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    • itsfabhere
    • By itsfabhere 2nd Oct 17, 12:56 PM
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    itsfabhere
    Solicitor nightmare
    • #1
    • 2nd Oct 17, 12:56 PM
    Solicitor nightmare 2nd Oct 17 at 12:56 PM
    On the 25th August I was emptying the final things from the house that I was selling, awaiting that telephone call from my conveyancer that completion had taken place and sales money transferred to my bank account. My buyers were awaiting the removal van coming so that they could move into my house.
    Instead of the call to confirm completion, we got a call to say there was no money for the sale to complete. Turns out my buyers buyer, Mr R, a cash buyer, had not sent any funds to his solicitors at all. None!
    My complaint is... why was it allowed to get this far down the line? Why did Mr R's solicitor not ask for funds at least the day before exchange/completion (exchange and completion due to take place on the same day due to the very quick process only taking 5 weeks)? Why was proof of funds not asked for by his solicitors earlier in the process?
    I had originally only accepted my buyers offer on the proviso that their buyer, Mr R, provided proof of cash funds. I was told that he did, to my buyers estate agent, and on this advice, I accepted their offer, knowing that there were no guarantees, but accepting that it was probably a good indication that the sale would go through.
    I have contacted the Ombudsman, the Solicitors Regulation Authority and my Conveyancer's for advice, but I have no legal rights. I am left with a bill for conveyancing for a house sale that did not complete. Any help please? NB I have no complaints with my solicitor, they told me all was ready for completion as far as they were concerned.
    Last edited by itsfabhere; 02-10-2017 at 2:07 PM.
Page 1
    • D_M_E
    • By D_M_E 2nd Oct 17, 1:20 PM
    • 1,296 Posts
    • 63,148 Thanks
    D_M_E
    • #2
    • 2nd Oct 17, 1:20 PM
    • #2
    • 2nd Oct 17, 1:20 PM
    It sounds like everyone in the chain had exchanged contracts and had a completion date agreed.

    If this is the case, then you need to get your solicitor to serve notice on your buyer, and they should serve notice on their buyer and so on down the chain that any deposit will be retained and any and all costs associated with the failed purchase will be passed down the chain to Mr R or whoever it was that failed to come up with the cash.

    If you did not use a solicitor for your sale then you need to see one as soon as possible.
    • eddddy
    • By eddddy 2nd Oct 17, 1:26 PM
    • 5,541 Posts
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    eddddy
    • #3
    • 2nd Oct 17, 1:26 PM
    • #3
    • 2nd Oct 17, 1:26 PM
    It sounds like everyone in the chain had exchanged contracts and had a completion date agreed.
    Originally posted by D_M_E
    Not according to the OP...

    ...(exchange and completion due to take place on the same day due to the very quick process only taking 5 weeks)? ...
    Originally posted by itsfabhere
    Unfortunately, what you describe is one of the risks you have to take, if you are aiming to exchange and complete on the same day.

    That's why the vast majority of people don't do it. Unfortunately, based on what you say, you have no recourse.
    • nomoneytoday
    • By nomoneytoday 2nd Oct 17, 1:29 PM
    • 4,725 Posts
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    nomoneytoday
    • #4
    • 2nd Oct 17, 1:29 PM
    • #4
    • 2nd Oct 17, 1:29 PM
    If you hadn't exchanged, there was no contract to break.
    • Jenniefour
    • By Jenniefour 2nd Oct 17, 1:29 PM
    • 1,241 Posts
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    Jenniefour
    • #5
    • 2nd Oct 17, 1:29 PM
    • #5
    • 2nd Oct 17, 1:29 PM
    Exchanging and completing on the same day is a risk you chose to take, and you didn't have to agree to that.

    So if all you're left with is a solicitors bill for the conveyancing then I doubt there's anything to complain about, although I agree that whatever went on with the other buyers funds could have possibly come to light earlier. However, nothing is certain until exchange has taken place.
    • ReadingTim
    • By ReadingTim 2nd Oct 17, 1:31 PM
    • 2,218 Posts
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    ReadingTim
    • #6
    • 2nd Oct 17, 1:31 PM
    • #6
    • 2nd Oct 17, 1:31 PM
    Firstly, why is it the solicitor's fault their client didn't pay? Even your proposed solution would have only given you an evening's notice that the deal wasn't happening.

