Diary of a high street conveyancer: 9th October 2023

So what has happened in conveyancing world this week?  

Well, I had a client who completed his house purchase in 2020 who emailed me to tell me that there was now an issue with the roof and asked if I could go back to the sellers’ solicitor to ask them about a contribution to the costs of the works  – I am still thinking about how to reply to him…

There was also the client who was told by the estate agent that there were no issues with the house she was buying, only then to discover that the house had been underpinned earlier this year due to an issue with the drains. The sellers had not disclosed this in the Property Information Form and the way we discovered this was that there was reference to the insurance premium having increased which led me to ask for more information about this and details as to how much it had increased by and why?

When I think about my job, I realise that it is about people as much as properties. How we handle people making one of the biggest decisions of their life is crucial. We risk disappointing others in the chain when a client decides not to proceed. But it is the most expensive item anyone will ever buy and it has to be right – and being right encompasses all manner of things.

By this I mean it has to be right legally and structurally but also has to be right for that particular client.  So if we know that a client wants to park a commercial vehicle on the drive, it is important to check the restrictive covenants. If a client intends to build an extension, it is important to make sure that there are no restrictive covenants which prevent this.

I think it is important to ask questions about the decisions that the client is making as that does help deal with their expectations.  If the house is on a newish estate, there are likely to be more restrictive covenants than if it is a 1900s terraced house.  And this comes down to one thing – getting to know your client so that you can manage their expectations throughout the process.

Get them to trust you and know that you are going to be able to talk with them about the decisions that they are making.  But, and sorry. as I say this all the time – charge for that extra attention you are giving. If necessary, make it your USP – get to know your clients and make them value your advice and guidance.

Want to have your say? Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Read more stories

Join nearly 5,000 other practitioners – sign up to our free newsletter

You’ll receive the latest updates, analysis, and best practice straight to your inbox.