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Lifting the lid – selling & dates

Disclaimer, the next 3 pages are written by Matt Faizey, all opinions are his own. Opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect that of other employees nor M&G.

PAGE 1. ‘lifting the lid’ on the shenanigans of the moving process. Dealing with Solicitors and Estate Agents.

Hello.

So, what is this all about then? Well, hopefully, if I have got this one right this page will be one you will want to bookmark. Share amongst home moving friends and generally refer to when you tell everyone how downright brilliant and supportive M&G are.

I advise you grab a cuppa, or if the moment is right something stronger………mine’s a rum and coke……….

We have, for many years now spoken to and discussed with our wonderful customers how to influence events, how to protect their interests through the process and how to take some sort of charge of what is happening.

As I have written many times before, and spoken about many thousands of times, you, as member of the public the very second you placed your home for sale switched from being ‘in charge’ to completely reactive, totally dependant on being kept in a loop that you’re paying for. Waiting for the phone to ring, waiting for an email, waiting to be told…..

By the time we get to you we very often find the same old sentences being trotted out;

‘The solicitor has told me I’m moving on ‘x’ date’

‘I’m waiting to hear….’

‘The Estate Agent told me they’d let me know when ‘x’ has been decided’

All reactive, and all inferring that control shifted. Very often all this delivered to you with a pat on the head.

We, as ever get a bit fed up with it. The paymasters (that’s you, yes you, reading this) regularly become the servants. So, it is time to go even further than all the advice we normally trot out.

At the bottom of each page there are links to the next page. Moreover there are letters you are welcome to copy and paste, further, deeper insights into the psychology of what needs to happen, designed to educate you and give you better insight. Our aim being to assist you in getting better service, more notice, a better moving day and, to be frank designed to stick your solicitor on notice that you’d like a nice, sensible, well planned home move. Feel free to use any of this material to the EA as well if you wish.

Disclaimer ; If you use any of this on your head be it. If you upset somebody, make them cry, or if you offend somebody by using this material do not come moaning to me, or M&G. It is our belief that the following links contain absolutely nothing offensive, ‘wrong’, unlawful, or insulting…….

They do however contain material that we believe will force a slightly less laissez fairre attitude from people you’re paying already to do a job….

Enjoy.

Now, the ‘table of influence’ has to be the first thing you read. Without this you either won’t make sense, or won’t get the best out of the rest.

The table of influence

The table of influence is brilliant for highlighting in a simple way the great flaws of negotiating through a chain. However it is also brilliant for highlighting exactly how you can have an influence on events for your benefit. Moreover if you’re the one doing honourable things for your own benefit and with good intent then your conscience is clear. Especially given it will only serve to will benefit others too.

In the diagram the numbers represent the actual humans moving. ‘EA’ is the Estate Agent. ‘S’ is the Solicitor.

The diagram below shows a ‘normal chain’ Four parties. Yes, four.

1 – could be out of a rental or first timer, won’t have a property to sell. There’s just them, and their Solicitor

2 – Often a young family moving up

3 – Often a slightly older family moving on up

4 – Often deceased,  (insert joke about moving way way way up higher than everyone else) or into care etc etc.

Under the image of the Table is an explanation for how it works

You’re at number 2, let us pretend you’ve sold to a first time buyer.

As the table shows clearly you can directly email your solicitor, you can directly email your estate agent. Plus you could, if you wanted email the estate agent you are buying your new home through.

So, at this point you’re nodding along and saying, ‘yes, well done Sherlock, stating the blooming obvious’.

To which my response is ‘darn right I am’.

As you’ve already seen, in this chain there are eleven parties including you. Moreover that is eleven people who may have a motive, or an opinion. Plus, can you imagine if you draw the other lines on showing communication, and, more pertinently who cannot talk to who! It would be awful, you would have graphically displayed before you the very reason it can take so long to sort things out. Why negotiating any sort of consensus through a chain is akin to pulling teeth.

We have however discovered that in one email, you can, including yourself influence 4 out of the 11. That is early 40% of the chain with one email. Plus, this is without breaking any moral boundry let alone legal ones. Add your buyers or your vendors email address on (if you have it) and you’re at 45% of the chain. With just one piece of communication.

Lets say it’s May, and you have a 4 week cruise booked for July……… Let’s say you expressly do not want to move on a Friday………….Let’s say you want to be uber sensible and demand 2 weeks in-between exchange and completion……….

