I have recently instructed a firm of Solicitors in Preston to deal with a residential conveyancing sale of my Aunt’s house as she recently went into care. My conveyancing solicitors have said that as the house is empty, the purchaser has asked if I will let him in the property to carry out some repairs. We are due to complete on the residential conveyancing matter on 30th April 2019. My conveyancing solicitors say I shouldn’t agree but I personally can’t see what is wrong with a bit of co-operation. Do you think my conveyancing solicitor is being unreasonable?
Is there any benefit to you or your Aunt? I can’t think of any. Only extra work, more worry and potential difficulties of which the following are a few- what if your buyer finds structural problems and his lender consequently withdraws the offer? Or your buyer accidentally causes damage to the house? Or causes an accident to a visitor? Or knocks a wall down and makes a complete mess and then they disappear? Or forgets to the lock the door and squatters get in? Or the buyer leaves the heating on 24 hours a day? Or moves in and fails to pay up on 29th March 2019?
At the very least, you need to ensure that your buyer has exchanged contracts and paid a full 10% deposit so you have some security. You will need to inform your insurers what is going on to ensure cover, and arrange what we call a ‘key undertaking’. A ‘key undertaking’ confirms permission for entry and its purpose. It makes it clear that the entry is at the buyers’ sole risk and it will be the buyers’ conveyancing solicitors’ responsibility to outline the risks to the buyer. You will also be advised by your solicitor to attend the property with the buyer to agree meter readings and this will be apportioned by your conveyancing solicitor on completion.
Your solicitors in Preston can draft this undertaking to your approval before sending it to the buyers’ conveyancer. Your solicitor should discuss with you what work/repairs you are allowing the buyer to carry out between exchange and completion. You will also need to make a decision on the key arrangements and how long they can have the keys for, whether this is done via the estate agents and the buyer takes the keys on a daily basis and returns them or whether you meet them at the property daily to check everything and lock up. You should discuss this thoroughly with your conveyancing solicitor to ensure they get all details in the key undertaking.
When you think about it, the whole point of the conveyancing process is not to part with the possession of a property until you have been paid in full. At a stroke you’re defeating that object. I bet you wouldn’t let the buyer of your car take it away for 3 weeks when he’s only paid 10% of the price.
So your conveyancing solicitor is giving you the correct advice. If you go ahead anyway, then maybe the risk of anything going wrong is minimal. But if it does, at least your solicitor can say he gave you the right advice. And it’ll your fault.
We here at AMS Solicitors in Preston offer a friendly and professional residential conveyancing service, taking the stress of buying or selling your property. We are residential conveyancing solicitors in Preston who offer quick conveyancing and competitive Conveyancing fees.