your solicitor claims that he has not replied to all the enquiries. He claims that the remainder of the enquiries are in the original documentation and both sides refuse to do..."
"... search: The Standard Local Search - this is the traditional method and costs the least. Your solicitor applies to the local council who find every single planning application there has ever been in the area. It can take, depending on the council, up to sixteen weeks to process. A Hand..."
"... Agency Search - some entrepreneurial individuals have taken advantage of the fact that councils can be eye-wateringly slow in processing local searches. To plug this gap they have started agencies that buy searches either from the council or solicitors on a regular basis. They put these on the shelf and then sell them to your solicitor for a profit. Needless to say they are more expensive but it is a very useful way to get hold of a Standard Search in days, rather than weeks...."
"... built half a century ago. Once your solicitor has these searches he may want more information. The most obvious is that there is a planning application in the local search that applies to the property you are hoping to purchase. They will then want to know: Was the application successful..."
"... classic example is Highbury Place in Islington. Georgian town houses can sell for well over £2 million yet a few decades ago a planning application was made to tear the whole row down. Thankfully it was rejected but the application shows up on every search so a solicitor must always check that it was rejected. Otherwise they could theoretically be handling the paperwork of a historical pile of..."
"... the paperwork of a historical pile of rubble! What Can Go Wrong Your solicitor is not familiar with the area in which you are buying and applies for a standard local search, unaware that it may take four months to process Your solicitor is not familiar with agency searches and refuses to..."
"... search, unaware that it may take four months to process Your solicitor is not familiar with agency searches and refuses to use one (often the case with solicitors based outside major towns and cities where such agencies are rare) The local borough is taking weeks to process searches but..."
"... based outside major towns and cities where such agencies are rare) The local borough is taking weeks to process searches but your lender will not accept a hand search and your solicitor does not understand agency searches Your solicitor has no contacts with the local council and so cannot..."
"... does not understand agency searches Your solicitor has no contacts with the local council and so cannot get clarity on planning applications and has to do everything in writing which adds weeks to the process as they grind through the council's systems Your solicitor is based in a rural area..."
"... they grind through the council's systems Your solicitor is based in a rural area and believes the results of the Environmental Search are a disaster compared to those that he has seen in the green and pleasant rural location where his practice is based - Checking the Mortgage Offer -..."
"... you have applied for a mortgage in order to purchase the property then, all being well, the lender will issue you with an offer. Your solicitor will not want to exchange until you have this and he has a copy. To do so would mean that you would be liable to complete and pay the balance, without any guarantee that someone will lend you the cash...."
"... the balance, without any guarantee that someone will lend you the cash. Your solicitor will check the offer to ensure the bank has not made any errors on the offer which would affect the your ability to complete. What Can Go Wrong The most common is a mistake in either your details or..."
"... all issues have been resolved to your solicitor's satisfaction they will summarise the mountain of paperwork into a report. This will usually be about five pages long and will repeat the obvious points (such as the address of the property) as well as pointing out the unusual. solicitors call this 'reporting to their client'. It is as much a way of bringing important facts to your attention as it is a method to cover themselves against any future legal action you might want to take against them so read it..."
"... bogged down trying to understand all the documents rather than trust the person you paid to do that job for you. The solicitor is extremely slow in putting the report together The report and all the documentation gets lost in the post - Exchanging the Contracts - Your solicitor is..."
"... solicitor is only able to do this once he has your part of the contract back and signed by you. He will also need to be in cleared funds (see above). With this he is ready so long as the vendor has signed his part and returned it to his solicitor. Despite having all of this he will probably wait for your final verbal instruction before..."
"... before exchanging. What Can Go Wrong You think you have signed everything you need to sign and disappear off on holiday, assuming your solicitor will exchange. He does not have your final verbal instruction and so does not do it. Your solicitor goes on holiday or is off ill and..."
"... solicitor will exchange. He does not have your final verbal instruction and so does not do it. Your solicitor goes on holiday or is off ill and there is no one else available to affect the exchange. Your solicitor goes on holiday or is off ill but there is someone else available. They check..."
