October 30, 2014

When completions go wrong for silly reasons

This post was written by: Nick Powe


Recently we were acting on a sale and purchase of a property. The sale completed by 11am and the money went to the seller’s Solicitor via the banking system at 11:15. This went into the solicitors client account and the clients were notified by the seller’s solicitor in the usual way. At 12 noon, the seller’s solicitors informed us they had not yet got the money but promised to check with their bank see why it had not reached them. By 12:30 they said that no money had yet been received, and could we check whether it had been sent by our bank, which it had. We asked the sellers Solicitor to check the account number they had given us. They then realised us that they had given us the wrong client account number, and still could not release the keys until the funds were received by them, even though the error was theirs. It then took over 2 hours without the client being able to move, and for our bank and the seller’s Solicitors bank to sort out the issue. The problem all stemmed from one error; the seller’s Solicitors providing the incorrect account number.

Finally the banks found the money in the incorrect account, and moved it to the seller’s Solicitor. Completion then took place a few hours later, due to a simple error which involved many calls, emailing and took up far more time than it should have. This also delayed the buyer’s removal company from doing their job as intended, due to the long delay.

The conveyancing process is made far more difficult when human errors are a factor, and the solutions to such issues is often complicated and time consuming.


Nick Powe, Senior Property Solicitor