    Secondly, the problems mainly lie on the fact you arranged to exchange and complete on the same day. Something which you agreed to. Again, this is not a fault which lies with the solicitor.

    House buying and selling is a risky process, and you've been unlucky that the risks materialised in your case. This is not the fault of the solicitor - it's mainly the fault of the buyer, and to a lesser extent, you, for failing to adequately mitigate against the risk - for example by having a gap between exchange and completion. Furthermore, as no contracts have been exchanged, you have no come-back.

    Sorry that this won't be what you want to read.
    • Scotbot
    • By Scotbot 2nd Oct 17, 1:32 PM
    • 139 Posts
    • 97 Thanks
    Scotbot
    • #7
    • 2nd Oct 17, 1:32 PM
    • #7
    • 2nd Oct 17, 1:32 PM
    Never agree to exchange and complete on the same day especially with a cash buyer. I am one, the money is not sitting in my current account. It will take several business days to get it to the solicitor.
    • G_M
    • By G_M 2nd Oct 17, 1:36 PM
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    G_M
    • #8
    • 2nd Oct 17, 1:36 PM
    • #8
    • 2nd Oct 17, 1:36 PM
    This is the risk with simultaneous Exchange/Completion.

    There is no contract, so no blame can be levied at anyone.

    The solicitors for the 'defaulting' party ('inverted comas' beccause they did not legaly default!) probably did seek funds, but they did not arrive.

    Booking a removals van was premature, as contracts had not been exchanged. That is exactly why there is usually a gap. Simultaneous Exchange/Completion works where there's no chain, empty property, investor buying (so no plan to move in) etc

    ps - your thread title is misleadiing. This is not a 'solicitor nightmare'. It's a chain breakdown nightmare.
    Last edited by G_M; 02-10-2017 at 1:38 PM.
    • Surrey_EA
    • By Surrey_EA 2nd Oct 17, 1:36 PM
    • 1,304 Posts
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    Surrey_EA
    • #9
    • 2nd Oct 17, 1:36 PM
    • #9
    • 2nd Oct 17, 1:36 PM
    Never agree to exchange and complete on the same day especially with a cash buyer. I am one, the money is not sitting in my current account. It will take several business days to get it to the solicitor.
    Originally posted by Scotbot
    It takes several business days for mortgage funds to get to the solicitor too.

    Therefore, the advice really is: never agree to exchange and complete on the same day.
    • itsfabhere
    • By itsfabhere 2nd Oct 17, 1:48 PM
    • 6 Posts
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    itsfabhere
    One of those situations where I didn't have a choice, had to exchange and complete on the same day at the advice of my solicitor, don't solicitors know best? My question was 'why did the solicitor leave it until the day of completion to realise there were no funds from the cash buyer? Does the solicitor not usually request that the funds be transferred at least a day before so that all is ready to complete?
    • itsfabhere
    • By itsfabhere 2nd Oct 17, 1:50 PM
    • 6 Posts
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    itsfabhere
    My buyers mortgage funds had been with their solicitor for a few days and they were ready to complete. It was their cash buyer who didn't transfer his funds to his solicitor.
    • Surrey_EA
    • By Surrey_EA 2nd Oct 17, 1:55 PM
    • 1,304 Posts
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    Surrey_EA
    One of those situations where I didn't have a choice, had to exchange and complete on the same day at the advice of my solicitor, don't solicitors know best?
    Originally posted by itsfabhere
    I would be interested to know why your solicitor insisted upon this, it is relatively unusual for sales that are part of a chain.
    My question was 'why did the solicitor leave it until the day of completion to realise there were no funds from the cash buyer? Does the solicitor not usually request that the funds be transferred at least a day before so that all is ready to complete?
    Originally posted by itsfabhere
    Any decent solicitor would have wanted the money in their account at least the day before completion. However, unfortunately there are many solicitors that do not reach a level of service that can be described as decent.
    Last edited by Surrey_EA; 02-10-2017 at 1:59 PM.
    • eddddy
    • By eddddy 2nd Oct 17, 1:57 PM
    • 5,541 Posts
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    eddddy
    One of those situations where I didn't have a choice, had to exchange and complete on the same day at the advice of my solicitor, don't solicitors know best?
    Originally posted by itsfabhere
    In what sense did you have no choice?