"... to affect the exchange. Your solicitor goes on holiday or is off ill but there is someone else available. They check the paperwork and decide there are some enquiries missing that they want answered and refuse to exchange until the vendor's solicitor replies. The money you gave to your..."
"... enquiries missing that they want answered and refuse to exchange until the vendor's solicitor replies. The money you gave to your solicitor for him to exchange has not cleared into his account. - Completion - When Exchanging Contracts all parties agree the completion date. Completion is..."
"... cleared into his account. - Completion - When Exchanging Contracts all parties agree the completion date. Completion is the day that you pay the balance of any money to the vendors solicitor and legally take possession of the property. In order to complete successfully your solicitor..."
"... order to complete successfully your solicitor will need to have the cleared funds to do so. This may either be the cash from you or the loan from your lender. If the money is coming from you any cheque must have cleared by this day. If it is coming from your lender the solicitor traditionally has to give them five days notice. This is known as drawing down the mortgage...."
"... solicitor will send the money to the vendor's solicitor via an electronic cash transfer system. This process can take anything from a couple of minutes to a few hours depending how busy the wires are. Your solicitor will be able to tell you the time the money was sent but this does not mean anything until the vendor's solicitor confirms it has been received at his..."
"... vendor's solicitor confirms it has been received at his end. What Can Go Wrong Your solicitor forgets to ask you for funds in time for a cheque to clear or a bank transfer fails due to technical problems Your solicitor forgets to draw down your mortgage (unusually common) so no funds are..."
"... for funds in time for a cheque to clear or a bank transfer fails due to technical problems Your solicitor forgets to draw down your mortgage (unusually common) so no funds are available for completion Your solicitor is off ill on the day of completion and it is difficult to find someone else..."
"... to draw down your mortgage (unusually common) so no funds are available for completion Your solicitor is off ill on the day of completion and it is difficult to find someone else to handle the transaction Your solicitor sends the money too late for it to be received by the vendor's..."
"... is off ill on the day of completion and it is difficult to find someone else to handle the transaction Your solicitor sends the money too late for it to be received by the vendor's solicitor Your solicitor sends the money but it is not received by the vendor's solicitor due to technical..."
"... solicitor sends the money too late for it to be received by the vendor's solicitor Your solicitor sends the money but it is not received by the vendor's solicitor due to technical difficulties Your solicitor sends an inadequate sum of money to the vendors solicitor and this only..."
"... is not received by the vendor's solicitor due to technical difficulties Your solicitor sends an inadequate sum of money to the vendors solicitor and this only becomes clear too late in the day to organise another transfer. The Vendor's solicitor in the Property Buying Process - Once..."
"... sum of money to the vendors solicitor and this only becomes clear too late in the day to organise another transfer. The Vendor's solicitor in the Property Buying Process - Once officially instructed by the vendor the role of this solicitor is to: Send the standard set of paperwork to..."
"... late in the day to organise another transfer. The Vendor's solicitor in the Property Buying Process - Once officially instructed by the vendor the role of this solicitor is to: Send the standard set of paperwork to your solicitor Reply to any further enquiries your solicitor..."
"... solicitor in the Property Buying Process - Once officially instructed by the vendor the role of this solicitor is to: Send the standard set of paperwork to your solicitor Reply to any further enquiries your solicitor has Send the approved contract to your solicitor and to the..."
"... instructed by the vendor the role of this solicitor is to: Send the standard set of paperwork to your solicitor Reply to any further enquiries your solicitor has Send the approved contract to your solicitor and to the vendor Exchange Contracts Complete - Sending the Paperwork -..."
"... is to: Send the standard set of paperwork to your solicitor Reply to any further enquiries your solicitor has Send the approved contract to your solicitor and to the vendor Exchange Contracts Complete - Sending the Paperwork - The vendors solicitor has to collate the paperwork..."
"... Contracts Complete - Sending the Paperwork - The vendors solicitor has to collate the paperwork described in Your solicitor above. These are sourced from various parties and so tend to arrive at different times. The Contract: Every solicitor usually has their own version of..."
