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How To Put Pressure On Solicitors When Selling?

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When it comes to selling your home, the conveyancing process is largely out of your control. It is the responsibility of both you and the buyer’s solicitors.

If you feel that things are taking too long and you need to make a quick sale, you may be wondering how you can put pressure on your solicitors to speed things up.

Don’t worry! We are here to help. In this article, we will answer all your questions about what role your solicitor plays in the selling process, why they can be slow, and how to put pressure on them.

Table of Contents

What does a solicitor do in the selling process?

A solicitor’s role in the house-moving process is to oversee the conveyancing. This involves taking you from accepting an offer to exchange and completion.

Despite appearing straightforward, conveyancing can be intricate and can take a long time to finish. In certain cases, it can take months.

The conveyancing process can be longer in some areas, and the more bedrooms your house has, the longer it usually takes.

If your house brings up any issues on the searches, this will extend the conveyancing process further, as the issues must be resolved by both the buyer and seller.

What is the average conveyancing time?

Conveyancing usually takes 12 to 16 weeks but can be longer due to certain factors. The coronavirus pandemic has made it difficult for solicitors to access the materials they need since they are now working from home.

Furthermore, the Stamp Duty Holiday has led to an increase in demand for housing, causing solicitors to have a lot of work and causing delays in conveyancing.

To gain a better understanding of conveyancing’s length and potential causes of delay, please refer to the table below:

Category

Approximate Time

Pre-contract work: appoint conveyancer, instruct local searches, get survey, get draft contract

2 weeks

Time for the buyer to arrange house repayments

4 weeks

Draft contract: reviewing survey report, local searches, answering outstanding questions

2-10 weeks

The time between exchange and completion

1 week

Total time from an offer being accepted to completion

12-16 weeks

The conveyancing process can be lengthy and costly. On average, sellers pay between £550 and £1000 for the necessary legal work. In some cases, solicitors charge a percentage of the property’s value, which can raise the cost further.

The length and cost of this process will depend on whether the house is freehold or leasehold, and if there are any existing mortgage payments.

Why are solicitors so slow?

If your conveyancing process is taking a long time, it’s important to remember that your solicitor won’t be deliberately slowing things down – they won’t get paid until your sale is complete.

However, there can be some factors that are beyond their control, which can cause delays. These could include:

Slow buyer

If your buyer isn’t responding to enquiries quickly or signing contracts on time, this can cause delays. Your estate agent may need to get involved to encourage them to move things along faster.

How To Put Pressure On Solicitors When Selling
If your buyer isn't responding to enquiries quickly or signing contracts on time, this can cause delays.

Complex transaction

Certain transactions may involve unusual elements, which can create some misunderstandings. This can lead to a delay in the conveyancing process, slowing your solicitor down.

Slow house survey

After conducting a house survey, results may take some time to arrive. Without these results, conveyancing cannot continue and your solicitor won’t be able to do anything until they have been obtained.

Unhappy with enquiries

If a solicitor has asked you or your buyer a question and they’re unhappy with the answer, this may slow down the process until the issue is resolved. It is important to take the necessary steps to address the problem so the transaction can continue.

your research and performing your homework can help make an informed decision and enable a smooth experience.

Why Are Solicitors So Slow?
Due to COVID, many people now work from home, which can lead to difficulties such as slow Wi-Fi and not having access to needed files.

Slow house repayments lenders

If your buyer needs a house repayment plan to buy your property, the conveyancing can be slowed down by the lender.

This is out of your control, so make sure your buyer has everything sorted and an agreement in principle before you accept their offer and start the conveyancing process.

Reduced working hours

Due to COVID, many people are working fewer hours or in a more flexible way. This means that the same amount of work has to be done in less time, resulting in it taking longer to complete.

Working from home

Due to COVID, many people now work from home, which can lead to difficulties such as slow Wi-Fi and not having access to needed files. This can slow down a solicitor’s progress.

How to Put Pressure on Solicitors
COVID had a major effect on workers being put on furlough, many of whom have now lost their jobs due to companies unable to keep them on.

Less staff

COVID had a major effect on workers being put on furlough, many of whom have now lost their jobs due to companies unable to keep them on.

This has led to businesses having less staff, consequently, your solicitor may be dealing with a larger workload which could mean they’re slowed down.

How often should I chase my solicitor?