This is something to use when you’re at ‘that’ moment – trust me, you’ll know.

Nowt wrong with emailing a demand to your solicitor and copying in the EA’s – purely for information purposes and keeping everybody ‘in the loop’. This isn’t the ‘done’ thing. It isn’t welcomed. However, as you will read on the next couple pages there may come a moment when you accept that despite paying everyone, you’ll need to grab things by the scruff of the neck and give everyone a kick up the backside.

This is where having read this page, you’ll be better placed.

But how do you actually achieve the things you would like to happen? If you summon up the courage to actually do this, what needs to be asked for………….

Well, chances are right now things are fairly rosy. We find most customers read these pages @-2 to +3 weeks from the offer/you accepting it. Right now it is all chilled. Hardly anything has happened, there is nothing to worry about save for getting moving quotations. On that basis all this seems way way off into the distance.

Reading this though, just this page has given you an overview of a chain, the communication lines (or lack of) and has already provided you with the type of inside track many home movers just don’t imagine exists.

I promise the table above will remain with you, and you will think of it in the near future. Why stop now though, there’s much more to come.

So, we began this section of advice with the table of influence. If you paid attention in class then whilst this section talks about emailing your solicitor you might be considering using the ‘CC’ line, or maybe even the ‘BCC’ line……., who knows how many people you might choose to ‘inform’!

Taking things off the table

You are one in one hundred thousand. No, really, you are.

Ok, stop blushing, that is not a chat up line. You are, based upon the average number of completions 1 in 100,000 others this month.

Now in all fairness at time of writing 10% are Buy-To-Letters and of the rest circa 20-25% are first time buyers and/or coming from a rental or out of storage. So if you are firmly in the ‘good golly I have 4 tonnes of stuff to get M&G move’ camp then in actual fact you are 1 in 67500 moving this month. Still fairly special? No, anything but.

Do you think that all the things you ‘would like’, or all the things you would ‘aim for’ are any different to anyone else? Is it likely that all the EA’s and Solicitors hear the same old requests, time after time? Of course it is.

Just like having heard the same things, day after day and knowing that based upon the previous decade and ‘x’ many thousand customers when it comes to it you’ll do as you’re told…….you can make all the requests you want. Ask for whatever you want. You an even do it with puppy dog eyes and a ‘please sir can I have some more’ voice but the truth is it is just white noise. Lost in a sea of others, all making noise.

So, how do we make your request different?

How do we make it so what you want, you get?

On a similar premise to a magicians misdirection you need to be the one who goes left, when all others are looking right.

We know that requests can be ignored, or rode over. However what if you tell your EA & Solicitor that you cannot do something. Actually remove the possibility……….

Now you’re getting it……..

Let’s use the example of the long distance move over two days with day one as completion day –

‘Dear Sir/Madam, as my solicitor in charge of securing the completion date may I advise you that it is impossible for us to complete on a Friday due to the move format being over two days with day one being completion day. We’re free to move on any of the other four days in the week.’

Job done. Note the use of the word ‘impossible’.

Now, imagine that you used the table of influence. In one email maybe 30-50% of the chain now know this. If your solicitor advises the one below and the one above alone then you could be up to 65% of the chain knowing this within half a day of you pressing send.

How about this one

Dear Sir / Madam, I am writing to advise that due to my contract of employment insisting that I give two weeks notice for my ‘home move day’  I must demand that we have a minimum of two full weeks inbetween exchange and completion. Moreover, it is impossible for us to move on a Friday. We can however have a completion day on any of the remaining 80% of the week.’

I sense the penny is dropping.

So now we’ve had ‘demand’ + ‘insist’ and ‘impossible’. In a paragraph pleasant, polite and succinct. No offense caused, just a legitimate requirment stated, clearly and fairly.

Here I am going to show you the version that you likely would have written if you’d not ever read this webpage.

Dear Sir / Madam

I am writing to advise that my employer states I have to give 2 weeks notice to book a ‘home move day off work’. I am hoping you can assist me in achieving this and therefore I am asking for 2 weeks notice of the moving day. Ideally we would like to avoid a Friday. We’re happy to move on any other day of the week.

I don’t need to say it do I?

