Conveyancing solicitors are taking longer to finalise the legal work on property sales, delaying the process by up to five months, says Lentune Mortgages director Stuart Gregory.
He says the time taken by some firms to complete the required legal work after an offer has been produced has as much as doubled. He says: “Usually, within two or three weeks of an offer being produced clients are ready to exchange contracts. Getting from offer to exchange now takes about a month and a half. One of my clients has been waiting for five months.”
Gregory feels the delays are proving more problematic than finding mortgages for his clients. He says: “Clients need the legal side completed to sort their finance out and get panicky when there are delays. Advisers end up having to manage the expectations of all the parties involved.”
Riach IFA proprietor Bob Riach believes the delays are due to reductions in staff numbers. He says: “Lots of solicitors have cut conveyancing staff.”