Where possible conveyancing solicitors deal with matters electronically and there is no need for any client to ever attend a solicitors offices. Clients who do not have access to a computer can still be dealt with efficiently by use of post and telephones, however the service still proceeds at a fast pace due to use of modern technology again without the necessity to attend any law office. A mortgage solicitor can similarly satisfy the lenders requirements electronically without attendance at the lenders offices.
Cheap conveyancing does not mean that there is a substandard service because all the work is all carried out electronically. Almost all transactions are handled with speed. Solicitors generally find it easier to act for sellers of land and property rather than buyers of land and property which is reflected in the different charges for buying and selling. A seller of land or property is not usually concerned with anything other than completion of the sale and receiving the proceeds of sale. All of the hard work is done by the buyers solicitor who must make numerous checks on the sellers ability to give good title and ensure that the land or property that his client is buying is not encumbered with problems that will pass on to the new owner. Buyers also often need a mortgage solicitor to attend to the lenders requirements.
There are situations where acting for the seller can involve the solicitor in substantial extra work that would not be covered by the initial conveyancing quotation. This may happen when the seller makes mistakes in the sales particulars or when answering enquiries prior to exchange of contract. This can be misrepresentation and may result in the award of substantial damages to the buyer.
Sales particulars are one area where a seller may be held to account in the event of mistakes. The sales particulars are usually drawn up by an estate agent who then gives a draft to the seller in order to confirm accuracy. If the seller signs off inaccurate information then it may, after completion, give rise to a claim for compensation from the buyer on the grounds of mis representation. Even if the errors in the sales particulars are accidental this can still be construed by the buyer as an innocent deception giving rise to a potential claim for damages.
Another area where seller may find problems relates to the property information pack which is a two part questionnaire given by the buyer to the seller for him to answer. The questions need to be answered accurately and truthfully to ensure that the buyer cannot accuse the seller of fraud or misrepresentation at a later stage thereby giving rise to a claim for damagers. The information pack is divided into two parts with the first part dealing with fixtures and fittings and the second part dealing with other issues of possible dispute :-
The first part dealing with fixtures and fittings should detail all the fixtures and fittings that will be retained by the seller and/or will be left at the property as part of the package. Answering these questions is the sole responsibility of the seller. Solicitors do not usually deal with completion of this form as part of their services.
The second part is a questionnaire about the property and includes numerous enquiries examples of which may include:-
What guarantees, if any, are included in the sale?
Is there a damp-proof guarantee?
Where are the property boundaries
Who is responsible for keeping the boundaries in good condition?
Have there been any previous disputes regarding the land or property?