Don’t hold up completions at the last minute, conveyancers are told

The Society of Licensed Conveyancers has called for conveyancers to have all monies, including mortgage funds, in place the day before completion.

Whilst it is usual practice for many conveyancers, the organisation says there are still too many law firms that are waiting until the day of completion to obtain funds from mortgage lenders and/or clients, slowing down completion times and adding further stress to the home moving process.

Simon Law, chairman of the SLC, said: “It has long been recognised as best practice for conveyancers to make sure that they are in funds from mortgage lenders, clients and other external sources the day before completion.

“This is particularly important in respect of properties where a chain is involved, as any delay in transmission of funds can have a severe impact on the whole chain.”

He said the issue of delayed completions has been compounded in recent times by lenders undertaking anti- money laundering processes that can hold up funds transmission.

He said that conveyancers should do all in their power to reduce potential delays.

Law added: “As specialist property lawyers, members of the SLC and their clients are often frustrated to hear the lawyer on the other side saying they are awaiting mortgage funds on completion day.

“There is simply no need for this, and those lawyers are doing a disservice to their customers and the profession.”

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10 Comments

  1. Rob Hailstone

    Part of the problem may be a short period between exchange and completion and the requirements of the lender i.e. five working days (plus) notice before the funds can be submitted. Getting to exchange earlier (or at least having a fixed completion date earlier) would help. Maybe some of the issues currently being discussed will come to fruition and help? Reservation agreements and, day I say it, upfront information in the form of a seller’s pack!!

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    1. mattfaizey

      Amen

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    2. aSalesAgent

      I considered producing a ‘sellers pack’ for clients to complete whilst they were on the market, but it was impossible to find a clean PDF version of the TA forms.

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      1. Rob Hailstone

        Copyright issue I expect. Have a word with your local solicitors/conveyancers?

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        1. aSalesAgent

          I did think that was the case – the specimens on the Law Society’s website have watermarks on every page. So frustrating! They could produce a sellers pack themselves, or simply allow homeowners/agents to download the standardised forms direct from their webiste.
          A few conveyancers kindly forwarded their forms, but they appeared to have been photocopied 101+ times.

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  2. ArthurHouse02

    I was told 2 weeks ago that HSBC refuse to send mortgage funds anytime before the day of completion. Do the society of licensed conveyancers just not have a clue, or was i told something that isnt true?

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  3. MichaelDay

    Any law firms drawing down funds on completion day are probably doing so in a misguided attempt to save their clients money as interest on funds will be payable as soon as drawn down. The downside, of course, is that completions may be delayed or, at worst, actually fail, causing immense grief and additional cost to all concerned. Many law firms used to draw down funds electronically a few days in advance and enjoy the interest on the monies in their client accounts. When redeeming a mortgage they would do so by cheque to hold onto the monies for a little longer. Agree with Rob Hailstone’s comments but the specific issue just needs a sensible, well organised approach from the Conveyancers – mmmm!

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  4. Rob Hailstone

    I will ask my member firms, but what is the average time now between exchange and completion?

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    1. aSalesAgent

      Ignoring sales to cash buyers, last month’s average (for the office I am based in today) was 13 days.

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    2. Anonymous Coward

      Last time I counted it was down to 11 days

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