"... and so tend to arrive at different times. The Contract: Every solicitor usually has their own version of a contract on file. They will fill in certain details and send it off as a Draft Contract as they expect your solicitor will want some changes. The Title Deeds: These will either come from..."
"... some changes. The Title Deeds: These will either come from the vendor or the lender (if there is currently a loan secured on the property). If it is the latter the solicitor will need the mortgage lender's name and account number as well as written permission to apply for them. The Sellers..."
"... little wonder that it can take time and sometimes even prove impossible. The vendors' solicitor has only just been instructed and it takes weeks for all the documentation to be collated and forwarded to your solicitor The vendors solicitor is old fashioned and refuses to send on any paperwork..."
"... it takes weeks for all the documentation to be collated and forwarded to your solicitor The vendors solicitor is old fashioned and refuses to send on any paperwork until he has the full set of documentation The title deeds are with a lender who has lost them which causes weeks of delay. It is..."
"... secured on the property and your offer, refuses to release the title deeds The Vendor has the title deeds but cannot find them or has lodged them with a solicitor who has since gone out of business or closed down There has been building work that required planning consent but none has been..."
"... to see how much the running costs of the building have been - Replying to Enquiries - As described in Your solicitor this should be straight forward but for the disagreements over: What the vendor's solicitor thinks has already been answered What the vendor's solicitor thinks..."
"... to Enquiries - As described in Your solicitor this should be straight forward but for the disagreements over: What the vendor's solicitor thinks has already been answered What the vendor's solicitor thinks is important to answer The vendor's solicitor always starts the transaction..."
"... be straight forward but for the disagreements over: What the vendor's solicitor thinks has already been answered What the vendor's solicitor thinks is important to answer The vendor's solicitor always starts the transaction as the most relaxed party. He hopes that he will send off the..."
"... vendor's solicitor always starts the transaction as the most relaxed party. He hopes that he will send off the paperwork that he believes your solicitor requires and wait for a call to exchange contracts. Ask a vendor's solicitor if he is ready to exchange and, so long as he has sent out the original set of paperwork, the answer is always,..."
"... believe that the buyer is being awkward. Imagine if every time you called your solicitor and asked what the situation was he always said, "Well I'm ready, but the buyer wants to know X". You would begin to wonder what the problem was with the buyer! What Can Go Wrong The two solicitors..."
"... wants to know X". You would begin to wonder what the problem was with the buyer! What Can Go Wrong The two solicitors become deadlocked on a disagreement over the wording of a document The Vendor's solicitor refuses to answer enquiries that he claims are already covered by the original..."
"... solicitors become deadlocked on a disagreement over the wording of a document The Vendor's solicitor refuses to answer enquiries that he claims are already covered by the original paperwork and a stalemate follows The Vendor's solicitor tells the vendor some enquiries are "not relevant" or..."
"... claims are already covered by the original paperwork and a stalemate follows The Vendor's solicitor tells the vendor some enquiries are "not relevant" or "too picky" and persuades the vendor to instruct him not to reply The Vendor's solicitor winds the vendor up by stating how ready he is to..."
"... are "not relevant" or "too picky" and persuades the vendor to instruct him not to reply The Vendor's solicitor winds the vendor up by stating how ready he is to exchange every time the vendor calls - Sending the Approved Contracts - Once the arguing has subsided and both sides have..."
"... vendor calls - Sending the Approved Contracts - Once the arguing has subsided and both sides have agreed that all enquiries have been cleared up the vendor's solicitor will produce the final contract and send it to your solicitor What Can Go Wrong For once this is a procedure that..."
"... your solicitor has your signed contract and funds for the deposit, and the vendor's solicitor has the vendor's signed contract, exchange of contracts can take place. The money is sent electronically between the solicitors and they verbally agree that exchange has taken place at a specified time (say..."