    Are you sure that your solicitor's advice wasn't that... if you want to exchange and complete on the same day, he/she was able to do that for you?
    • itsfabhere
    • By itsfabhere 2nd Oct 17, 1:57 PM
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    itsfabhere
    To your response.... Any decent solicitor would have wanted the money in their account at least the day before completion. However, unfortunately there are many solicitors that do not reach a level of service that can be described as decent.

    'Professional negligence is a breach of the duty of care between professionals and their clients. The duty of care is a common law arrangement where the client expects a level of professionalism and standards commonly held by those in the profession.'
    • G_M
    • By G_M 2nd Oct 17, 2:00 PM
    • 42,275 Posts
    • 49,112 Thanks
    G_M
    One of those situations where I didn't have a choice, had to exchange and complete on the same day at the advice of my solicitor, don't solicitors know best? My question was 'why did the solicitor leave it until the day of completion to realise there were no funds from the cash buyer? Does the solicitor not usually request that the funds be transferred at least a day before so that all is ready to complete?
    Originally posted by itsfabhere
    * Solicitor requested funds 2, 3, 4 days before Exchange/Completion
    * day before Exchange/Completion, solicitor called client: "Where's the funds"
    * Client replies: "On the way."

    What do you expect the solicitor to do? He imagines the funds will arrive next day.
    • itsfabhere
    • By itsfabhere 2nd Oct 17, 2:00 PM
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    itsfabhere
    At the beginning, we all agreed a date of completion to work towards. The date was confirmed to me 2 days before the agreed date. I was told that paperwork had not been submitted quick enough to exchange contracts before completion. Therefore I was told that all solicitors had agreed to exchange and complete the same day. I was never asked if this was agreeable....!! I was told this was the case.
    • Jenniefour
    • By Jenniefour 2nd Oct 17, 2:00 PM
    • 1,241 Posts
    • 1,276 Thanks
    Jenniefour
    One of those situations where I didn't have a choice, had to exchange and complete on the same day at the advice of my solicitor, don't solicitors know best?
    Originally posted by itsfabhere
    Unless the solicitor had a gun to your head, you did have a choice. I can't think of any reason why a solicitor would advise exchanging and completing on the same day either. It's more likely that your solicitor relayed the request to you and you agreed. You could have said no.

    It's perfectly normal to have a possible completion date and then things take longer - then everyone agrees another completion date. Happens a lot.
    Last edited by Jenniefour; 02-10-2017 at 2:04 PM.
    • davidmcn
    • By davidmcn 2nd Oct 17, 2:01 PM
    • 6,262 Posts
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    davidmcn
    To your response.... Any decent solicitor would have wanted the money in their account at least the day before completion. However, unfortunately there are many solicitors that do not reach a level of service that can be described as decent.

    'Professional negligence is a breach of the duty of care between professionals and their clients. The duty of care is a common law arrangement where the client expects a level of professionalism and standards commonly held by those in the profession.'
    Originally posted by itsfabhere
    Solicitors can't control when or whether their clients transfer money to them. And whatever advice/discussion took place between the solicitor/client two steps away from you isn't something you have a right to complain about anyway. Solicitors don't enjoy having their time wasted either, they'll just want the transaction completed with the minimum of fuss.
    • G_M
    • By G_M 2nd Oct 17, 2:03 PM
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    G_M
    Presumably the OP had earlier instructed his solicitor that he wanted that date for Completion, so hs solictor was doing all he could to meet the preferred Comletion date!
    • itsfabhere
    • By itsfabhere 2nd Oct 17, 2:06 PM
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    itsfabhere
    Thanks for all your comments. My question was wouldn't the solicitor usually request the funds at least a day before exchange/completion? Now I understand that the answer is NO. I am the one at fault for expecting too much.
    Good job I have a new buyer and due to complete in 3 weeks. I certainly will NOT allow exchange and completion in the same day.
    Thanks everyone!
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