Diary of a High Street Conveyancer; 2nd August 2021

This week I have been thinking about what I would like to change about my working life, or probably more what I would  change if I could about the way in which conveyancing is done.  

The problem of having done the job for so many years is that you see how it changes over time, and although some of us older conveyancers would love to go back to the old ways, it is not going to be possible so we have had to adapt to the way things are done, and embrace the changes.

So today, let’s talk about pet gripes – I am sure that we all share many of these !

  • Referral fees: I have mentioned this in recent weeks when I’ve been writing about updates and why would you give an update to an estate agent who would, if they could, take the client and direct them to their own referred conveyancer. However, I believe that the issue of referral fees goes a lot deeper than just the relationship between estate agent and conveyancer.

    It can be found in the relationship between conveyancer and  search providers, conveyancer and identity checkers…… and all it seeks to do is drive down the fees of conveyancers as more money is paid to others within the process

  • Emails: Well that is a discussion in itself. I read posts about the  number of emails conveyancers get on a daily basis, and it is in the region of 250 to 300 per day. In the old days, we would not have received that many letters and that is the way in which emails need to be viewed and treated.

    Yes, there are some emails which can just be answered with a few lines, perhaps an update or a simple answer, but more often than not, the email has over 100 pages of attachments, and for those older conveyancers like me, we like to print them as it is easier to work with paper. Just printing the emails can take up the best part of a day before you even sit down to start reading them.

  • Panel requirements: Having to update the lenders’ panels with details as to when the application was lodged at the Land Registry, why the application hasn’t been completed so as to avoid external solicitors being appointed to make sure that we have dealt with the  application correctly.
  • Additional enquiries: Why would we want to ask  whether the other conveyancer has checked identity? This is incumbent on us if we are complying with the provisions of the Protocol and completing in accordance with the Law Society Code for Completion by Post.

    Why would we ask about the plan? This is included within the contract? Why would we ask for copies of documents more than one hundred years old?

    And the list goes on…. Such questions waste time. It is easier to answer them rather than have an argument as to why we do not need to answer them, and all the time, the poor client just sees the conveyancers trying to point score.

  • Working late into the night: We are all still doing this, the end of the first part of the SDLT holiday has not lightened the load. In fact, it has made it harder for us to switch off at five o’clock as clients and others now expect more from us.

It is a hard job. The pressures are there all of the time. There is little time to relax and take a break.  But please remember that we are all under the same pressures. You only have to look at Linked in to see what we are all experiencing. Stick together and stay strong… and remember, #bekind!


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

One Response

  1. These problems are undoubtedly felt by conveyancers across the entire country to some degree or other and I would ask conveyancers to simply open a dialogue with Property Searches Direct. We have no appetite to do anything other than help you interact better with your introducers and clients by relieving some administrative burdens. As the market cools and returns to ‘normal’ we believe that many firms will be looking to reassess processes, we are ready willing and able to help.

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