Diary of a High Street Conveyancer; 28th June 2021

Friday was a day that was anxiously anticipated by all conveyancers –  what would the volume of transactions be? Would the banking system be able to cope?

The feeling that I got throughout the day was that things were going well – all monies on my stand-alone purchases were transferred and acknowledged by half past nine in the morning. My sales completed around mid-day – all bar one.

Most of my transactions on Friday were with local firms – we all know each other and we transact regularly. Two sales were with firms out of the area but smallish firms, so no issues there.

The one sale I had which was late in completing was where I was acting for the seller of a property which was already empty as my client had moved some weeks ago due to work commitments. I was selling to a local firm, but there was a chain of about four below.

A first time buyer in the chain was represented by one of the larger conveyancers.

I appreciate this next statement will be somewhat controversial but I fear, from previous experience, this is where we may run into issues over the next couple of days.

Over the years I have experienced more delays in completing transactions with larger conveyancers than smaller ones.  The volume they deal with is eye watering, and being able to get monies out on all of those transactions in a timely manner is hard.

I admit that there are good and bad in all size firms, and this is not a bash at those who work for larger conveyancing firms, they work so incredibly hard. However, the delays in the transfer of completion monies tends to be with the larger firms and dare I say this is where there may be some issues over the next few days.

So if you are in a chain with one of these firms, get the agents to keep an eye on them. They may not be the firm next to you in the chain, but if you find out you are in a chain with the estate agency who have secured the sale of the Rovers Return in Coronation Street, you might guess which firm is involved….

And this is not a column championing the smaller firm, although I did see a comment on LinkedIn where  a solicitor had mentioned that ‘one man bands’ should be banned in the run up to the SDLT holiday. Someone had commented that one man bands made as good music as an orchestra. I have to agree.

This is more a call to action for all of us, large and small. We all have to work together.

I am pleased and comforted to see how everyone has pulled together and for the next few days, we know who is moving  – there will be no last minute entrants in the race to the finish line.   Get the agents to check who is in the chain, be prepared and tell your client if you think that there may be delays. Let’s get through this final hurdle together!!


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

Today's Conveyancer