When the UK went into lockdown in March, many chains of property transactions collapsed as buyers and sellers pulled out of deals. This left many people out of pocket, paying legal fees to their conveyancing solicitor despite the fact they were now not moving. That is, unless you were a client of Holmes & Hills Solicitors, in which case you would have benefited from Holmes & Hills’ No Sale, No Fee conveyancing promise.
Rightmove and other property industry commentators report that, on average across the country, approximately 30% of property transactions fall-through in normal times*. It is a much higher percentage than most buyers and sellers expect it to be.
If your property sale or purchase falls-through you will have to pay your conveyancing lawyer for the work undertaken up to the point your transaction went abortive, this can be up to 75% (or more) of the original legal fee you were quoted. You will then need to pay your conveyancing lawyer legal fees again when you find another buyer, or another property to buy. You effectively pay twice for your conveyancing.
To protect yourself from having to pay legal fees in the event your property transaction falls-through, be it your sale, purchase or both, you need your conveyancing solicitor to offer you a No Sale, No Fee Promise**, such as that offered by Holmes & Hills Solicitors.
The Holmes & Hills No Sale, No Fee Promise means that in the unfortunate event that your transaction falls-through, you do not pay any of the legal fees you were quoted. You keep that money.
During the Coronavirus situation, your No Sale, No Fee Conveyancing quotation from Holmes & Hills will be valid for 12 weeks, so even if you are still looking for a property or marketing your own property, you can get a quote and we will honour it up to three months later.
Or, you can call Holmes & Hills Solicitors on 01376 320456 (Essex) or 01787 275275 (Suffolk) and obtain a quote over the telephone.
A further benefit to those using the conveyancing services of Holmes & Hills is the fact the fall-through rate for transactions the firm is involved with is significantly lower than the national average. Your transaction is more likely to be successful when you instruct Holmes & Hills Solicitors.
Previous research by the Government*** has showed there is distrust between buyers and sellers in property transactions. Buyers believe there is always the threat that a seller will pull out of the transaction or accept a higher offer from another buyer, even once a transaction is already underway.
From the other perspective, sellers report not trusting buyers, worried they might pull out of the deal, perhaps because they have found somewhere else to buy or because an issue with their mortgage arises.
In the current climate, with the coronavirus situation causing increased uncertainty, it is reasonable to think that both buyers and sellers will be more cautious and risk-averse, meaning continual bad news about the economy, a change in their circumstances, or fears about property prices could cause them to pull out of moving home. Even if you and your seller/buyer are fully committed, if another transaction in your chain falls-through, this can put the whole chain, including your transaction, at risk.
This current period of increased uncertainty and cautiousness could then mean that the fall-through rate of property transactions increases and property chains become more fragile during the current Coronavirus situation. Only time will tell.
Your property transaction might fall-through for a number of reasons, most of them will be outside of your control. Reasons include:
*Rightmove Little Blue Book of property trends 2018/19.
**Holmes & Hills’ No Sale, No Fee Promise covers a maximum of one abortive transaction or two related abortive transactions in any given 6 month period, per client. No sale, no fee does not apply to auction sales or purchases; new build transactions where a discounted fee has been agreed with the developer; third party disbursements already paid (e.g. searches); sales of new-build property; additional work agreed (e.g. Declaration of Trust). Holmes & Hills reserves the right to refuse to offer the No Sale, No Fee Promise at the point of receiving an instruction.
***Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (2017) Research on Buying and Selling Homes: Research Paper Number BIS/283.