News at Kings Estates | 01/04/2020


So today, I had the opportunity to take part in a Webinar with a well-known conveyancing solicitor who typically deals with transactions in the London and the South East area. It was a great and informative insight into the conveyancing world during these challenging and uncertain times and I wanted to share some information which I hope may be useful if you are currently in the process of / or thinking of selling and / or buying a property.

The general report from conveyancers

-       Sales ARE proceeding

-       Mortgage offers are coming through

-       The Government advice (which seems to be getting lost in all the noise) is – ‘There is no need to pull out of transactions’

When it comes to the formalities of ID checks etc, technology is being embraced. There is no need for clients to visit their solicitor’s offices!

-       Certified copies of ID are no longer required (regulator backed)

-       Skype / Zoom selfies are being done

-       Online ID checker websites e.g. Thirdfort are being used

What happens if you’ve exchanged but the completion date can’t be met? Apparently, this is more common than we think…

-       All parties must agree a new completion date

-       Written agreement between the solicitors will be required to vary the contract

-       Document will need to be re-exchanged

-       The Law Society advice: Reasonableness must prevail!

Exchange Now? The Conveyancers Role

-       It’s the clients call!

-       Conveyancers must provide their client with information and explain any risks

-       Clients must make the decision and instruct the conveyancer accordingly

-       Conveyancers shouldn’t tell clients what to do

Chain Issues

-       What to do about exchange? Some conveyancers / clients will, some won’t

-       Police powers disapplied for critical moves. The general consensus is that most parties can easily justify their move as critical.

-       Where possible, encourage all parties to agree a deferred completion date to allow exchange of contracts to take place. Long stop completion dates are common. Example contract clause wording: -

  • Completion shall take place on the tenth working day after service of a completion notice
  • The completion notice will be served no later that 14 working days before expiration of the buyers mortgage offer

Many conveyancers are open for business as normal, but we all need to accept that the transactions may take longer than normal. Currently 19 weeks is the industry average

Mortgage Offers / Lenders

-       Some lenders are doing desktop valuations

-       Paper copy mortgage offers are still arriving

-       3-month extensions on the offers are being muted

Draw Down Lead Time of Mortgage Funds

-       Natwest – currently 7 working days

-       Halifax – currently 5 working days

-       Barclays – currently 10 working days

Mortgage Redemption Figure Information

-       Conveyancers are finding they are often stuck on long telephone calls to obtain the information - 4 Hours to Barclays is currently the record!

Searches - Indemnity Insurance can be used for lack of search information, but this is mortgage lender dependant

Local Authority

-       Many authorities are still working

-       Some issues with personal searches
Drainage & Water

-       Some issues with personal searches

Other Searches

-       Generally, not a problem as they are all electronic

Reminder for clients, BE READY!

  • Get market ready
  • Get the identification checks done
  • Complete the conveyancing protocol forms (these can be done even before you agree a sale, just remember not to date them if you are completing them early)
  • Gather together relevant guarantees and documents
I hope you have enjoyed reading this information and hopefully it will help to put your minds at rest about the conveyancing situation during the corona pandemic period.

If I can assist you further, then please do not hesitate to contact me - Gemma Collins – Kings Estates


Stay Safe from Gemma & The Kings Estates Team