Trusting the process can remove stress from property purchases

September 13, 2022

A Cheshire-based residential conveyancing solicitor believes that trusting the process can help remove some of the stress out of buying property.

The leading trade body for the conveyancing industry, The Conveyancing Association (CA), has recently announced the results from its 2022 lender survey.

Used to identify where improvements can be made in the mortgage and conveyancing process, more than 80 per cent of conveyancers who responded to the survey said they had to raise a post-offer query with a lender.

Almost half (48 per cent) said that better communication via the lender portals would help speed up post-mortgage offer processes, with 36 per cent pointing to securing a better response time to queries.

With mortgage offers typically only valid for between three and six months from the date they are issued, any hold-ups can create uncertainty for buyers.

Watsons Solicitors partner and residential conveyancing solicitor Chris Illingworth explained: “It can be difficult to get responses to queries in my experience and getting one within two weeks is generally good.

“More often than not, when we do go looking for an answer to a question, the response is ‘if you are happy it, then we are’.

“It’s important to remember that there’s a pipeline, and often the lender has to refer something to the underwriter who passes the query on to the surveyor for it then to come back to the underwriter, which creates a queue.

“Lenders tend to have a handbook online for commonly asked questions that solicitors can check to help guide them and the buyer.”

Given the process of buying property can be a lengthy one – often two to three months – Chris, who is regularly dealing with between 80 and 100 transactions at a time, believes managing expectations is crucial from the outset.

“There are greater demands on conveyancers in terms of checks and balances,” he said. 

“It’s crucial to remember that these things take time, but that there is a job to do, and we want people to move house.

“The checks that are in place make sure that what people are trying to buy isn’t a lemon, while also making sure that all regulations are adhered to.

“The advice we give people is to follow the process because it is trying to prevent any issues further down the line and we don’t apologise for wanting to do the best for our clients because of that.

“Everyone would love a nice and straightforward procedure, but the reality is that problems can arise with various aspects of the buying process.

“It is key to set expectations of how long things will take and that will allow those buying a property to relax into the process.”

Chris also feels that using a solicitor local to the area of purchase can help prevent any further delays in closing a deal.

“Warrington has some newly built sites where the leases are known to be problematic, for example,” he said. 

“A solicitor in the area knows that there are issues with estate charges on properties and with rent review clauses that can be immediately flagged to a buyer and also the other side’s solicitor.”

“An out-of-town solicitor will, no doubt, spot the problems, but that might not be until three or four weeks down the line.”

To speak to someone at Watsons Solicitors about conveyancing, please contact enquiries@watsonssolicitors.com or call 01925 571212.

Warrington-based Watsons Solicitors, which has been established for more than 60 years, specialises in family lawemployment lawwills and probate, and conveyancing.

The team of experienced solicitors each hold various accreditations and memberships of professional bodies relevant to their expertise, while the firm’s partners oversee all areas of work.

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