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Over a quarter of property purchases fall through

Written by: Christina Hoghton
A hundred thousand property purchases fell through in 2015, accounting for a massive 27% of all sales, according to research from LV= Legal Services.

And it is property lawyers who are often responsible for the drop outs between offer and exchange of contracts as a result of dragging their heels through the process, said the firm. Conveyancer delays account for 48% of those purchases that fail to complete.

Of those property sales that fell through, a fifth of buyers (21%) were gazumped and one in seven (15%) had the vendor pull out at the last minute. The most common complaints from homebuyers included poor communication (74%) and slow and ineffective service from their conveyancer (65%).

Shop around

A significant one in seven homebuyers (17%) are unaware they can ‘shop around’ for a property lawyer, despite the fact it could save them money and mean they get a better service.

LV= Legal Services said that using a conveyancer recommended by an estate agent costs, on average, £400 more than shopping around for a better deal. It also claimed that the third of all buyers who follow their estate agent’s suggestion are more likely to have to chase their lawyer for updates, and ultimately, are less likely to be happy with the service.

Martin Milliner, claims director of LV= General Insurance, said: “It’s clear that in many instances the conveyancing industry isn’t working for consumers and those who simply take their estate agent’s recommendation are most likely to pay the price.”

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