Q. I’ve recently sold my apartment to a cash buyer as I need to sell rather quickly as I am moving overseas with work. However four weeks into to the sale nothing seems to be moving very quickly despite me hiring the best solicitor money can buy in order to execute the transaction as quickly as possible. I’ve chased them to find out what the hold-up is and they keep blaming it onto third parties. Do you think this is really the cause of delay or something more sinister?
A. You mentioned you are selling an apartment in which case it would almost certainly be a ‘Leasehold’ property. That being the case then your solicitor is absolutely right, third parties would definitely be responsible for holding things up. You see the solicitor would have to approach the managing agents to provide a Leasehold information pack, upon receipt the pack would then be sent over to your buyer’s solicitor for consideration. Once they have had the opportunity to go through the pack they are likely to raise enquiries and your solicitor will then need to go back and forth with the management company to obtain the information. The same is true for your Freeholder the company/person you pay the ground rent too, and then there are the local authority searches. Your solicitor can be the most efficient on the planet but if these various third parties are not responding quickly enough it can definitely hold things up. The buyer’s solicitor too may be slow in coming back to them also. Unfortunately it doesn’t matter how great things look on paper when it comes to buying and selling in the UK it is never quite as quick or as easy as we might hope. Obviously keeping in regular contact with your solicitor to keep the pressure on is advisable and certainly if you have sold through an Estate Agent they too can prove to be instrumental in pushing things through as quickly as possible. They are often able to contact the managing agents and other third parties to find out what the hold-up may be and assist in whatever way they can to accelerate the transaction.