Real estate, alternative real assets and other diversions

Has buying and selling improved over the last five decades? A veteran agent looks back to the good old days of a 28 day exchange

The Agent

Tug of war with hands pulling rope in opposite directions

A question often asked: so, how much has the whole procedure of buying and selling houses changed and hopefully improved then? Well, frankly, it hasn’t at all.

On the plus side, we do have computers, better telephone systems, mobile telephone numbers and of course email addresses for instant contact – really?!

The other day, the selling solicitor emailed the contract papers to their opposite number. The oppo rang me to say “no contract in yet?” So, I rang the seller lawyer (yes, you say “why couldn’t the solicitor do that instead?”) and asked for them to resend which to their credit, they did within an hour – only for the following day for the buyers’ lawyer to ring ME (again) to say nothing had arrived so far. Quietly I am of course saying “you lazy bastard pick up your own frigging telephone!”

So there I am, back on the telephone suggesting the seller ring the other side (lawyer to lawyer on the telephone, who am I trying to kid?!) and sort this out. Adding to the annoyance, both sets of lawyers’ offices are well under three miles of each other – we could have walked the documents round in less time than picking up the telephone.

So the answer to the original question is a very resounding NO.






Subscribe to our print magazine now for just £50, saving £25 on your first year's subscription!

SUBSCRIBE