Selling a house

Why does it take so damn long?!

Anyway, some small progress last week, the buyer's solicitors had some questions. I really had tried hard to avoid questions, and made sure I had included all of the paperwork and everything, but no, they had questions.

All about the conservatory, which is a recent replacement of a conservatory put in probably 20 years ago. This means that even if the original conservatory did not meet planning exceptions, the fact it is over 4 years means that is moot, and the new conservatory is a like for like replacement so exempt anyway. But no, they wanted to check EVERY SINGLE RULE on it being a permitted development.

This included things like "Is it sited at ground level", and are the sides / roof mostly transparent. All the details but one could be confirmed just by looking at the estate agent pictures / details.

The only one that was not "obvious" was whether there was heating or not - seems it needs no heating or separately controlled heating. It has none.

Oh, and they asked if we had to pay anything for the "access way" to the house, when their searches should have confirmed that the house is directly on the public highway, so, d'uh!

I swear they only ask questions, especially ones to which they already have all the answers, just to justify their fees.

Fingers crossed that it won't take long now.


  1. In my experience, selling a house is an exercise in ensuring the conveyancers don't leave themselves open to any liabilities should something be found to be wrong in the future.

  2. Also on the liability front, the solicitor does not want to be the one who decides "that's obvious, so I won't question it". They want someone *else* to state in writing that it is a fact.

    1. Indeed, though my reply was along the lines of "as you can see from the estate agents pictures, the roof is mostly glass", and "As you can see, the estate agent measured it as XxY so based on that it is clearly less that Z square metres", etc...

  3. Your 2nd last sentence answers your very first sentence :)

  4. I had this when selling by old mans place. It was an 1970's build. Wanted a build over permit for the large sewer that it was apparently built over that showed on a services search that says "these are a guide only..." except you could see the line of the manhole covers on google maps adjacent to the garden on public land. Why would you build over it on a whole new estate??? Wanted Fensa certs for windows changed in 2003 when it was owned by the council... like we were given that at the time. £20 for each Fensa ticket re-print, or £10 for an indemnity insurance for lack of Fensa ticket that covers all the windows as some doors were changed in 2013... Guess what I went for. Then wanted one for the electrical work for the consumer unit change. Same scenario.... I know its all about arse covering... Pretty sure most of the conveyoncers don't know half of what makes a building a building half the time....

    1. > Why would you build over it on a whole new estate???

      ... because builders hardly ever change the official plans when they decide to do something new. My last house ended up with the pavement listed in the plans removed and replaced with a tiled car-suitable pathway -- but they didn't care about the utility manhole covers where the pavement had been, and just covered them all up. When BT tried to fit another phone line, decades later, they were very confused about the access to the phone lines that was meant to be there, was listed on the plans, but was missing along with the pavement it was buried under. (So they had to find where it was buried with a metal detector and ask the council to uncover it and fit a new cover. The council did, but since this was, according to the plans, a pavement, they fitted a pavement-suitable cover even though it was obviously a road. The next car to drive over it fell straight in...)

  5. "Is it sited at ground level" - no, it is hovering above ground, and attached to the first floor only.
    I mean really, asking this isn't in the buyer's interest, it is purely CYA for the conveyencer, at the cost of all other parties.

  6. Look at the Trellick Tower in London. It has a massive structure hanging out over fresh-air up at the 15th(?) floor level. I don't blame solicitors for checking absolutely every single detail given most house sales are the single biggest purchase that any average UK citizen will make. And given that most sales/purchases are in the 100s of thousands of pounds region. And given that the buyer's solicitor is charged with ensuring the purchaser is fully protected from all problems. And is liable for all problems that occur in the future. And that solicitor will almost never visit the property in question.


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