Undermining your solicitor when buying property

Picasso’s home and workshop, Montmartre, Easter 2022

If you are buying a property you need to be careful about undermining your solicitor in the pre-contract stage.

Your solicitor may be looking to reach agreement with the vendor’s solicitor about the insertion of a special condition in the contract. This special condition is not being requested simply as some form of ritual or habit; it is being sought to protect your interest as the purchaser.

Don’t undermine her by adopting the position that you want the house so badly you will simply drop the demand for the special condition. Sometimes you must be prepared to walk away. But you need to understand why your solicitor is looking for the condition.

The condition may be to do with finance or the timing of the purchase closing day. Or there may be other issues outstanding which a cash hungry developer will pressurise you about and tell you that your solicitor is being unreasonable, or some other nonsense.

Don’t believe it. Your solicitor wants the deal to go ahead.

Remember, your solicitor will only get paid his full fee when the sale completes successfully. It is in his interest that the purchase goes ahead to a satisfactory conclusion. But this does not mean a deal at any price.

There are certain things which your solicitor must insist on, and simply cannot compromise. These are the times when you want to support your solicitor, not undermine her.

She is acting in your interest, after all.

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