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Common Problems with the Conveyancing Process and how to fix them

  • The Law Society of Scotland

It’s during the conveyancing process that you’re most likely to experience issues and delays with your property purchase or sale. Fortunately there are ways that you and your lawyer can limit the chance of problems occurring, and deal effectively with any issues that do arise to prevent them from escalating. Being aware of the potential pitfalls and how to tackle them can mean the difference between completing your transaction in a couple of weeks or several months.

Here are some of the most common problems that stall the conveyancing process, and how to fix them.

#1 The buyer and seller can’t agree

After an offer on a property has been accepted, the lawyers for both sides will set about making this offer legally binding. This is done by a series of exchanged letters (the missives) between the two solicitors, until all the terms are agreed. The terms will include the price for the property, date of entry, and fixtures and fittings. If one or more of the conditions can’t be agreed on, your lawyer will help you come up with a strong negotiation strategy. For you, this means being certain about your position (what you are prepared to compromise on and what you are not) and for us that means checking and assessing all the information available on the transaction and identifying factors that can be used to improve your negotiating position.

#2 There’s a problem with the property

If a survey detects a problem with the property you’re selling or are interested in buying, such as poor plumbing or damage to the roof, this could cause delay to the conveyancing stage while the extent of the problem is fully investigated, and a decision is made regarding who will organise and pay for any remedial works. We’re used to acting fast and effectively in these situations to keep the transactions moving. We will talk you through the survey and its implications, find out the costs involved and, if necessary, renegotiate the offer with the other side. 

#3 Paperwork issues

Missing and incomplete paperwork is another common obstacle in the conveyancing stage. While you don’t have control over the other party to the transaction, or indeed anyone else in the chain, you can ensure that you have all the right documents filed and ready to go. You will also help to keep things moving along by replying to emails from your conveyancing solicitor promptly, and by filling out the necessary legal forms accurately and without delay.

#4 Funding delays

There can sometimes be a delay with the lender’s approval of the buyer’s mortgage, causing a knock on effect. If you are a buyer, we can recommend reliable and quick mortgage providers, which will help to reduce the risk of delays with processing and approving your application. We will also ensure regular communication with the lender, the other party’s solicitor and you.

#5 Alteration documents missing

When you are putting your house on the market you must make sure that you give to your solicitor all local authority documentation for any alterations/extensions which you or a previous proprietor have carried out to the house. You must have the stamped plans, building warrant and completion certificate for each and every alteration. Ideally you should ask the surveyor who prepares the Home Report to check them and you should check that they are referred to in the Home Report itself. If you are uncertain about “signing off” the Home Report you should speak to your solicitor before doing so.

Contact our Conveyancing Lawyers, Scotland

At Claphams, we strive to minimise any interruptions to the conveyancing process, helping you to have a stress-free, successful transaction. As part of our partner-led personal conveyancing service, you will have access to an expert conveyancing solicitor, who is contactable whenever you need them during your conveyancing transaction. Contact us for help with your property purchase or sale in Clarkston, Newton Mearns, Netherlee, Giffnock, Southside Glasgow or anywhere throughout Scotland on 0141 620 0800.

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Please note we are a firm of Scottish Solicitors helping clients across Scotland and cannot help you if you are based in England.