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Andrew Richardson
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my expertise in the industry

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Andrew Richardson
I am somewhat perplexed by a couple of comments made here. I have found that whilst the majority of estate agents are working significantly longer hour, a large number of conveyancers are sticking to 9-5. Whilst agents are more than happy to step up to the plate my experience is that without the ability to chase conveyancers exchanges become disproportionately delayed. I had a somewhat acrimonious email conversation with the senior partner of a solicitors firm regarding the absurd delay in getting searches applied for... I was told that his experience is that his clients baulk at the extortionate cost if searches and therefore prefer to wait until the majority of the legal work is done. With some district councils now taking 7 weeks to provide a search this is clearly unacceptable. The cost of a search from that particular DC is £170! Hardly bank breaking. Your commentator above says solicitors can make no money from applying for searches so make it the Responsibility of the agent...how is it ok for the agent to do their work for them and make no money but a solicitor can’t? It is part of their job to do so. I would not ask a solicitor to do viewings on my stock because I haven’t the time to do them...that is my role! Surely applying for a search is a simple pro-forma letter that take barely minutes to prepare. Solicitors can play their part, for example how many solicitor write a letter to agents asking for a copy of the EPC when we all know they are freely downloadable from the National EPC register, or is that again someone else’s responsibility? If we all worked smarter then this current backlog will eventually clear and all will be back to normal but right now EVERY profession needs to step up to the mark.

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From: Andrew Richardson 20 November 2018 10:51 AM

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I suspect that "Heather" from Agent Software has never come out from behind her computer screen, because if she had, and before slinging mud, she would realize that valuing property is not as simple as collecting fixed data from a machine. How many times, over the years, have agents agreed to list a property at a certain price before the vendor rings and puts the price up to a simply unattainable figure, simply because "the family said", or "a friend who knows about property knows the market well"? I do freely admit that there are agents that overprice, but please don't broad-brush the entire industry. The majority of agents are hardworking, sensible people, doing their best for clients.....only a small proportion are roguish overvaluers. To do so is like suggesting that Spectre is simply a letter writing organisation that could be performed by somebody at Miss Moneypenny for one-tenth of the cost. And James Dearsleys comments about being morally ambiguous seems to imply that agents are solely responsible for over pricing. I'm sorry but it just isn't correct. There are thousands of influences that create a percieved value, some more important to a vendor, and some more important to a buyer; none of this can be accounted for by a machine. Perhaps the proptech industry ought to look at inventing solutions for problems that actually exist, instead of swamping the market with all sorts of "solutions" for things that it believes the industry should have but can live without. If you really want to do something useful, invent a system that gets round the need for the legal profession, to cut down the time between the agents creating the sale and the client moving. Agents are more than happy to agree a sale, organise completion dates and finances, but when it gets into the hands of lawyers the whole process almost grids to a halt......theres a challenge!

From: Andrew Richardson 15 August 2018 09:40 AM

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From: Andrew Richardson 04 July 2018 09:18 AM

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Perhaps no sale no fee would crystallize the world of conveyancing rather than the blind-ability to try and lay blame elsewhere. If solicitor actually take phone calls from agents, keep their offices open over lunchtime, maybe even open on a Saturday morning! We are no longer in the comfy gentlemans club era of the 1970'S....THIS IS THE 21ST CENTURY. I mean, closing at 5pm? Welcome to the real world! How many times are exchanges halted because a solicitor in the chain is off playing golf on a friday afternoon....how many agents suffer from bad-mannered, short-tempered solicitors, who, if they deign to take a phone call from we lowly agents, answer questions with such indignity as to be unbelievable. The previous correspondent mentions search delays. He is quite right....we make a specific point of writing to lawyers stating that there are delays with the district council, but searches are NEVER submitted quickly. Timescales dictated by the client are specifically noted on sales memoranda, and are completely ignored in EVERY CASE. When was the last time a lawyer actually volunteered to ring an agent? Never. To say the house-buying process problems are because “anyone can set themselves up as an estate agent” is arrogant, petualant, and lies deeply in denial. Solicitors, work WITH us not against us; we are not you enemies, we are there to work on behalf of clients, as are you. Its called team-work! Until the legal profession get a grip on how the modern world works, and realise that there are people out there that want to help nothing will change. I suggest they look at their own house before throwing stones at our.

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