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Can Stress be Eliminated in the Conveyancing Process?

  • The Law Society of Scotland

To suggest that all stress can be eliminated when buying or selling a house would in fact be foolish.  There is no doubt that buying and selling a house whether it be in Scotland or elsewhere comes with its own challenges.  There are certainly ways in which you can try and ensure that as much stress as possible is minimised.  Here are my suggestions to you in this regard.  They are as follows:-

Appoint an Estate Agent who you Trust

In recent years online estate agents have sprung up.  I have no doubt that these estate agents have their place particularly when it comes to relatively inexpensive properties where only a sale is involved and where perhaps it is expected that once an offer has been received there will be little further involvement from them.  But if you are buying and selling on the same day (and because of the lack of bridging finance) that is the norm, then it is essential that the estate agent continues to monitor the position so that any hiccups in the process can be ironed out immediately.  You will often find that with online estate agents that there is no point of contact and nobody who will follow up why the process has “stalled” for whatever reason.  It is therefore imperative that you develop a good relationship with the estate agent and that you have confidence in them to communicate with you at all times and to follow up any matters on your behalf when required. 

Accepting an Offer

In recent years and particularly in some areas of Glasgow and its surrounding districts, it has become the norm to accept not what is termed a “clean offer” but rather to accept an offer “subject to the sale of somebody’s own house”.  Again there may be a place for these types of offer and certainly by accepting offers of these nature, a higher price for the property may well be achieved.  But, there is a price to you as the Seller of accepting such an offer.  In England we often refer to chains and this is the situation which now exists in many parts of Glasgow and the surrounding areas.  You may well find yourself in a chain comprising 6, 7 or even I have seen 8 links.  Each of the people in these links has a house subject to sale of their own house which means that the chain may not be closed until literally the week before settlement.  If any part of that chain collapses, then the whole chain will of course collapse.  It is true to say that in most situations the chain does close but this is not without an inordinate amount of stress on the part of each person in that chain and it also means that each person is not in a position to make plans for their removal.  For instance they cannot book removal vans because of uncertainty.  They cannot arrange for the utilities to be transferred because of uncertainties.  Their solicitors cannot draw down their loan funds because of the uncertainties.  The problems go on and on.  If you wish to avoid this then be decisive.  Only accept an offer from somebody who already has a concrete offer for their own house.  I am not saying that that in itself will eliminate stress and does not come without its own problems but of one thing I am certain, buying a house subject to somebody selling their own house is an issue.  If you are going to proceed in this manner then you must be aware of the risks. 

Make Sure that Your House is “Oven-ready”

Before you place your house on the market, you will be required to obtain a Home Report.  Please make sure that you give to your solicitor all documentation which you have in connection with any alterations or extensions which you have carried out to the property.  Please also make sure that you advise your solicitor as to whether or not any alterations have been carried out in the past.  It is essential that you ensure that the terms of the Home Report are accurate.  I would draw your attention to the section in the Home Report headed “Matters for your Solicitor/Legal Conveyancer”.  Please make sure that that section is accurate.  If the surveyor states that alterations have been carried out to the property and you are certain that they have not then you must speak to the surveyor before you “sign off” the Home Report.  Once the Home Report has been signed by you and published, it is too late for the surveyor to make any changes.  By the time an offer is received the purchasing solicitor will expect to see all the documentation referred to in the Home Report.  The time before publication is your time to make sure that everything is in pace.

Consult a Solicitor Whom you Trust to Communicate with You

When you are choosing a solicitor, ensure that the fee which you are quoted does not contain added “extras”.  Some firms of solicitors will increase their fees to reflect additional telephone calls to you, telephone calls which you may regard as normal.  Some firms in fact conduct most of their business online.  Given what I have said above regarding the problems which may or may not arise, this may not suit you.  Ensure that the solicitor which you choose meets your needs in this regard and that you have confidence in his/her. 

Take a Deep Breath

It is possible to get through the conveyancing process and to come out the other side smiling but it is up to you in the first instance to make the correct decisions and it sometimes helps to invest in a large bottle of red wine!

Contact our Residential Conveyancing Lawyers for Glasgow's Southside: Clarkston, Newton Mearns, Giffnock, Netherlee, Eaglesham, Carmunnock, Stewarton & Southside Glasgow

We have a wealth of experience in all types of Residential Conveyancing transactions. We provide cost-effective and efficient legal advice, whether you’re a first-time buyer or are looking for your forever home. We can help make the process as stress-free as possible.

To talk to our experienced and respected Conveyancing legal team, contact us today on 0141 280 7686 or fill out our online enquiry form. Based in Clarkston in Glasgow's Southside, we help clients in Newton Mearns, Netherlee, Giffnock, Eaglesham, Carmunnock, Stewarton and across Glasgow. With 70+ five-star reviews on Google (read our reviews), we can deliver an excellent Conveyancing service for you too.


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