What provoked my tale last week of the double murder in a house my client was buying was a post I saw relating to unnecessary enquiries.
The query posted was – have any crimes been committed in the property? And bearing in mind, last week’s tale, I think we can conclude that acting in the sale or purchase of a property is not a tick box exercise – we have to consider the detail of each transaction and, as far as possible, tailor the advice to that particular client.
A single mum with a small child buying a house to live in is very different from an investor buying a house to develop. But approaching the sale or purchase of a property with that mind set takes time and is ultimately, going to cost the client more money. Making sure that the client makes an informed decision for them as to buying a house is very important.
So in the same way that I often say that we should pick up the telephone and talk to the solicitor on the other side of a transaction, it is just as important to pick up the telephone and talk to the client. If I find something in a title (perhaps there is a restriction registered in favour of a management company and I can therefore assume that there is a management charge payable), I will pick up the phone and talk to the client and explain what this means rather than just sending them a letter and them discovering this – words are less scary in these scenarios when spoken rather than written.
And it gives you the opportunity to answer the client’s questions and reassure them and also get a feel as to whether they are going to feel confident in proceeding.
Let’s make our role something to be valued – giving clients good advice and guiding them through the biggest purchase of their life. It is not something that can completely be done by ticking boxes; we need empathy and understanding of our clients.