The conveyancing myth monster

Published: 05/09/2014

There’s no denying buying a property is stressful and, quite often along the process, our tempers are frayed. But does it need to be this way? Lynne McCaffrey looks at what gets buyers and sellers so frustrated and how conveyancing myths are often the root of people’s unhappiness:

“It’s completely understandable that, having found your perfect property, you want to get in it as soon as possible and therefore growing easily frustrated when things take longer than expected. However (and I’m running the risk of angering people further when I say) this frustration often comes from a misconceived understanding as to what is actually involved in buying a property.

“One of the most common misconceptions surrounds when the lender has to appoint their own solicitors. This is usually because the client has chosen a solicitor who is not on its conveyancing panel. While this can cause a delay to the overall transaction, the real delay often comes from the client’s solicitor.

“There is a reason why lenders have a preferred panel and why conveyancing firms are awarded the Law Society’s Conveyancing Quality Scheme (CQS); it is because they are experts in what they do. They do it day in day out, are highly trained and experienced and have encountered and overcome pretty much everything that can crop up in a transaction.

“If a solicitor is not on the lender’s panel it is often because they either don’t have the CQS accreditation or the lender feels they are not geared up to handle conveyancing in the same way as a larger or more experienced firm would be. Conveyancing may not even be their primary line of work but merely a side line. This can therefore result in things being overlooked or falling through those proverbial cracks, particularly if there have been recent changes which they are unfamiliar with.

“This is clearly a problem in itself but what the majority of clients don’t realise is that as the firm representing the lender, we are unable to communicate any of this with them directly. It’s a law that frustrates both us and the client as it only exacerbates the problem; it’s a vicious circle – a particular issue nowadays as any disgruntled customer takes straight to social media without knowing the full picture.

“But alas our hands are tied; we can only communicate with the client’s solicitor and not the client directly and just hope the messages are relayed correctly. I just wanted to use my blog to try and at least communicate that and put this conveyancing myth to bed… ideally the bed in your new home!”

Lynne McCaffrey | Head of Property

Lynne McCaffrey is a licensed conveyancer with over 18 years experience. As Head of Property at Goldsmith Williams Lynne is responsible for the day to day running of the property department, which specialises in conveyancing, remortgage, buy to let and bridging.

Content correct at time of publication

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