As I’m slowly progressing through my first ever property purchase (with the intention of letting it out and becoming a landlord), I’m starting to understand why buying/selling property is often ranked on top as one of the most stressful moments in someone’s life.
I say “starting to understand” because I’m at the bottom of the chain as a first-time buyer – the link that’s arguably shown the most mercy – yet I’m still feeling the python’s squeeze. It must royally suck to be caught in the middle somewhere, being pulled from both directions, like a medieval torture device. Glad I ain’t that sucker(s).
Either way, it sucks from the bottom as well. Hard.
The constant delays feel endless, and what’s most frustrating is that it’s completely out of my control. I’m waiting on fools. Legitimate fools.
My major concern now is that the extensive delays are having a rippling effect on the rest of the chain, so I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s a sudden crack, resulting in a complete break! Fuck my life!
As I alluded to previously, the delays are due to my grossly incompetent donkey conveyance solicitors. I can put my hand on my heart and say they are truly a royal bucket of shit. I can’t believe those so-called parasites are lawyers.
They are still radio silent and are happily taking their sweet time to process just about everything, consequently the seller is threatening to pull the plug on the deal.
I can’t say I blame them, to be honest. They are in the middle of the chain and their seller is threatening to pull the plug on the sale because they’re also tired of waiting around. It’s one big messy pile.
Why the delays are occurring…
The last time my I spoke to my solicitor (which I now class as a miracle, btw), they informed me there was a delay with drainage and water report, but that was over a week ago. I’ve been waiting four weeks for the report now (which is a ridiculous amount of time for a drainage and water search, apparently). I don’t even know if we’re still waiting for the report, or if there are delays elsewhere.
Everyone else is ready to exchange contracts; my seller is ready, their seller is ready; the whole world is ready to complete.
In the meantime, my raging estate agent is blowing up my phone every day, asking me what the status is. He’s given up on trying to contact my solicitor for updates, because he’s having as much luck as I am at getting through to them (which is absolutely no luck at all).
- As already mentioned, my solicitor isn’t communicating with me. No one is trying to contact me, and no one is returning my calls. I have wasted too much time waiting around for promised phone calls. It’s beyond irritating.
- Every time I call I can’t get further than the receptionist, and she’s always happy to regurgitate the same old tired excuses for why I can’t speak to my solicitor.
- Seeing as I can’t get through to my solicitor, I’m continually asking the unqualified receptionist for answers. Her response is always the same, “We’re not to blame for the delay, we rely on external organisations to get us the relevant information we need in order for us to progress.”
Generic and useless.
For the record, I don’t blame her, she’s just doing her mundane job. She’s probably just as bored of this as I am. Regardless, while the source of delays may legitimately root from third party associates, it still doesn’t excuse their complete lack of customer care. At least communicate and tell me WHEN, WHERE, and WHY the delay is, so I have something to report back.
Basically, it continues to be an excruciating waiting game for me; a lot more arse-scratching and thumb twiddling. Maybe I’ll twiddle my thumbs up my arse, just to mix it up.
Wish I could twiddle something large, sharp, rusty and heavy up my solicitors ass.
I’m caught in a property chain, what do I do?
- If you have exchanged contracts but your buyer is delaying or dithering, you can serve a “notice to complete” This sets a deadline for the other side to complete within ten days or face the loss of their deposit.
- If you’re in the middle of a chain, depending on your circumstances, consider breaking the chain by moving into temporary or rental accommodation. The fewer parties there are in a chain, the less likely it is that things will go wrong.
- Some companies specialise in repairing broken property chains by co-ordinating reductions in price. However, for various reasons, this can prove an even more expensive way of keeping a chain moving.
How to avoid getting caught in a property chain
- Try to keep the time between exchange and completion at 2 weeks, maximum. The longer the process takes, the more likely it is that someone in the chain will pull out.
- Before making any offers on a property, start by finding out the status of the people you are dealing with Remember, the longer and more complicated the chain, the greater the chance for disaster.
- Be prepared from the start. Make sure all your finances, insurance policies and legal team are in place.
Update: I’ve removed the name/link to the conveyancing firm I used because they no longer exist! Thank goodness.
I can’t say I’m surprised in the slightest. I’m also not surprised by the fact that various consumer forums have quickly become riddled with complaints about their BS services/firm.
Disclaimer: I'm just a landlord blogger; I'm 100% not qualified to give legal or financial advice. I'm a doofus. Any information I share is my unqualified opinion, and should never be construed as professional legal or financial advice. You should definitely get advice from a qualified professional for any legal or financial matters. For more information, please read my full disclaimer.