Diary of a high street conveyancer: 12th December 2022

So it is that time of year again…. Yes, Christmas. Every year, I remember why I buy Christmas presents early and why I find it such a stressful time.

While others are getting in the party mood and winding down for a nice break, us conveyancers are working out which clients will actually be able to move before Christmas and we will explain once again why it is not a good idea to complete on the 22nd or 23rd of December.

What may seem possible to a client – yes, of course you can pick your keys up at 2pm on the 23rd December – is not a good idea in conveyancing world. And it also surprises me that clients are surprised that Christmas is the busiest time for house moves – they believe that they are the only person who wants to move before Christmas.

And once again, us conveyancers are burning the midnight oil – it seems that this has been the case for many years – and I am sure that we are all looking forward to the rest over Christmas!

There are other factors outside of the client’s control which makes Christmas particularly busy and daunting for us. In the current climate with price falls on the horizon – if not already with us – we know that estate agents want as many matters to exchange before Christmas as possible even though completion will be in the New Year. They want to be sure that there is no discussion over the Christmas dinner where the excited buyer is told by a relative or friend that they are crazy to be buying a property at the moment – and at that price! Get the deal locked in quickly, all buyers and sellers are told by agents.

As for new build properties, developers have their end of year or half-year over the Christmas period and want the sale in their figures for bonuses and profits. This leads to a lot of pressure being put on chains: there may be some in those chains who do not want to move before Christmas, but they are forced to do so.

So, it all builds up. It is frantic, busy, and we are burning the midnight oil again. We don’t want to let clients down – whatever others may say – but it is hard work being a conveyancer. It is relentless and exhausting.

And the question we get asked the most at this time of year: “should I put up my Christmas tree?” Now, let’s be honest here – they did not teach us the answer to that question at law school!

This is written by a real high street conveyancer who wishes to remain anonymous. Read more in Today’s Conveyancer every week.

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