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Vendor being slow returning paperwork. Solicitors won't do searches while they wait.

(5 Posts)
notamum3210 Thu 12-Nov-15 10:34:08


Another question about our house purchase.
This is where we are at so far:

Halloween: offer verbally accepted by vendor.
Following week: finances checked by estate agent (cash purchase), solicitors appointed, we filled in our paperwork and returned this promptly.
This week: Survey booked (tomorrow) and memo of sale chased up and finally received by all parties.

We have contacted our solicitor and asked them to conduct searches but they will not do this without receiving the paperwork from the sellers solicitor. They called them yesterday and were told that the vendor has not returned the necessary paperwork yet and so they cannot send the contract pack through. Our solicitor asked us to transfer the cost of the searches so that the money is ready for searches immediately after they receive the plans.

I'm getting a bit concerned that the vendor isn't being as efficient as we are and we've been told that searches can take many weeks. My questions are:

1. Can we ask our seller to conduct searches anyway, based on the title plan that is downloadable from land registry for £3 or does the contract pack normally contain more detailed information that is necessary for searches?

2. How pushy is it appropriate to be? We are in a good position being cash buyers with no chain and we had been told by agents and our solicitors that we should have completion by Christmas. Our homebuyers report is booked for tomorrow. So far I think we've shown ourselves to be serious buyers and we definitely haven't been rude but this is new territory for us.

Does anybody have advice?


specialsubject Thu 12-Nov-15 10:59:57

your solicitor works for you and does as you tell them; BUT they've been through many more house purchases and might be concerned about wasting money on searches if this isn't going anywhere.

so phone them and ask what they think. Also find out how long your council take for searches.

nothing happens after mid-December as everyone rushes off to buy sparkly tat, so if you want completion by Xmas you need to be pushing like mad.

Sunnyshores Thu 12-Nov-15 13:47:06

wises words specialsubject - I also find no-one does anything on fridays or mondays either!!

specialsubject Thu 12-Nov-15 14:36:43

to be fair, Fridays are busy for solicitors as EVERYONE wants to complete then - avoid Friday if you can possibly complete on another day. Not sure why Monday is an issue though.

I have experience of Xmas though - this year it is a Friday so I would be VERY surprised if anything gets done after Dec 18th until after the new year. Be warned. Of course no completions can happen on a bank holiday.

Spickle Thu 12-Nov-15 21:16:53

Completions on Council right to buy properties are only done on Mondays which could explain why you might think nothing is done on that day. Really it's just priorities - completions take priority over anything else in the conveyancing world and Mondays and Fridays tend to comprise of more completions than the other days.

In relation to your question about the searches, what happens is this:

You get a buyer for your property and you make an offer on a property you want to purchase. Memo of Sale is sent by EAs to both sets of solicitors (once you advise EA who solicitors are). Both solicitors send an acknowledgement to EA and a letter of introduction to each other. Then, the solicitor acting for the vendor (seller) has to produce a 'draft' pack to send to the buyer's solicitor. The buyer's solicitor will not start any work until the pack is received.

The sellers solicitor provides the draft pack which comprises:

Office copies (register of title and title plan freehold/leasehold)
Draft contract
Draft transfer
Fixtures and Fittings (sent to seller and returned to their solicitor)
Property Information Form (sent to seller and returned to their solicitor)
Leasehold Information Form (if applicable)
The Lease (if applicable)
Miscellaneous certificates/guarantees (provided by seller)

Once your solicitor has the above (or most of it), they will then begin work and the searches will ordered.

On the flip side, your solicitor will be expected to provide a similar pack to your buyer's solicitors. If you've already sent back all the forms then your buyer's solicitors will be able to start work sooner than your solicitors can start theirs.

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