"... time (say 3.45pm). What Can Go Wrong The vendor thinks he has signed everything he needs to sign and disappears off on holiday, assuming his solicitor will exchange. He does not have the vendor's final verbal instruction and so does not do it. The vendor's solicitor goes on holiday or is..."
"... exchange. He does not have the vendor's final verbal instruction and so does not do it. The vendor's solicitor goes on holiday or is off ill and there is no one else available to affect the exchange - Completion - There is very little for the vendor's solicitor to do on the big day..."
"... is very little for the vendor's solicitor to do on the big day and it is not that essential that he is present as long as there is someone in the office that can confirm the balance of funds has arrived. In many larger law firms the matter is dealt with by clerks as it is simply a yes or no..."
"... no answer. What Can Go Wrong There is no one available to confirm funds have been received The vendor's solicitor does not receive the payment sent by your solicitor due to technical problems - The Vendor in the Property Buying Process - Once the vendor has agreed to accept your..."
"... to accept your offer for their property his responsibilities are to: Sign the Estate Agents Terms and Conditions (if using an agent) Instruct a solicitor Agree to an exchange and completion date Reply to any enquiries raised Sign the Contract - Signing the Estate Agent's Terms and..."
"... the door first. The Terms must be signed before solicitors are instructed or the agent may risk loosing their fee. The vendor could argue he never agreed to pay the agent anything and with the two solicitors talking, there really is no need for the agent anyway. What Can Go..."
"... for professionals to inspect the property Sign the contract Give your solicitor funds to exchange and complete - Instructing a solicitor - Once your offer is agreed you will need a solicitor to act on your behalf. This solicitor will need to do two things: Check that..."
"... - Instructing a solicitor - A vendor will have many of the same problems as you do in finding a solicitor. Once the vendor has found someone they are comfortable with that solicitor will send out documents for them to complete. The vendor must return: Details of where the Title Deeds..."
"... is Share of Freehold only: The last three years accounts Share of Freehold only: A share certificate Details of these documents can be found in Your solicitor above What Can Go Wrong The vendor has not instructed a solicitor and it now takes three weeks to find one and..."
"... found in Your solicitor above What Can Go Wrong The vendor has not instructed a solicitor and it now takes three weeks to find one and furnish him with the necessary paperwork to start the process. They did not do this earlier because: they were not convinced the property would sell at..."
"... they should do so The Title Deeds are with a lender and even after the vendor has completed the necessary paperwork it takes two weeks for the lender to send them to his solicitor (so long as they can find them and lenders loosing title deeds is surprisingly common) The Title Deeds were..."
"... loosing title deeds is surprisingly common) The Title Deeds were lodged with a solicitor who has since closed down or gone out of business. Delays are inevitable while the vendor tracks down what happened to the documents held by the solicitor The vendor has kept the Title Deeds but can't..."
"... - Once your solicitor has been through the first batch of paperwork sent by the vendor's solicitor he is likely to have some extra questions that are either required by the particular lender you are using (if you are applying for a mortgage) or because he believes you should know. These..."
"... enquiries are sent to the vendors’ solicitor who may be able to answer some of them from the existing paperwork (where he thinks your solicitor has missed or not read certain documents) but there may be other points which only the vendor can answer. These may, for example, be with reference to a legal dispute with one of the neighbours or missing..."
"... has to reply ‘I do not know’. He spends days trying to find the answer The vendor does not understand why your solicitor needs to know a particular point and feels it is irrelevant. As such he refuses to answer - Signing the Contract - The vendor has agreed to sell to you at a..."
"... the Contract - The vendor has agreed to sell to you at a certain price so as soon as the wording of the contract itself is agreed between the two solicitors he can sign the document and simply wait for you to sign yours when all the other paperwork is out of the way. But many don't and..."
"... of the way. But many don't and often it is because their solicitor does not push them to just in case there are any changes such as a renegotiation of the price after the property has been surveyed. By doing this, and saving themselves the risk of extra work, there is more risk. What Can Go..."
"... assumes everything is in hand and goes on holiday making exchange impossible The vendor's solicitor only sends the vendor the contract once you have signed your copy. It spends time and is delayed in the post - Summary - Despite the endless pitfalls that seem to be placed between..."