There’s no right or wrong answer as to how often you should contact your solicitor, and it depends on how you’re feeling and if you need anything from them. If you’re constantly keeping an eye on your solicitor, it’s one way to ensure they don’t slack off.

The frequency in which you check in also depends on where you are in the conveyancing process – at the start, there’s less for you to do, so you may feel less need to check-in.

As you get closer to the end, however, more work needs to be done – such as answering queries and signing contracts – so you may want to check in daily.

If you’re aiming for a fast sale, you’ll likely want to contact your solicitor more often to speed up the process and get your house sold fast. It’s your solicitor’s responsibility to update and inform you of any changes or important developments, but they don’t always do this.

What can I do if my solicitor is not responding?

If your solicitor isn’t responding to you, it’s time to get your estate agent to intervene. They will oversee the entire process to ensure it’s completed quickly.

If they can’t get a response from your solicitor, you can complain to The Legal Ombudsman who will listen to both sides of the story and come to a conclusion. However, this will add extra confusion and delay the conveyancing process.

Can I chase my buyer's solicitor?

No, it’s not advisable. You should ask your estate agent or solicitor to call them and find out what’s causing the delay.

Can I contact my house buyers directly
If you and your buyer have exchanged contact details and are happy to speak directly, then there's no reason why not.

Can I contact my buyers directly?

If you and your buyer have exchanged contact details and are happy to speak directly, then there’s no reason why not. It may be beneficial if the delay is caused by something on their side, such as their solicitor.

You can then ask them to get in touch with their solicitor to resolve the issue without the estate agent’s involvement.

However, dealing directly with your buyer isn’t always wise as it can cause confusion and result in a falling out. An estate agent’s job is to make sure everything is done correctly and they are there to smooth things over and sort out any issues.

How to put pressure on solicitors when selling?

If you want your house to sell quickly, knowing how to apply pressure to solicitors is key. We assume you’re eager to learn how to do this so you can get your sale finalized ASAP, so let’s dive into it.

  1. Make use of your direct contacts. You can contact the buyer directly if both of you are happy to do so. If the delay is caused by the buyer’s solicitor, you can ask the buyer to speak with the solicitor and resolve the issue. This way, you can pressure the solicitor without having to do it yourself.
  2. Set a deadline for your solicitor. By giving your solicitor a deadline, you are effectively applying pressure. Your solicitor will be conscious of the deadline, encouraging them to finish the process as quickly as possible.
  3. Ask your estate agent to get involved. Your estate agent is there to ensure the process runs smoothly. Ask them to remind the solicitors of the desired completion date to apply pressure to either your solicitor or the buyer’s solicitor.
  4. Submit a complaint. No one likes being complained about, which can often be the missing piece in getting someone to do what you want them to. Complain directly to your solicitor or take it to the Legal Ombudsman; either way, it’s a way of exerting pressure.
  5. Be proactive. The conveyancing process not only relies on your solicitor but also you. Make sure to sign contracts on time and be available for the house survey. By being organized, you are pushing the solicitors to do their job.
  6. Change solicitors. If you are having a hard time with your solicitor, it could be quicker to switch to another one. Although starting the process again will cause a delay, it may be worth it in the end if they finish the process faster.
  7. Threaten to pull out. If the delay is caused by the buyer’s solicitor, you can threaten to pull out of the deal if they don’t speed up. The threat of not getting paid should be enough to apply pressure. Only do this if you are willing to lose the deal and use this as a last resort.
  8. Use a cash buyer. When you use a cash buyer, the pressure is completely on the solicitors to get the job done. Cash buyers have the money ready and often don’t need a survey, so the process is faster. Plus, there’s no chain, so the focus is just on you and your sale. Cash buyers are also happy to complete in a timeframe that suits you.

Furthermore, there’s less paperwork when selling to a cash buyer, reducing the chances of issues and confusion.

This is easy to say, but are cash buyers that easy to find?

Say less!

At Property Saviour, we are cash buyers of property. We buy all types of homes, in any condition, in any location. We can complete a sale in a timescale to suit your needs – be it a week, a month, or even a year. Our speciality is fast sales!

We take care of all the legal aspects, so you don’t need to worry about lawyer’s fees, complicated paperwork, or long waiting periods with your solicitor. We only need one viewing to give you our cash offer. The offer we provide will be the full amount you will receive, in the timescale of your preference.

Fill out our online form or give us a call for a no-obligation cash offer. We can get the money in your bank without the stress of dealing with slow solicitors…

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