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Thursday, October 26, 2006

Lees Lloyd Whitley Solicitors

Oh dear!

Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear!

As a first time buyer I was expecting more from a solicitor. Is it too much to ask for a solicitor to bring your attention to items in a survey? To call back when they promise they will? Although the solicitors did proceed our case and enable us to exchange contracts and complete, we felt that they were not so good with customer service.

The company we used for our conveyancing was Lees Lloyd Whitley and we certainly would never use them again. They were contracted by our mortgage providers and we thought that it would be easier to keep everything together - alas no.

We were hoping for a little more guidance from them as to what we should be raising with the vendors and with the surveyors. We ended up asking our solicitors to do all of this.

At one point, I had to stay up until gone 3am to compile a list of things that were outstanding for them as they weren't sure what they should be doing on our behalf. I couldn't believe that I had to do this for them - surely they should have been in charge of their own workloads?!

All I can say is look around and compare solicitors before you use them and make sure that they will be right for you.

I would choose a local company who were small enough to care about their clients. I didn't feel that Lees Lloyd Whitley offered any guidance and as a client, I felt that they didn't give a damn!

Has anyone else had poor experiences with solicitors? Do you feel that they should be offering some guidance? Were we expecting too much?


Anonymous Ray said...

I don't think you should be so hard on Conveyancers. They are under so much pressure. However, that said there are a few out there who are just ‘rubbish’ at their job. And yes I totally 100% agree, it is much better to do your Convincing through a solicitor.

One point to make though is that it is part of your duty as the buyer to make sure everything in the deeds, surveys etc. are to scratch/ to your pleasure. Besides you are paying all that money, don’t you think you would want to make sure the whole process goes through to its full potential?

One point to make though, please, please, please be vigilant of everything an estate agent say’s through the whole process. The majority of estate agents are extremely dim-witted and tend to lie about many aspects in the process and ‘LOVE’ to pass the buck. They tend to say it is your Conveyancers fault things are going wrong, when as a matter of fact it is not.

I know this as my other half is a Conveyancer in a high profile solicitors and all the above is from personal experience. Many a times she has come home in a stress due to an estate agent butting their nose in and causing havoc!

My expert piece of advice when going to buy a house: Do not trust estate agents, they are literally out for the money and only tend to care about you when they think they are not going to receive their commission in time. This is a fact, not because my other half is a Conveyancer, it is a genuine fact from years of personal experience.

November 14, 2006 12:25 pm  
Blogger londonhomeplanner said...

I don’t wish to appear to be “anti-conveyancer” – I most certainly am not and I do accept their lot is not always a happy one. I can only imagine their workload.

However, my concerns were with basic admin and specific moments of seeming ineptitude. My experiences did not compare favourably with experiences of friends and colleagues who have gone through the same process and received much more guidance.

I did make sure that deeds, surveys etc were right – but would have expected a little more in the way of guidance when asking the solicitor for options that could be taken.

As for estate agents, I agree whole-heartedly. Some estate agents can often misrepresent the truth. For me this was a problem when trying to find out what the vendors were saying as one of the 2 vendors would not speak direct and would only communicate through her estate agent at one point.

To get around some of this lack of communication, I found it best to attempt to strike up a relationship with the vendors. The woman did not want to proceed this way (which is fine and is her prerogative) but the man did. Unfortunately, they were divorcing which is one of the reasons for the lack of communication.

I certainly was not making any of my judgements of our solicitors based on third parties such as estate agents, but rather on numerous phone calls directly with them and other communications. I still hold firm that my experience with Lees Lloyd Whitley was tortuous and as a result I view them as being a poor company to use for conveyancing.

This was only my experience and there may be other people receiving a better service from them as they are a large company. Maybe it was the particular mix of people I was dealing with on this occasion, but I certainly will never use them again for conveyancing work.

Ray, I can only agree with your overall statement that estate agents are only out for the money. That was certainly my experience and I didn’t trust them either. Maybe other people can bear this one in mind when buying.

Many thanks for your input.

November 14, 2006 5:46 pm  
Anonymous Ray said...

We did the exact same by attempting to strike up a relationship with the vendors. Good point.

November 20, 2006 5:34 pm  

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