"... two hours of Melissa attempting to renegotiate the price the vendor had decided that this meant there was no need for him to remain true to his word, if his buyer was not true to hers. He asked his solicitor to retrieve the contract and called the people in the flat upstairs to give them the good..."

Chapter 19: Time Costs Deals
"... you let your purchase drag on for 6 months that's a 28% chance you will loose your solicitors fee, survey fee, hours of time and quite possibly a few thousand pounds more if the market rises. All this before you have even looked at a survey or contract with all the potential those documents have to ruin the..."
"... and Mark instructed a solicitor who was not only painfully slow, but also painfully thorough to the extent that the sale dragged on for ten weeks. Their solicitor added new enquiries each week including a request that the freeholder should have all the windows in the building assessed, and get quotes for repainting and repairs, before they would..."

"... market was moving up. The vendor eventually became frustrated and withdrew the contract from Diane's solicitor. Five weeks later he sold the property at the asking price and the survey from the new buyer made no mention of the tree or any movement in the property. Diane ended up buying a..."

"... a little better make sure you have read Chapter 17: The Property Buying Process in Theory. Who your solicitor is working for; What your solicitor needs to find out - in plain English; Why old fashioned solicitors can add weeks to the buying process; Why..."
"... 17: The Property Buying Process in Theory. What your solicitor needs to find out - in plain English; Why old fashioned solicitors can add weeks to the buying process; Why solicitors fight with each other and delay the..."
"... in this chapter Who your solicitor is working for; What your solicitor needs to find out - in plain English; Why old fashioned solicitors can add weeks to the buying process; Why solicitors fight with each other and delay the purchase; How to get documents faster than your solicitor..."
"... solicitor needs to find out - in plain English; Why old fashioned solicitors can add weeks to the buying process; Why solicitors fight with each other and delay the purchase; How to get documents faster than your solicitor can; What to consider when organising property insurance; How the..."
"... fashioned solicitors can add weeks to the buying process; Why solicitors fight with each other and delay the purchase; How to get documents faster than your solicitor can; What to consider when organising property insurance; How the drains could cost you a fortune; When to take a view and..."
"... hours of agreeing a sale price; In Chapter 12 (Choosing a Conveyancer or solicitor) we covered how to choose a good solicitor that will take your agreed offer through to a quick and timely exchange so that everyone is locked into the deal. In Chapter 17 (The Property Buying..."
"... solicitor also has a set of questions they want answered but they are legally obliged to inform the lender if they seriously believe anything they discover is likely to affect the lenders decision about either you or the property. The solicitor, for example, may discover that planning permission has just been granted to open a nightclub opposite your flat with live music until 3am every morning. The lender really ought to know that even if you think it is great..."
"... to know that even if you think it is great news! What the solicitor really needs to ascertain for the lender is laid out by the Council of Mortgage Lender and you can see the list of questions that relate to your lender on the internet. In summary what your solicitor needs to find out..."
"... Council of Mortgage Lender and you can see the list of questions that relate to your lender on the internet. In summary what your solicitor needs to find out falls into two parts: What he must find out because the lender says he should before they will give you the loan or mortgage on the..."
"... all conversations with your solicitor you should try and ascertain which of the above two any query he has relates to. solicitors often try to sound technical by saying they have to do something "because it is in the CML hand book". What they are saying is the query must be answered because the lender requires it. All other queries are then up to you. If you don't feel a particular enquiry in the latter category is that important then tell your solicitor you are prepared to take a view on it and drop the query in order to save time...."
"... is that important then tell your solicitor you are prepared to take a view on it and drop the query in order to save time. - What the solicitor Needs to Find Out - The questions your solicitor is really looking to find answers for, and to make sure he does not get sued, are as..."
"... drop the query in order to save time. - What the solicitor Needs to Find Out - The questions your solicitor is really looking to find answers for, and to make sure he does not get sued, are as follows: What it's called What it means The Title..."
