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Avoid Being On Your Conveyancer’s Naughty List This Christmas

Reasons to choose Wilson Browne

No one wants to be on Santa’s naughty list – especially after this year. Here’s how to avoid your Conveyancer’s naughty list.

Tell your conveyancer if you have agreed a completion date

We need to know, if we don’t then we cannot aim and plan for it. Not all preferred dates will be met of course as many factors can affect dates, but you stand much more of a chance of meeting your proposed date if you tell us!

Advise the true extent of the source of your purchase funds

We are obliged to check the source of monies utilised to purchase property. Gifts, loans, help to buy ISA’s to name a few all require additional work to be undertaken. If you don’t tell us, this definitely will hold up your transaction.

DON’T make removal arrangements (or other arrangements) before exchange

The transaction and completion date is not binding until exchange of contracts. Making arrangements prior to exchange for a specific date can only lead to trouble – losing money or even the sale/purchase if too much pressure is applied for a particular date in the chain. Quite simply, you can make provisional arrangements but please don’t commit to anything that will be difficult to get out of until exchange has taken place.

Return the documents we send to you to sign as soon as possible

Make sure you return documents to us promptly. There is nothing worse than gearing up towards exchange to find documents are missing.

DON’T allow your buyer access to your property before completion

However lovely your buyers may seem, allowing them access prior to completion should only be allowed where a key undertaking is signed by the buyers and prepared by your conveyancer. Allowing buyers access to your property can cause all sorts of issues. What happens if the transaction doesn’t proceed? Have they carried out works? Can you actually get them to leave? If they already have the keys, there will be a lack of incentive to actually complete. This may also cause issues with your buildings insurance.

Think with your head NOT your heart

We understand, moving is exciting. You don’t want to hear negative things about your potential dream home. However, it’s much better to find out before you commit yourself to the purchase than having a whole lot of upset later. Listen to your conveyancer’s advice so you can make an informed decision about whether not to proceed.

DON’T call us to check we have received your email

Your conveyancer is likely to receive in excess of 150 emails per day, alongside telephone calls, post and actually working on your file. Be reassured that your conveyancer will respond to you and update you as necessary.

If a price reduction has been agreed tell us

This affects not only the contract paperwork but, if a buyer is having a mortgage, it must be reported to their lender and a new offer issued. You need to advise us of this promptly, even if you think someone else may have told us.

Complete your instruction forms in full

We understand these forms are lengthy, however this is how we take your initial instructions and we rely on this information to progress the transaction. Ensure you complete the forms to the absolute best of your knowledge and don’t be afraid to ask for help if anything is unclear. If you are selling, the seller’s property information form and fixtures and fittings form are sent to the buyer’s conveyancer with the contract pack. Missing information will only cause further enquiries and delays in issuing contract packs.

Disclose any issues

Whilst the principle of caveat emptor “buyer beware” applies some information must be disclosed – this is particularly relevant to the completion of the property information forms – you could face a potential action for misrepresentation if you fail to do so.

Be Patient

We do understand moving is stressful and you want to move as soon as you possibly can, however buying a home is probably the most expensive purchase you will make. Conveyancing takes time and is impacted by many third parties, lenders, local authorities etc. Being impatient can also put off your potential buyer/seller.

If the seller promises you something let us know immediately

The use of a right of way for example. We need to be told prior to exchange of contracts of anything you are intending to rely upon in order that we can make sure you can!

If there are any additional purchases, sales or boundary adjustments let us know

The Land Registry will not automatically merge titles so the title to your property may be registered as two separate titles. It is really important you tell us about any additional purchases/sales/boundary adjustments. You may have promised land to someone else and moved the physical boundaries but not actually completed the legal transfer so make sure you tell us.

If your transaction relates to another transaction we need to know

Usually the same conveyancer will deal with linked sale and purchase transactions, however there may be an instance where a separate firm is acting on a transaction that must be tied in with the other. We need to know this ASAP in order that we can make sure the two transactions happen simultaneously.

DON’T forget to tell us who is actually selling or purchasing the property

Sounds simple but is the sale by way of executors, an attorney, joint names, sole name, trustees etc? We need to know this information early on to avoid delays later.

Take time to read what we send you

Written reports can be daunting, however read carefully all correspondence sent to you by your conveyancer and any accompanying reports. This will ensure you have a complete understanding of your transaction prior to committing yourself.

Finally try not to take out your frustrations on your conveyancer. We understand moving can be extremely stressful but rest assured your conveyancer will always be working in your best interests and it is vital every party works as a team to ensure things run as smoothly as they can.

Jenny Woodruff


Jenny Woodruff


Jenny is a Partner and head of the Residential Conveyancing Team. She has extensive knowledge of the conveyancing process, including: dealing with freehold and leasehold sales & purchases; new build purchases; remortgages; transfers of equity; shared ownership; help to buy transactions & general property advice.