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Solicitors take twice as long over property sales

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.”


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There are 7 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Bob Riach Riach IFA 18th November 2011 at 12:35 pm

    I have not seen these delays in my area and for remortgage most clients use the free solicitors package included with the mortgage deals and again I have not noticed any delays with the service offered

  2. Solicitors appear to have culled experienced conveyancing staff in the hope that they can absorb work in which they have no experience. This leads to delay because of a lack of understanding of the dynamics of a tranaction which is time critical and will not allow them to fob off their clients with double speak, which usually results from the fact that they do not know what they are doing and are not Conveyancers

  3. The use of free solicitors begs the question of independant advice to the borrower, especially in the current market. For instance in a remortgage of a leasehold property approaching the tail end of its mortgaeable term, is the solicitor spotting this and re-negotiating the extension with the landlord?

  4. Sorry Bob but could it be you are using the wrong solicitors?
    It is true that many solicitors’ firms have cut back on staff but the ones who are continuing to be proactive are taking no longer than they used to.

  5. Peter did you read my comment

    I have not seen these delays in my area and for remortgage most clients use the free solicitors package included with the mortgage deals and again I have not noticed any delays with the service offered

  6. John I agree with you but unfortunately when I client sees that the lender is offering a free basic legal package its very difficult to talk them out of it. I prefer clients to use local Solicitors as the service offed by these fee packages are often slow especially if the remortgage is not straight forward

  7. Maybe it has more to do with the cut price conveyancing “specialists” who are charging unviable prices?
    You pay peanuts and you get monkeys

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