Conveyancing.  The Highs and the Lows and what to do about it.


Working with an engaged and proactive estate agent is worth its weight in gold when you are selling or buying. Whichever you are, seller or buyer, a good and experienced agent will want the sale to go through smoothly and will expend great efforts to ensure it does! A big part of this is that they nurture an effective two-way relationship with an efficient conveyancing solicitor.

Good estate agents keep regular tabs on sales progress and can contact your solicitor to see what is causing a holdup. As agents we are used to investigating to find out what is going on and we find conveyancers respond well to focused queries by email or phone. To be honest, we realise that they want to get on with their work so having to return calls is a burden on their precious time. So we generally use email, to which they can respond quickly and promptly. Buyers, often inexperienced and not sure what question to ask, can rely on a good estate agent to get the information they need. Of course, as a seller, you need to provide your solicitor with the information they request from you in a timely manner, so they can send this over to the buyer’s solicitor promptly.

Unfortunately, sellers and buyers sometimes give insufficient thought to their choice of lawyers. No offence meant, but using the ‘family lawyer’ because they have dealt with your father or mother 20 or 30 years ago is no guide to their efficiency in conveyancing a local Brighton or Hove property. This is especially relevant here, as you are quite likely buying or selling a leasehold property (even though it may have a share of freehold) or a property with Bungeroosh construction.  If your conveyancer is not used to local leases or structural issues on surveys, dealing with these issues and potential complications can lead to transaction times of 6-9 months rather than 6-9 weeks.  You will get desperate! An example of side-effects caused by long delays can be that your mortgage offer may expire and you will need to get a fresh valuation done or worse, the seller or buyer could pull out of the really do want to avoid that. I hope you can now see the value of locally experienced conveyancers.

Most estate agents have great relationships with a variety of solicitors, so it will pay to look at who they recommend and why. Many estate agents earn small referral fees from lawyers: this in itself is not a problem since those fees are clearly disclosed in any quotes you receive. Conveyancing solicitors introduced in this way want to make sure they deliver a good service as they will be of course be keen to receive more referrals.

One thing to be very aware of: if you go online and google cheap conveyancing, that’s what you’ll get! It applies to solicitors/conveyancers as much as it does to estate agents; cheap rarely equates to good. As I’ve said before; you get what you pay for so be careful. Selling or buying property is probably the biggest transaction you will make in your life so don’t make that mistake.

At Bonett's, being part of the team Association network of independent agents, we work with team's Conveyancing arm and recommend highly efficient local solicitors.  They work hard to ensure sales go through expeditiously whether they are working for a seller or buyer.  

Of course, if you have friends who have recently sold or bought locally and can recommend a local firm, give them a call and see what you think.

Our Sales Manager, Timothy Denning can always give you good advice and a recommendation if you wish: 01273 677365


Paul Bonett  F.N.A.E.A.  M.A.R.L.A.