3 things your vendor clients really want

6 February, 2019

Because conveyancing matters comprise a lot of moving parts, and often seems to be a routine process, it can be easy to lose sight of what is important to your client.

Get into the habit of going back to basics and regularly remind yourself of the key things every vendor client wants from their lawyer:

  1. An enforceable deal that reflects the client’s instructions. Use a checklist and review searches thoroughly when preparing vendor’s statements to help ensure they comply with section 32 of the Sale of Land Act 1962 (Vic). Sometimes you will need to ask more questions than you normally ask to ensure you have all the information you need. Explain special conditions in the contract of sale and warn the client in writing about any potential escape hatches. Don’t just assume the client understands the clauses and appreciates the risks, even if they appear experienced in property transactions.
  2. To know what’s happening and when. Usually the client won’t want to know about every step in the process but you need to keep them informed about important milestones and developments along the way to settlement. Set out in writing all key dates and what the parties need to do at the start of the matter. Update the client on progress and promptly seek instructions when it is necessary to respond to the purchaser, lender and other relevant parties on potentially important issues.
  3. To get their money safely and on time. Take the necessary steps to protect your firm and therefore your client from cybercrime, particularly fraudulent emails seeking to misdirect electronic funds transfers from your firm’s trust account. Promptly transfer money to your client after settlement and a simple phone call to let them know the transaction has been completed will be appreciated.

Focusing on each of these things in every matter for a vendor will take you most of the way to having a happy client and avoiding the risk of a claim. This needs to be reinforced in your training and supervision of employees, and supported in practice by your policies, procedures, precedents and checklists.

Next week we will look at what every purchaser client wants.