Diary of a High Street Conveyancer; 30th June 2021

So how was today?  Was it manic? was it stressful? Did you achieve everything you wanted?

One of the things that became apparent over the last few weeks was that estate agents and conveyancers could work together for the benefit of the client.

Or so I thought until today.

I was trying to complete a move for a lovely elderly couple, when I took a call from an agent who demanded that I send a contract package immediately as I was holding up a sale by not doing so (I can see you conveyancers nodding your heads in agreement).  I explained that I was in the middle of a completion; I was checking the final pieces were in place to enable them to move and politley suggested the agent give me a little time and I would send the contract documents.

No, she could not… I appealed to her better nature but to no avail, so I said “ok, you know what I will do? I will stop  working on the completion I am doing and send the contract documents and then go back to the completion. How does that sound?”

Clearly it was said tongue in cheek so imagine my astonishment when the agent said that would suit her fine and it would stop her bothering me and having to call every half hour for the next day until I had done them…

I was astounded and upset by her attitude.  My client understood the position and was happy to wait for me to send them but when the agent then called back after fifteen minutes to find out why I had still not sent them, I realised that the only way to stop her from calling me very half hour was to  prepare and send them, notwithstanding that I was in the middle of a completion.

As I am exhausted and drained from the last few months of what seems to be non-stop work, I wanted to scream about how selfish she had been, but knew that was not the professional thing to do.

But it did make me think about how it is often those who shout loudest and longest who get their own way. I think that I would have been more receptive to her had she been calm and polite but to some, bullying is the answer.  Because let’s be honest, that is what this was, a form of bullying to get her own way, and if I did not do what she asked then she would make sure that everyone knew I was uncooperative. Completely unjustified and very unfair, especially with only one day left to get as many deals over the line as we can.

So the moral of my tale is… work with the agents, call out bad behaviour and unfair comments. We are all working towards the same end, and I would hope that following the end of the stamp duty holiday that a new relationship between agents and conveyancers starts to form,  where there is mutual respect and openness.

If I could give a wish list of what I would like in conveyancing, it would be that an agent gives me a full chain list at the start of a transaction. I am sure that an agent’s wish would be that I keep them updated throughout.

Work together, be on the same side not opposing sides.  Acknowledge the limits of your position.

Estate agents: do not ask us to  take a view on matters such as lack of consent for a  loft conversion.

Conveyancers: speak with the agent and get them to liaise between the seller and buyer as needed.

It is not a war!


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

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