"... That really is about it and that is why it is possible to wrap up the legal side of things in a day if the solicitors put their minds to it - and some do. Most of the time delay in a transaction actually comes from them writing letters to each other which often go something like this: ..."
"... a transaction actually comes from them writing letters to each other which often go something like this: solicitor A is concerned about why the service charge was so high two years ago solicitor A asks his PA to write a letter to this affect Next day solicitor A's PA writes the letter and..."
"... which often go something like this: solicitor A is concerned about why the service charge was so high two years ago solicitor A asks his PA to write a letter to this affect Next day solicitor A's PA writes the letter and sends it Two days later solicitor B gets the letter but he is off that..."
"... about why the service charge was so high two years ago solicitor A asks his PA to write a letter to this affect Next day solicitor A's PA writes the letter and sends it Two days later solicitor B gets the letter but he is off that day The next day solicitor B looks at the letter and..."
"... A asks his PA to write a letter to this affect Next day solicitor A's PA writes the letter and sends it Two days later solicitor B gets the letter but he is off that day The next day solicitor B looks at the letter and believes the question has already been answered in the lease which..."
"... sends it Two days later solicitor B gets the letter but he is off that day The next day solicitor B looks at the letter and believes the question has already been answered in the lease which was sent at the beginning solicitor B asks his PA to write a letter saying to solicitor A to look in..."
"... and believes the question has already been answered in the lease which was sent at the beginning solicitor B asks his PA to write a letter saying to solicitor A to look in the lease at section 3.2.c Next day solicitor B's PA writes the letter and sends it Two days later the letter arrives with..."
"... at the beginning solicitor B asks his PA to write a letter saying to solicitor A to look in the lease at section 3.2.c Next day solicitor B's PA writes the letter and sends it Two days later the letter arrives with solicitor A solicitor A has read the lease and does not think it does answer..."
"... saying to solicitor A to look in the lease at section 3.2.c Next day solicitor B's PA writes the letter and sends it Two days later the letter arrives with solicitor A solicitor A has read the lease and does not think it does answer the question so asks his PA to write another letter..."
"... days later the letter arrives with solicitor A solicitor A has read the lease and does not think it does answer the question so asks his PA to write another letter specifying why the section 3.2.c does not, in his view, answer the question. solicitor A tells his client that solicitor B is..."
"... letter specifying why the section 3.2.c does not, in his view, answer the question. solicitor A tells his client that solicitor B is being awkward and avoiding questions so causing unnecessary delay. solicitor B tells his client that solicitor A is not reading the papers he has been sent..."
"... solicitor B is being awkward and avoiding questions so causing unnecessary delay. solicitor B tells his client that solicitor A is not reading the papers he has been sent and so is causing unnecessary delay The buyer and the vendor both think the other party is not serious about the..."

"... defining your offer at the start will save time and stress with a poorly prepared vendor; Why there can be long delays between an offer being agreed and your solicitor receiving papers; Why the paperwork the vendor needed to buy the property may not be enough; How to get documents..."
"... they are doing Strange as it seems most Estate Agents and solicitors know what needs to be prepared but rarely take the vendor through this, trying to avoid discussions that suggest the vendor spends time or money until there is actually some active interest in the property. All this is..."
"... this is backward thinking but no solicitor or agent wants to persuade their client to spend hundreds of pounds in advance of a sale and then have their ears burnt six months down the line when no offer has been made. For those solicitors and agents that do do it, however, you hear nothing but praise once the transaction is..."
"... once the transaction is completed. Most don't so the result is that, once your offer is accepted, it often feels as if the vendor is actually reluctant to sell. There can be long delays while they choose a solicitor or get the necessary paperwork together. The vendor may also not have..."
"... vendor may also not have thought through how they will look in your eyes when they choose the selling agent or solicitor basing their decision on other factors such as price, location or recommendations. This doesn't mean the vendor does not have good intentions but because of your limited contact with them it is not always easy to tell if they are messing you around or if the parties they have chosen to represent them are generally..."
