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Some 23 per cent of transactions have fallen through because of delays caused by poor communication between lawyers, lenders and estate agents, according to a survey commissioned by the Conveyancing Association.

The results show that for 52 per cent of those who have bought or sold a house since 2008, the transaction took longer than expected, with 48 per cent saying the process involved unforeseen delays.

Of the 1,500 respondents who took part, 47 per cent felt that the various parties involved in their sale or purchase (including the solicitor or conveyancer, the lender and the estate agent) could have communicated with each other better, while 46 per cent said this would have significantly speeded up the home buying or selling process.

The survey's results come as the Conveyancing Association - working with Connells, Move with Us, Countrywide and LSL Property Services - launch the CA Protocol.

This collates advice from the Law Society, the Council for Licensed Conveyancers, the Legal Ombudsman, the Council of Mortgage Lenders and case law to provide a single best practice' guide for conveyancers and solicitors.

The Conveyancing Association believes the Protocol could shorten the length of time of a house transaction by up to five working days - and that it will ultimately enable licensed conveyancers and solicitors to provide their customers with a better service.

As the industry's first ever single point of reference for solicitors and conveyancers alike, we hope the protocol will ensure that all parties involved in the purchase or sale of a house are singing from the same hymn sheet' says Eddie Goldsmith, chairman of the Conveyancing Association.


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    my favourite conveyancer's quote to the purchaser is "if i was you i'd withdraw" generally, over absolutely nothing at all.... long conveyancing times and fall throughs are overwhelmingly due to the conveyancers, nothing else...

    • 12 December 2014 09:42 AM
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    The trouble is most solicitors get paid no matter what where as estate agents in most cases only get paid on completion therefor we have better interested for properties to go through to the end and I strongly disagree with 23% fall through due to agents. I do believe the more likely causes are solicitors themselves and also surveyors who have not been studying the market and still valuing everything at last years prices.

    • 08 December 2014 08:55 AM
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    Well... that's what happens when you try out a new pub, sometimes... ;)

    • 06 December 2014 13:36 PM
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    My cup runneth over:)

    • 06 December 2014 12:21 PM
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    Solicitors that refuse to pick up the phone to talk to their solicitor counter part and would rather game play via email and letters are the worst, many know what info would be requested of them but wait till it is asked for rather than proactively providing before it's asked for delaying the process.

    • 05 December 2014 21:21 PM
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    Mr Shinerock - I am delighted to agree with your post almost to the word. ;)

    • 05 December 2014 17:02 PM
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    Mind you whilst there are good and bad solicitors, there are also good and bad agents!!

    • 05 December 2014 15:49 PM
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    Yes, poor communication by the Conveyancers themselves in most cases. I have seen countless sales saved by estate agents that would have been allowed to fall through because of the lethargy, disorganisation of the Cinveyancer. The UK conveyancing system is an anachronism whose main premis has been to protect the income of those professionals who carry it out. The irony is that professional qualifications, far from raising the effectivness bar, has kept it resolutely low. If estate agents treated their clients like most conveyancing Solicititors and their staff, they would not survive. Of course there are exceptions and as estate agents we need to seek them out and extol their virtues.

    • 05 December 2014 13:22 PM
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    Very true. Some are good, some are bad, some to seem to take forever to chase. Like any profession.

    • 05 December 2014 11:44 AM
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    Some solicitors are brilliant - especially local ones who already have an established relationship with the agents. However some of them make sales chasing a nightmare. I've never understood it as surely everyone has the same goal in mind

    • 05 December 2014 10:56 AM
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    With over 35 years experience of running my own agency in my view I believe that the MAJORITY of delays and reasons that deals fall through are caused by the lawyers who think that communication with agents is beneath them. It is improving, but slowly. Although it must also be said that too many are because they are poorly put together in the first place by unskilled agents who are only interested in 'scratching the pad' to meet managements initial targets.

    • 05 December 2014 09:23 AM
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    Whilst some solicitors are absolutely excellent, if those that do not fall into that category (and there are many) responded to us instead of treating us like 2nd class citizens who do not warrant return calls it would help. Even when we pass on a required exchange/completion date they do not seem to react with any sense of urgency.

    • 05 December 2014 08:29 AM
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