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I have blogged about this previously and focused on the difference between the misery peddled by the Press and the reality at the coal face.

I have two more titbits to share:

A national search provider told me in a meeting that his figures are up by 27% compared with this time last year. Again this is people purchasing and paying cold hard cash for their searches.

The second thing is that we have a meeting booked this week to discuss how we plan to grow our operation in terms of staff.

We haven’t had meetings like that since 2007.

Other competitors I talk to are looking to recruit as well

The increase of transactions going through this year has been steady and serviceable but the growth has been month on month and conveyancing businesses need to look at their pipeline and maintain the critical point of delivering and achieving quality service.

Happy house hunting

Matt

 

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In most business sales, the price agreed for the transaction will state £x plus stock at valuation. Other assets such as property, goodwill and plant and machinery will have an agreed value attached to them, but stock levels will vary and therefore generally they are valued on or around the date of completion. Sometimes the stock price is agreed in advance but the parties need to be careful of this approach as at the time of completion the value previously agreed might not correctly reflect the value of the stock on completion.

 

Stock in a retail business will mean the value of the items to be sold on. In the service sector stock will mean work in progress. In the manufacturing sector it becomes more complicated as it incorporates the raw materials, the items half way through the manufacturing process (work in progress) and also the completed product.

 

The best way to resolve the stock valuation is for an expert to value the stock on completion and for the parties to accept the expert’s decision as binding. The expert will charge for his involvement. Other ways of resolving stock would be for the parties to meet up on the day of completion and agree a value but they might not be experts in the field and as such may value incorrectly.

 

The stock valuation needs to be undertaken as soon as possible after completion.

 

If you are buying or selling a business and need a solicitor to assist with the transaction please contact climb@fidler.co.uk.

 

Christie Limb

 

 

 

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Recent statistics would suggest that older couples and individuals are under-utilising their larger properties and it is estimated that there are 25 million unused bedrooms in England with 37% of homes are under occupied.

It would seem therefore that older people are holding on to properties that are greater than their physical needs. It has been suggested that older people be offered stamp duty free downward move coupled with penalty council taxes for under occupation to encourage larger properties to be put on the market. Whether such a scheme is adopted remains to be seen however.

Whether this suggestion is realistic or not, it does touch upon the issue that quite often older people find themselves in a home which they have raised a family in and are quite comfortable living in. Why should they want to move?

Quite often it is because they have to release equity from the property to fund their older age and cope with the every increasing cost of living. One way to do this is through an equity release scheme. This is a scheme whereby a lender loans money to an individual, which is secured against the property. They charge interest on this amount but it generally only becomes payable upon the death of the borrower. We are certainly seeing more of these schemes coming through the Fidler & Pepper doors.

If you are considering such a scheme or have been approached and want to speak to a solicitor regarding specific aspects of the scheme or are considering selling your property and want advice in relation to this then please drop me a line to discuss this further on either wjames@fidler.co.uk or 01623451111.  

 

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It used to be quite rare that we would be asked this question – people may have lost faith or confidence in their conveyancer and want to change to us part way through the transaction. Unless something serious has gone wrong the normal advice would have been to stick it out with the old conveyancer.


However in the last year a few conveyancers have gone bust, and in such circumstances the whole thing becomes far more worrying, and you may feel that you want change conveyancers. Normally the Solicitors Regulation Authority will step in and appoint someone else to take over the existing files – however there is every chance that the people appointed to do this may not be specialist conveyancers and/or may be swamped by the volume of files they have to take over.

So how easy is it to change conveyancers and can you do it? The short answer is that it’s pretty painless and yes, you can do it. However there are one or two ‘gotchas’ that you need to be aware of

1. You can always change your solicitor – you should always have a free choice of which solicitor to use and for a solicitor to take work when they know the choice has been restricted means the solicitor is potentially breaching the Solicitors code of conduct – bad news!

2. You have the right to get your existing solicitor to send your file of papers to whichever firm you want – the file of papers belongs to you.

3. The solicitor you’re leaving does however have the right to be paid before they release your file (this is known as having a ‘lien’ on your file). How much they need to be paid will depend on the terms you agreed with them at the start – if they were offering a no sale, no fee deal (as we do) then you shouldn’t have to pay anything. If there was going to be a charge for work that didn’t carry on to completion then you will probably have to pay this to move your case. Details of this should have been agreed with you by your solicitor at the outset.

4. In a conveyancing purchase matter the conveyancer normally also acts for the mortgage company as well – so if you’re changing solicitors then the new solicitors will have to do this as well. What this means in practice is that you tell you mortgage company you’ve changed and they then send out a new mortgage offer to your new solicitor. This can normally happen quite quickly as it’s basically changing a name on their records as opposed to having to change the whole mortgage offer. Your new solicitor won’t be able to exchange contracts until the new offer has been issued.

5. In a conveyancing sale matter there isn’t normally a problem as the title deeds master copies are held at the Land registry. In certain cases however (and here we’re generally talking about cases where the property was bought ages ago – many years ago) the conveyancer may have obtained the title deeds from the mortgage company – they will be holding these on an undertaking (a formal promise) not to let anyone else have them unless the mortgage is paid off – this would normally mean that the deeds would have to be sent back to the mortgage company to be re-sent out to the new solicitor. Even if this applies, if the property has been registered with the Land Registry then your new solicitor will be able to get official copies of the deeds straight away anyway.

6. How your new solicitor handles the case depends really on how far the case has moved forward – if it’s only just started up then the old file won’t be much help and it will probably be a good idea to just treat it as a normal new case; if it’s well advanced and/or there are specific conveyancing issues that are in the process of being dealt with then really they’ll need to see the old file before they can make any significant progress. For this reason if you’ve decided to make the switch it’s a good idea to make sure your old solicitor sends the papers on as soon as possible.

7. Once you’ve decided to make the new move it’s a good idea to let everyone else involved in the transaction know about it – your estate agent, your seller/buyer (so they can tell their solicitors) – to ensure that all letters go straight to the new solicitors.

8. If you’re already exchanged contracts then really you are better off not moving – you are legally bound to completing that sale or purchase – it’s all set in stone. The solicitor appointed by the Solicitors regulation Authority should be treating these cases as a priority and get them moved forward first.

That’s about it really. I hope this has been useful – if you have any questions about the process then please add a comment below. If you want to change solicitors to us then we’d be delighted to take your case on – you can email me about this at mslade@fidler.co.uk

Cheers
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