"... the Paperwork - There is a set of basic paperwork which your solicitor is going to need from the vendor's solicitor if exchange of contracts is going to take place. If this has not been prepared prior to your offer there will be immediate delays unless: you have chosen a good..."
"... place. If this has not been prepared prior to your offer there will be immediate delays unless: you have chosen a good solicitor who will not wait for all the paperwork before starting work the vendor chosen a good solicitor who will send out what they have with other documents to follow on..."
"... have chosen a good solicitor who will not wait for all the paperwork before starting work the vendor chosen a good solicitor who will send out what they have with other documents to follow on later If the vendor is poorly prepared your choice of solicitor can make all the difference to the..."
"... who will send out what they have with other documents to follow on later If the vendor is poorly prepared your choice of solicitor can make all the difference to the success, or otherwise, of the deal As an example lets say you have your offer accepted on the first day of October,..."
"... of October, which for the purposes of this illustration is a Monday. What the vendor is doing What your solicitor is doing Monday 'Phoning round solicitors to get quotes Nothing Tuesday Waiting for the..."
"... is a Monday. What the vendor is doing What your solicitor is doing Monday 'Phoning round solicitors to get quotes Nothing Tuesday Waiting for the quotes Nothing Wednesday Choosing a..."
"... round solicitors to get quotes Nothing Tuesday Waiting for the quotes Nothing Wednesday Choosing a solicitor Nothing Thursday solicitor sends out forms to be filled in by vendor Nothing Friday Forms arrive but..."
"... for the quotes Nothing Wednesday Choosing a solicitor Nothing Thursday solicitor sends out forms to be filled in by vendor Nothing Friday Forms arrive but vendor is at work Nothing Saturday Vendor fills out..."
"... fills out necessary paperwork Nothing Sunday Nothing Nothing Monday Vendor posts paperwork back to his solicitor Nothing Tuesday solicitor receives paperwork and requests office copy entries from Land..."
"... posts paperwork back to his solicitor Nothing Tuesday solicitor receives paperwork and requests office copy entries from Land Registry Nothing Wednesday Waiting for Office Copy..."
"... Copy Entries arrive and a draft contract is drawn up Nothing Friday Contract and Office Copy Entry is sent to your solicitor Nothing In other words it has been two weeks since the deal was agreed and your solicitor has so far done..."
"... other words it has been two weeks since the deal was agreed and your solicitor has so far done nothing, moreover you have heard nothing and seen no action! The example above, you should be aware, is based on a best possible scenario. The vendor may have chosen an old fashioned solicitor who waits weeks for original title deeds or an overworked solicitor who can't turn things around in the same..."
"... deals fail because the buyer waits weeks with no paperwork and, assuming the vendor is not serious, then goes out and offers on something else. If there is good communication between the solicitors or with the agent then at least you know where in the above process they are and that things are actually..."
"... far as legal paperwork goes you also should be aware that what exists from the last sale of the property (when the vendor bought) may not necessarily be adequate for what your solicitor needs now. This is because solicitors are far more frightened of being sued today than they were say a few years ago and what mortgage lenders require on their part is constantly changing and varies from company to company. As such if, once all the paperwork arrives, don't be surprised if your solicitor says he needs more information and don't always believe that the vendor is being awkward and holding back on you. They may just be puzzled because they have given you everything that they were told they needed in order to buy the property way back..."
"... vendor gets this form from their solicitor and is only required to fill it out to the best of their knowledge. When you see it don't be surprised if there are lots of "Don't Know" replies. One of the most common questions which gets this reply is who is responsible for the garden fences where they border other people's property. Most property owners genuinely don't know and there is a fairly good chance that you will never know either in the time you spend..."
"... buyers also get upset when they believe their offer was put forward to specifically include a certain item, such as the cooker, and the fixtures and fittings list says it is not included. Bear in mind that the vendor may have filled out this form weeks before your offer was agreed but not thought to adjust it's contents. More often however it is the solicitor who makes the error. He finds he suddenly has two fixtures and fittings lists and, not sure which one is correct, sends the more "prudent" one...."
