Q. I am in the throes of buying my first property and really excited to have found something just perfect and although the purchase was actually agreed around six weeks ago nothing seems to going anywhere fast, in fact it seems there has been little to no progress at all in the last two weeks. The last update from my solicitor was that he awaits the management pack. Do you think this seems right or am I being led up a garden path here?
A. Honestly buying a property can actually take a lot longer than you may have ever imagined. By the sounds of things you are buying a leasehold property given your solicitor awaits the managing agents pack. The issue really is that you are not only at the mercy of having two on the ball solicitors but also there are third parties that also need to provide information in order to push the transaction through. Managing agents are notoriously slow with providing their packs. First they have to be paid for by the seller’s solicitor then once payment is received they will then collate them and send them out and if not chased and left to their own devises your case can get pushed to the bottom of the pile. I find that a competent solicitor will send regular chasing emails to speed things along and it’s also really helpful if the seller also chases them up too that way they feel the pressure and get things done. The problem is without the pack all the solicitor can really do is make their initial enquiries and apply for searches. The management pack provides crucial information about the property you are buying and can most certainly influence your decision as to whether you proceed with the purchase or not. It is super important that the information in the pack is read in conjunction with the lease. The pack will contain information about the service charges to include copies of the last three years accounts. It will also flag up information surrounding any major works planned within the development that could prove costly amongst other things. I think the best thing you can do right now is make regular check in’s with your solicitor and let them know that you are anxious to exchange and complete, this will then push them into action if they too have tended to be a bit on the slow side.