8:30 AM, 23rd November 2012, About 9 years ago 2
I had purchased the property about six years ago, it was one of the last Sale and Rent back deals I ever did. The property had fallen significantly in value since I purchased it and was in a very tired state. It required complete refurbishment, kitchen, bathroom, re-wiring, replacement internal walls – you name it. The old man who had lived there was happy with it the way it was. He had been there for 20+ years and to him that was his home. The mistake I made was assuming he would live for another 20 years.
To re-let the property I would have to refurbish. If I had sold it in it’s state at the time the sale proceeds would not have been enough to repay the mortgage. This was a learning experience for me, I was going to have to speculate a significant amount of money in the hope of breaking even on a deal.
It cost just over £20,000 to refurbish and when I did the maths I decided that it was not a keeper. It made a wonderful first time buyer property but the money I had tied up in it didn’t give me a sufficient return on capital invested to justify keeping it. I put it on the market and it sold very quickly. The first person who saw it two days after listing wanted to buy it and put in an offer very close to the asking price. Sadly they couldn’t get a mortgage and the deal fell through a month later so I re-marketed the property, fortunately I found another buyer very quickly.
I didn’t make a profit on this deal but I did manage to recoup all of my investment into the refurbishment and to increase the value sufficiently to break even after repaying the mortgage.
About five years ago the Conveyancer who had been acting for me since 1996 decided to retire. He had completed over 100 transactions for me.
I have used other conveyancers since then but the relationship just wasn’t the same. I hate paperwork – don’t we all?
My requirements are quite simple really, I want my conveyancer to report to me in a clear and concise manner with simple instructions, e.g. little yellow tabs saying “sign here” or if documents are emailed to me, a note saying something along the lines of “you need to sign of page three of the first attachment and on pages 6 and 11 of the second attachment. If there is a problem, tell me straight, tell me quickly and wherever possible find a solution before you tell me so that I don’t have to worry about things. Try asking one of those online solicitors or conveyancing factory people to do that for you! In my experience most of the individuals you are dealing with are unqualified professionally and with limited experience. I accept they have a qualified supervisor they can turn to for advice but in my experience they rarely do. I once asked such a person why they don’t use their initiative, the answer was “nobody has ever asked me to do that before”!!! SERIOUSLY
Earlier this year I accepted a Consultancy position within an established law firm. They have a very strong commercial property department, however, they generally deal with bigger ticket deals than I get into, e.g. developments, large estates and farms etc. I had a chat with the Partner in charge of that department and as a favour to me he arranged for his right hand man to deal with the legal side of the sale of this particular property. I’m a bit of a demanding customer if I’m honest with myself and I insisted that we replicate the business model I know all landlords really want from a conveyancer – the one my former conveyancer had provided me with for all those years.
Given that I communicate daily with thousands of landlords it dawned on me that the law firm in which I am a Consultant should build a new department just to look after people like me, small to medium sized landlords who buy, sell or remortgage a house, flat or bungalow every so often. You may think most solicitors practices have a conveyancing department and you’re right. Why is it therefore, that for five years I have been unable to find the level of service I’ve been looking for at a reasonable price? It’s not through lack of trying I can assure you!
My recommendations were taken on board 🙂 The search commenced for us to find a person with the necessary skill sets (experience and personality) to build a team operating the service based model I am so fond of. I don’t want to have to go and meet meet my conveyancer every time I do a deal but I do want a friendly and knowledgeable person to talk me through what’s needed and to present any issues to me with a solution wherever possible. A couple of issues came up on the sale I’ve just completed but were easily resolved with an indemnity policy which cost just £36 to put in place. I would like to introduce you to Jill (pictured left). Jill has joined the firm now having come to us with glowing testimonials from people I have known and trusted for a very long time. I’m looking forward to working with her and recommending my readers to experience the difference good service makes.
The sale of my property has now completed and I’m now confident that with Jill and her team on my side I will again be experiencing the service I enjoyed for years prior to the retirement of my former conveyancer.
I now WANT to do more deals
If you are looking to buy, sell or remortage a property at the moment or in the near future and would like an introduction to Jill, please let me know by completing the form below. Finding a conveyancer who does an excellent job is such a major stress relief, give Jill your next deal and you will see what I mean:-
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