House Purchase - Physically signing contracts in presense of Solicitor

    Hi All

    Buying house at mo, no mortgage straight cash purchase. We have been through all Money Laundering Checks and ID checks, searches done, fixture fittings etc.

    Contracts drawn up ready to sign but Solicitor is insisting this can only be done in presence of their company during a face to face.

    Now is this correct, I cant find any legal precedence that suggests this is a requirement. Our only issue is its a 400 mile round trip to do in one day and with school year coming to and end we have quiet a lot on regards school, plus work and having to relocate 2 businesses along with trying to sort out removals etc. In one day its not possible which leaves us with an overnight trip but then taking child form school missing his school end of term activities and need someone to look after our other child and 2 dogs. Already paying £000s in fees plus removal companies and dont want to waste more money on something not actually required.

    Obviously my concern is Vendor wanted quick completion and solicitor now holding this up with this insistence that contracts will only be signed in their presence. He also wants another viewing done on property even though we have already liaised and sorted things out between us and the Vendor.

    Anyone shed some light whether its just this solicitor been finicky or is their some legal precedence and we legally have to sign in front of conveyancing solicitor and undertake another viewing.

    Thanks in advance


    I never set eyes on my solicitor when I bought this house. They were in Chester and I am in Bradford. I never went there, did it all by post.

    It's not a legal requirement, but it may be their company standard practice. I never met my solicitor face to face, bought a year ago.

    Original Poster

    I guess when it is their Code of Practice, then yes it is legally binding when you instruct them to act on your behalf if that was present when you signed.

    More time off and more expense at a time when trying best to save a few pound here and there, at least its a one off.

    I was told initially though instead of using our local solicitor that it would be best to use one local to area and it would save time during initial stages prior to exchange due to their local knowledge and expertise. Found one and yes due to location that we would be able to do it all over phone/email and post, I guess the legal secretary needs to liaise more with the solicitor in deciding what process actually was in our instance.

    there have very strict rules about money laundering now so the solicitor probably feel uncomfortable that you are paying cash so they want to meet you.

    i had a problem when i was selling my house this year as the vendor's solicitor did not believe that i was the owner of the house even though i have been through all the checks and my name is on the property deed! they kept asking my solicitor if they were really sure that i am the owner and that i am who i say i am! i got so ****** off, i said that if they keep questioning my identity and my ownership of the property, i am going to get very offended at the inference that they believe me to be a fraud, and i am going to drop out of the sale. that panicked the buyer. WTF!
    Edited by moderator: "sweary" 6th Jul

    We always had to sign in the presence of either the solicitor or legal exec. We moved last just over a year ago.

    steve122150 m ago

    We always had to sign in the presence of either the solicitor or legal …We always had to sign in the presence of either the solicitor or legal exec. We moved last just over a year ago.

    this is the first time that i have heard of this. it puts a stop to instructing solicitors who are not local to your area.

    I just did a quick search and found several conveyancing solicitors who operate online without you having to visit them, so I guess it's your solicitors own policy.
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