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JGM
JGM, Solicitor
Category: Scots Law
Satisfied Customers: 10910
Experience:  30 years as a practising solicitor.
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Hi, I have had my parents house up for sale and had two offers,

Resolved Question:

Hi, I have had my parents house up for sale and had two offers, my lawyer then put up a closing date and I went to see him to discuss the offers, I wasn't too happy to accept the low offers and asked for his advice, he then told me his hands were tied and it was then that the penny dropped and I asked if he was representing the buyers too and he said yes but if I wasn't happy he would send them elsewhere but at this late stage I didn't want the young couple to pay a further fee, should he have told me at the start ? if so I would have said yes send them elsewhere, I then negotiated a price to suit me and the property is now in the late stages of being sold, I asked the lawyer on Monday how long till I need to hand the keys in and he told me date of entry was 7th March which I knew nothing about and wasn't consulted, he said I should have seen it on my terms of contract but I never got one, I now am made to feel this has been very much one sided in the buyers favour and I told my lawyer that and he said I could get someone else to do the completion of the sale if I wanted, I just want to know if he should have made things clear to me at the start
Thanks
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Scots Law
Expert:  JGM replied 3 years ago.
Thank you for your question.

The solicitor has on the face of it acted in a conflict situation which is a professional difficulty for him if you report him to the Law Society or the Scottish Legal Compaints Commission. A solicitor can only act for both parties in a transaction in very limited circumstances, such as where both parties are existing clients or part of the same family. Even then there has clearly been a conflict here from the outset as a seller of property is not bound to accept any offer even after a closing date. You appear to have been placed in a situation where you have been made to do so.

It may be that if you had been properly advised at the outset you would have rejected all offers and fixed another closing date or even just kept the property on the market.

I think you should go to see another solicitor and get independent advice about this situation. If there is no concluded missive you can walk away. If the missives are concluded you will have to go through with the sale but your new solicitor may want to take advice on whether the price achieved was too low in which case you might have a claim and cause for complaint against the solicitor who on the face of it should not have acted for both parties.

Happy to discuss further. You can also look at the conflict of interest rules on the Law Society website at www.lawscot.org.uk.

I hope this helps. Please leave a positive response so that I am credited for my time.
JGM, Solicitor
Category: Scots Law
Satisfied Customers: 10910
Experience: 30 years as a practising solicitor.
JGM and other Scots Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you for your reply, if I hadn't asked my lawyer if he was working for both parties then I guess he wouldn't have told me and I would never have known, I refused the offer to start with and stated the price I wanted for the property and if the buyer was prepared to accept it then the house would be sold but I must add my lawyer really wanted me to take the lower offer to start with which would have been in the interest of the buyer and this lawyer has been working for my family for years but I will never deal with him again as I feel I have been treated unfairly

Expert:  JGM replied 3 years ago.
That is illegal to start with as he has to tell both parties that he is acting for both and MUST issue non conflict letters under the legislation. The more you tell me the more I think that you MUST see another lawyer also ask to see the missives to see if he signed them or if you did.

I think this lawyer may be in difficulties.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


I also had to get an update on the home report done which cost me £120 and I had to call the lawyers office to ask if they had it, they got it on the Friday and I called on the Monday , I asked them to e mail me the copy, the buyers had it but I didn't up to that point, can I take any action against this lawyer as his bill will be taken off the cheque for the sale of the house before I get it

Expert:  JGM replied 3 years ago.
The updated home report is not an issue; that has to be done anyway if the original report is out of date.

The conflict issue is the one that you can take action on.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi, thank you for your help, i did go and see another lawyer on Friday but unfortunately i didn't realize because he had been dealing with the first couple's offer it would be best if i could go to someone that hadn't been involved which is fair enough. i have made an appointment for 11am today with my own lawyer and i'm going to state that what he has done wasn't in my best interest and illegal and i would like him to take something off his bill, if i don't get any satisfaction then i will take action against him, do you think that would be ok to do that ?

Expert:  JGM replied 3 years ago.
Yes, you can ask for that.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you, i appreciate your help and back up on this and hope it goes well today as this has been affecting me, it's hard enough selling your parents home without the lawyer letting me down too

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I've just had a thought, if i ask the lawyer takes something off his bill then would he just add it on to something else before i get it so that he doesn't lose out ?

Expert:  JGM replied 3 years ago.
He shouldn't do and you are always allowed to ask for a breakdown of an account.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I know he shouldn't but how would i know if the breakdown of the account wasn't tampered with before i got it as i wouldn't know the legal charges

Expert:  JGM replied 3 years ago.
You can't legislate for that I'm afraid.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I have been to see my lawyer and got things sorted out and he has agreed to take something off his bill and he has apologised so i feel better than i did before, thank you for all your help and advice

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