Countrywide Conveyancing has announced the launch of a specialist new build Conveyancing team
The department will service both developers and buyers of new homes.
The complexities of new build purchases, together with various government initiatives available to new buyers, make it more important than ever for buyers to be advised by Conveyancing Solicitors who have experience in this area.
The unit will include both lawyers and key account executives, who will act as the dedicated point of contact for the builder's site office. This approach will likely be attractive to developers, as Chief Operating Officer Sue Spurgeon states:
“Our new homes dedicated specialist case handlers work with both the builders and buyers to enable a thorough, yet swift completion of the conveyancing process to help ensure half year and year end targets are met, enabling developers to reinvest the money into future builds. ”
Countrywide Conveyancing Services is regulated by the Council for Licenced Conveyancers (CLC), and is part of a large group which comprises the country's largest estate agency business, as well as mortgage brokers and surveyors.
Acting for Buyer and Developer
As it is likely that their conveyancing services will be offered to many purchasing a new home through one of the agents in this group, this raises the possibility that the same Conveyancers may find themselves instructed to act for both the developer and the purchaser.
There can be advantages when the same CLC-regulated firm acts for both parties in a property transaction, such as speed and clarity. This would certainly be the case when a purchase contract has been signed before a new house is finished; once it is complete buyers have to complete within a fixed time-limit, so both buyers and sellers will be want to be sure that their Conveyancers are getting everything done promptly.
The benefit of an independent Conveyancing Solicitor
For the Conveyancing of new builds, contracts and transfers will be prepared by a developer's Property Lawyers before any houses are sold. Buyers' Conveyancing Solicitors will then be told that no amendments to these documents will be permitted.
However, such documents often one-sided and contain provisions that are unsatisfactory for buyers. If there is a question of accepting the document or not proceeding, purchasers must be able to receive independent advice.
While acting for both parties in a property transaction is allowed under the regulations of the Council for Licensed Conveyancers, certain rules apply. Conveyancing Solicitors are otherwise precluded from acting for both sides except in certain circumstances.
Many firms of Conveyancing Solicitors already have staff who specialise in new build Conveyancing. Nevertheless, I recommend that clients strongly consider instructing an independent firm, who will put a buyer's interests first, and not be swayed by those of a builder for whom they handle many sales.
That is not to say that Conveyancers would be swayed by such commercial considerations, but why take the chance?