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    • loads2
    • By loads2 13th Jun 17, 7:09 PM
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    loads2
    DIY Conveyancing on New Builds and Engrossment Fees
    • #1
    • 13th Jun 17, 7:09 PM
    DIY Conveyancing on New Builds and Engrossment Fees 13th Jun 17 at 7:09 PM
    My wife and I reserved a Bovis Homes sale and leaseback of show home. The proposal is for Bovis to be tenants (we are buying the show home and leasing it back to them).

    Everything was going well until we told Bovis we were doing our own conveyancing. Bovis pushed their preferred solicitors onto us and told us we should use solicitors. We are able to do our own conveyancing.

    Very belatedly Bovis sent us a link to their internal portal which contained every possible search that anyone would want, all independent recent searches - the sort a solicitor would charge you large fees for. No need to pay someone else to do them again.

    We went through the searches and raised some routine questions, none of which Bovis have answered.

    What has transpired is as follows:

    1. Bovis are not prepared to amend any documentation but still want to charge us a fee for them "typing up" documents.
    2. Bovis do not like the fact we are representing ourselves, not using the solicitor fraternity and least of all not using Bovis preferred solicitors.
    3. Bovis are refusing to deal with routine questions.
    4. Bovis are refusing to send us any reports of any snagging they do to our property while they are tenants.
    5. Bovis have also falsified dates. The draft contract (which needs amending owing to the above) was received 1 June. We are allowed 28 days to exchange from date of receipt (1 June). Bovis' letter has been wrongly dated 19 May when it was written some days later and was not received until 1 June. Would any reasonable person want to buy from an organisation that goes about falsifying records?

    I can well understand why Bovis are struggling; their loss, not ours as cash buyers. We can find another property and do our own conveyancing as is our right. I find Bovis Homes arrogant to the core.
    Last edited by loads2; 14-06-2017 at 9:56 AM.
Page 1
    • davidmcn
    • By davidmcn 13th Jun 17, 7:12 PM
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    davidmcn
    • #2
    • 13th Jun 17, 7:12 PM
    • #2
    • 13th Jun 17, 7:12 PM
    1. Bovis are not prepared to amend (engross) any documentation but still want to charge us an engrossment fee.
    Originally posted by loads2
    "Engrossing" is preparing the final version of the documentation, not any previous amendments. And in practice, builders will usually refuse to negotiate any of their deeds anyway. The fee is really just a subsidy of their legal costs, what you call it is pretty irrelevant.
    • loads2
    • By loads2 13th Jun 17, 8:10 PM
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    loads2
    • #3
    • 13th Jun 17, 8:10 PM
    • #3
    • 13th Jun 17, 8:10 PM
    Bovis dont like us representing ourselves. We are able to do our own 'due diligence' - we can do it better than Bovis like. We are happy to pay solicitors when they add value. In this instance, solicitors are not adding any value. The searches have already been done (we dont need to pay for them again).
    If we had decided to use a solicitor that solicitor would have received the same links to all the searches that we did. The only difference being that our solicitor would have [fraudulently] charged us another search fee when all these searches have already been done. Solicitors have defrauded people in the past, and justifiably have a bad reputation. Bovis' solicitor has falsified the dates of her correspondence (as stated in my original post).

    Anyone buying new build should take note of this and not pay their solicitor for something that has already been done.

    I am doubting the ethics of Bovis, Bovis' solicitor who has falsified information, and Bovis' cosy arrangements with Bovis' preferred solicitors and solicitor firms in general charging for something that already exists.

    Going through searches ourselves and raising questions obviously requires some skill which we do have. As buyers we are best able to raise our own questions and chase the other side to deal with them. Bovis patently prefer we are not as thorough.

    Bovis - Buyer Beware.
    Last edited by loads2; 14-06-2017 at 10:03 AM.
    • Surrey_EA
    • By Surrey_EA 13th Jun 17, 10:37 PM
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    Surrey_EA
    • #4
    • 13th Jun 17, 10:37 PM
    • #4
    • 13th Jun 17, 10:37 PM
    I think you are wise not to consider using the preferred solicitors of a developer when looking to purchase a property from that developer. Of course it is also your right to carry out the conveyancing yourselves.

    However, unless you have extensive knowledge of property law I wonder why you would consider doing this part of the process yourselves. There is far more to conveyancing than simply understanding the searches.

    Compared to the likely cost of the property the charge a conveyancing solicitor will charge is relatively small. I have dealt with thousands of property transactions over many years and I would not contemplate carrying out my own conveyancing.
    • G_M
    • By G_M 13th Jun 17, 10:46 PM
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    G_M
    • #5
    • 13th Jun 17, 10:46 PM
    • #5
    • 13th Jun 17, 10:46 PM
    Presumably you are paying cash (a mortgage lender would insist on a solcitor).

