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Estate Agent says delays in Conveyancing caused by staff shortages

The Law Society Gazette published an article on 30. 7. 10 regarding ‘delays in conveyancing, due to staff shortages. ’ The comments forming the basis of the article were made by Nick Salmon, commercial director of independent estate agents Harrison Murray, who told the Gazette that ‘understaffed’ firms are struggling to cope with the increased volume of work after laying off conveyancers at the height of the recession.

‘As the recession started to bite in mid-2008, quite a number of firms reduced their staffing numbers as the volume of property transactions fell. But from spring/early summer 2009, transaction volumes started to rise a bit, ’ said Salmon.

‘Understandably, in light of the economic uncertainty, firms have been very cautious about rehiring staff and are finding they have too few staff to deal with the volume of work they now have, ’ he said.

Richard Barnett, chairman of the Law Society’s conveyancing and land law committee commented that delays that occurred could be as a result of a number of factors, e.g. delays in obtaining a mortgage and the actions of clients.

As you can imagine there have been a number of responses in the Gazette to Mr. Salmon’s comments, some of which come down harshly on Estate Agents. Unfortunately, many of us conveyancers and solicitors have had experiences with agents who have come across pushy and aggressive, because they are trying to push a sale through – with little regard to the complexities of a case and the work that needs to be undertaken before a case can complete. Only last month did I write a blog on how Estate Agents and Conveyancers are to work together. This can only happen if Estate Agents are trained and have a proper understanding of how the conveyancing process works from start to finish.   Delays may sometimes occur due to staff shortages but in the majority of cases, conveyancers work hard to ensure all necessary work is undertaken as efficiently as possible before exchange, and agents often do not appreciate this.

If you are concerned about your Conveyancer and your Estate Agent getting into a war about conveyancing delays, then why not give us a call and ask about how we solve these problems and how we offer low conveyancing fees.

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