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Insight | For Individuals

How to help your lawyer help you and make your house move easier

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Despite the current economic uncertainty, conveyancing remains as busy as ever, with many property lawyers working longer hours than ever to help get clients moved. So, what can you do to help your lawyer?

Your Estate Agent

It may seem that after a sale or purchase has been agreed your estate agent has done their job. This is not the case, your estate agent can be the key to a smooth transaction as they are the only person who can speak to all of the parties. This means they can get you updates and are best placed to liaise with parties about things like inspections or completion dates. They are also well placed to deal with non-legal issues, such as bin days, bus routes or the location of the stop-cock. A good and pro-active estate agent can work with you and your lawyer to make the process run smoothly.


There are many reasons the property price may change during a transaction, from issues discovered during a survey to mortgage rates changing on a seemingly weekly basis. It is important to keep your lawyer updated of any price change, as this has an effect not only on the contract, but also on the amount of SDLT payable, and possibly your mortgage offer.

Leasehold Property

If you’re selling a leasehold property, contacting your Managing Agent, Management Company or Landlord early in the transaction can save delays. You may need to purchase a management pack and any arrears in ground rent or service charge will have to be dealt with prior to the sale.

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Exchange and Completion Dates

Generally, it takes about 12 weeks for a matter to progress to completion. If you have a set exchange or completion date you want to work towards, or other requirements regarding these dates, it is important to let your lawyer know about it as soon as possible. They will be able to advise you if a date is realistic and if not, explain the reasons for this. If it is possible, the more notice everyone in the chain has, the more likely your requirements can be met.


If you are going away, it’s always advisable to let your lawyer know, so if they need anything from you, they can organise this before you go. Delays often occur because a client in the chain is unavailable to sign documents, or give authority for their lawyer to exchange contracts.

Source of Funds

Your lawyer is obliged under their professional regulations to obtain a comprehensive paper trail evidencing how funds towards the purchase of the property have been accrued. If the money has come from savings, a copy of a savings account statement together with evidence of how the savings have been accrued will be required. If the money is from inheritance, we will require a copy of the estate accounts or a letter from the Probate solicitor showing the distribution of the funds. Where money is accrued by way of a property sale which we have not been involved in, we will need to see a copy of the completion statement from the solicitor who dealt with the sale. Even if money has been paid to you by your parents, we still have to obtain copies of their ID and evidence as to how they accrued the funds.

Having all of this information to hand at the start can really help to avoid delays later down the line.


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