    Regular followers of the forum will know I am all in favour of DIY conveyancing (this is a moneysaving site) when the circumstances are right.

    In this case I query whether it is.

    Your post suggests some understanding of the process, and some areas of less understanding (edited my 1st draft of that!). This, combined with the fact this is a New Build which adds a level of legal complexity, makes me query whether you are wise.

    It is, of course, your choice.

    I agree 100% with Surrey_EA that you should not, in any case, use the Developer's preferred solicitor.

    1. Bovis are not prepared to amend (engross) any documentation but still want to charge us an engrossment fee.
    2. Bovis do not like the fact we are representing ourselves, not using the solicitor fraternity and least of all not using Bovis preferred solicitors.
    1. It is rare for NB documents to be amended - they are generally standardised throughout a development and the developers solicitors do not tend to tailor them property by property.

    The documents will need to be engrossed. Whether the seller pays this legal cost, or passes it on to the buyer, is a matter of their business plan. Like amendments, they tend to have a standard policy which applies to every property they sell - in this case that they pass on that fee to the buyers.

    2. Frankly the negative reaction to DIY conveyancing is not limited to Bovis, or New Build developers, but is wider even that that.

    I've encountered resistance from solicitors representing clients selling 'old' properties - it's just one of the hurdles faced by all DIY conveyancers.
    Last edited by G_M; 13-06-2017 at 11:14 PM.
    • davidmcn
    • By davidmcn 13th Jun 17, 11:04 PM
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    • #6
    • 13th Jun 17, 11:04 PM
    • #6
    • 13th Jun 17, 11:04 PM
    If we had decided to use a solicitor that solicitor would have received the same links to all the searches that we did. The only difference being that our solicitor would have [fraudulently] charged us another search fee when all these searches have already been done.
    Originally posted by loads2
    How up to date were those searches? If more than a few months by your completion date, you would have needed to get updated ones anyway (well, not "needed" as you're a cash buyer and take what risks you wish, but normal conveyancing practice would be to get up to date searches).

    Not sure where your evidence is for the "fraudulent" bit - any solicitor pocketing funds intended for disbursements would be caught out soon enough.
    • loads2
    • By loads2 14th Jun 17, 10:06 AM
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    loads2
    • #7
    • 14th Jun 17, 10:06 AM
    • #7
    • 14th Jun 17, 10:06 AM
    All independent recent searches (as stated in my original post).

    Solicitors have defrauded people in the past, and justifiably have a bad reputation.

    Bovis' solicitor has even falsified the dates of her correspondence (as stated in my original post).
    Last edited by loads2; 14-06-2017 at 10:09 AM.
    • Surrey_EA
    • By Surrey_EA 14th Jun 17, 10:15 AM
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    Surrey_EA
    • #8
    • 14th Jun 17, 10:15 AM
    • #8
    • 14th Jun 17, 10:15 AM
    All independent recent searches (as stated in my original post).

    Solicitors have defrauded people in the past, and justifiably have a bad reputation.

    Bovis' solicitor has even falsified the dates of her correspondence (as stated in my original post).
    Originally posted by loads2
    How recent?

    What do you mean by independent?

    There are a variety of different searches that can be carried out when purchasing a property. Which ones you obtain will vary depending on exactly where the property is located.

    Just because there may have been examples of solicitors defrauding people in the past, I would say that is ridiculously rare, and it strikes me as something of an overreaction to then assume all solicitors are fraudulent.
    • Surrey_EA
    • By Surrey_EA 14th Jun 17, 11:36 AM
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    • #9
    • 14th Jun 17, 11:36 AM
    • #9
    • 14th Jun 17, 11:36 AM
    5. Bovis have also falsified dates. The draft contract (which needs amending owing to the above) was received 1 June. We are allowed 28 days to exchange from date of receipt (1 June). Bovis' letter has been wrongly dated 19 May when it was written some days later and was not received until 1 June. Would any reasonable person want to buy from an organisation that goes about falsifying records?
    Originally posted by loads2
    It is not beyond the realms o possibility that the documentation was dictated by the solicitor on 19.05.17, and then was not typed up for a few days, leading to you not receiving the documents until 01.06.17.

    I acknowledge G_M's enthusiasm for DIY conveyancing, and I accept that for someone possessing the level of knowledge they clearly have then DIY conveyancing is a realistic option. However, most people do not. Given the amount of money you're likely to spend on buying a house, not to have professional legal representation with a view to saving money feels like a false economy to me. You may save money on solicitors fees, but at the risk of missing something significant that may be costly in the future.
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