"... more "prudent" one. As soon as you are aware of an error contact the Estate Agent immediately, remind them of your written offer and ask them to contact the vendor. At the same time ask your solicitor to approach the buyer's solicitor in order to resolve the matter. Again assume error in..."
"... Story - Carpets and Curtains at Duncan TerraceA buyer agreed to pay £1.325m for a town house in Islington and the vendors solicitor immediately sent across a complete pack containing all the required paperwork. In among this was a fixtures and fittings list which laid out the extra price required for the purchase of the curtains and the carpets. The buyers were angry that the vendors had even suggested they pay an extra £2,000 for these items considering the price being paid for the property. The vendors, on the other hand, had always had to pay extra for carpets and curtains in every purchase they had ever..."
"... to mend any hard feelings, they also threw in the washing machine and fridge. - Planning Permission - Your solicitor may start asking for confirmation of planning permission if: The local search suggests planning permission was applied for The outline of the property does not match..."
"... for the vendor's solicitor to write to the council, and for the council to actually get round to replying, can take forever and a day. To get round the problem almost all councils have walk in centres where any member of the public can look up planning applications and see if they were successful or not. Some can even be accessed over the..."
"... it is perfectly possible that your solicitor will start looking for something that does not exist. In this case call the local Building Control office and check when their inspections began. If it was after the date of your query, let your solicitor know and ask them to get on with other more important..."
"... is also possible, for a small fee, to get the Building Control Approval certificate yourself direct from the local council. It will be much, much quicker than waiting for your solicitor to write to the other solicitor, and the other solicitor to write to the Building Control Office in question. The fee can be around £30 which in the great scheme of things is not worth getting hot under the collar..."
"... agents come in all shapes and sizes from large companies to individuals who buy up freeholds. They can be helpful or down right awkward. If there seem to be delays in getting the information your solicitor needs, ask for the contact details and chase them yourself. If you, the vendor, and both the solicitors are chasing then the managing agents are more likely to respond quickly in order to get all four of you off their..."
"... A deed of variation is one of those little bits of paper that so easily goes missing or the kind of thing that a vendor thinks he did, after his purchase of the property, because he asked his solicitor to do it but in the bustle of a busy life forgot to follow up on and actually it never happened. ..."
"... forgot to follow up on and actually it never happened. All being well when the vendor put his property on the market he will have asked his solicitor to double check all the paperwork is in order, but very rarely are things that perfect. In other words expect some odd things that the vendor..."
"... other words expect some odd things that the vendor may have said were in order, turn out not to be. Again it is not often a lie, simply an oversight. As soon as you move in you will be so immediately preoccupied with paint colours, new kitchens and the like that calling your solicitor to discuss tidying up some outstanding paperwork will also be at the back of your mind, to say the..."
"... If this has been returned by the local council, or is about to be returned, he may be able to sell it to you at cost and so save the weeks that it can take to apply for. It's always worth checking the situation with the vendor's solicitor, just in case, before applying for your own search. ..."

"... There is a long way to go between agreeing a sale price and an exchange. The solicitors must be chased and managed, the buyer must be educated, the surveyor must be kept happy, the lender must be pursued and the process must be bought to a speedy conclusion. None of these things will happen if: ..."
Author of How to Really Buy a Property

I'm Tim Hill, Author of How to Really Buy a Property. I'm a property buyer, seller, landlord, tenant and I've been an agent in hundreds of transactions. I own a property portfolio across Europe but that doesn't mean I think you should to!

This book is my collective knowledge and experience that I have gained working within the property market of England and Wales for over a decade. I've written it so that you can benefit from what I have learnt whether you are a first time buyer or a budding buy-to-let investor.

There are no gimmicks here and no get rich quick schemes - just practical no nonsense advice so you can buy the property you want at the best price with the least stress.

Download the Free Preview copy right now. I won't be asking for your email so I can bombard your inbox with 'special offers' and 'discounts' because I know most people who read the Free Preview buy the full copy. See for yourself!