I had one completion today – the sale of an empty property. All went well so nothing to report there. But there are days when things don’t go as planned and you find yourself having to review the terms of the contract, the small print of the Conditions in the contract which we all just take for granted when things go well.
We all know that the latest time for completion in a contract is 2 pm. Most conveyancers ask for this to be brought forward by an hour to one o’clock. But how many check what the latest time for completion is throughout the rest of the chain ? and how important it is? It is only when things go wrong that you would give it much thought, but what if the time for completion in your client’s contract has been amended to one o’clock, but the first time buyer, perhaps three below your client in a chain, has a latest completion time of two o’clock. This means that his solicitor may not send the funds until just before two at the latest and then there is a potential breach of contract with your client’s buyer where the funds should have been with you by one o’clock. I would always ask the buyers’ solicitor to confirm that the contracts are identical throughout the chain , so far as that is possible to ascertain, and where the contract conditions have an impact on the rest of the chain. However, I think that the good thing about conveyancers is that we are practical and look to do the best for our clients, and so much of what happens on completion is based on trust . Just talk to the other side; be friendly, and that will help if things do go wrong at any time in the transaction, not just on completion
Education is when you read the small print. Experience is what you get if you don’t.
Missed previous issues of the High Street Conveyancer’s diary? We’ve attached all the links below for you.