In the example above I use the ‘home move clause’ from many employment contracts. Family members you’re counting on to help may be subject to this but in truth the reason could even be redirection of post, broadband installation or any one of tens of hundreds of other reasons. Or, if you’re like me you’d just write…

Dear Sir/Madam, I am writing to advise that I absolutely will not countenance less than two calendar weeks inbetween exchange and completion. I have witnessed many thousands of stressed public and customers go through ridiculously short notice periods for moving home. I will not become one of them, not to mention many hundreds of instances of last minute gameplaying / gazundering / gazumping. Therefore I will refuse to discuss completion dates until such point that we’re almost ready to exchange. Please advise the solicitors either side and the EA that we will refuse to speculate on completion dates until this time.

We will come back later to the ideal of refusing to discuss completion dates until the time is right.

Combine taking things off the table with a utilisation of the table of influence and you’re in a very different position than the one you considered you were in when you sat down to read this.

It is at this point people are normally processing thoughts about this, leading to other thoughts of avoiding horror stories concerning last minute moves / being scared of upsetting ‘the professionals’ (that is the Soli and EA, NOT Bodie and Doyle – if you don’t know who Bodie and Doyle are ring your dad). And generally wondering if what I am preaching, teaching and leading you into will get you into trouble.

No. It won’t. It won’t make you any friends, that’s true, but in my opinion it won’t actually get you into trouble.

This far we’ve looked at the lines of communication, and we’ve looked at how to get certain requests taken seriously. The problem now though is that you’re the one going left while everyone else is going right. There still will be practices and ‘time honoured traditions’ getting in the way.

The last thing we want is you getting trampled by the herd, especially as you’ve done so well this far.

So, who’s gonna cock this up?

Estate Agents Desperate for a date.

Showing all the psychological  & expectations management ability of a four year old trying to cajole friends into playing tag when all they really want to to is drink milk, estate agents think they’re helping by throwing dates around like confetti at a wedding. Constantly ‘managing the clients expectations’ to quote one EA I spoke to. ‘We have to do that  keep things rolling along.’ Oh, really, do you now?

No. By the time somebody (and by ‘somebody’ we’re talking about maybe a real family, with hopes, plans, and pressures)has had four dates missed that they were all geared up for moving on, they’re no longer being ‘managed’. They’re firmly into the realms of being messed around. Multiply this by all the parties in the chain, talking to different agents and solicitors…….and very very quickly in the absence of sense the threats and bluffs make an appearance. An understandable desperation reaction from homeowners close to boiling point.

This is where it can go so, so bad one homeowner finally scream ‘enough!’ and pulls out. Then displaying all the usual cognitive dissonance the process is riddled with the ‘contract chaser’ (or 4) and even the solicitor sit back and say………..

Can’t be helped, sometimes this happens. That’s moving for you. Just one of those things

No it isn’t. It really isn’t.

It isn’t unheard of for ‘contract chasers’ / ‘sales negotiators’to start throwing dates out before certain parties mortgage offers have even been confirmed. Going back to the table can you imagine the overall volume of 4xEA’s all shouting the dates their clients want, or they say their client wants……….Volume perversely amplified by the vacuum created by the silence of the solicitors – we’ll come back to the vacuum later.

All of which means absolutely nothing if one party has told everybody else they are absolutely, completely, totally, solidly and certainly having two weeks in-between exchange and completion. They did so in writing and have refused point blank to engage in date speculation until such point that contracts are ready to exchange.

Kerplunk – that’s the sound of another penny dropping in your mind.

All of a sudden the completion day doesn’t matter to you. You know that completion will be 2 weeks minimum after exchange. Negotiating a completion date matters not a jot, only the exchange date matters. You can now afford to let any and all date discussion go in one ear, and out the other. Not touching any nerves or emotions on the way through.

The EA’s can push, shout, nudge and influence all they want. You however know full well that when it comes down to it you’ll end up looking at a date / discussing potential dates at least one week before exchange therefore @3 weeks before the big day.

How chilled does that sound!

Why are they cocking this up?

So, you’re the first time buyer, oh so keen. You’ve saved up and want your first home and you have just had the offer accepted. The ‘sales negotiator’ has just answered your question with ‘six to eight weeks’. Your question was ‘So how long before I am in?’

The last data I saw this year was the same as last year. Data that matched what we’ve known for 15-20 years, The average offer to completion time-scale is 12-13 weeks.

Let me use the words to write that again – twelve to thirteen weeks.

Yet week in, week out, year on year we’re talking to thousands of people who are told ‘six to eight weeks’. Is it any wonder that people in a chain are, after 4 weeks asking for a moving date? And this is where the fun starts, dates get suggested, dates get missed, suggested, missed. And with every missed date so the frustation, angst and annoyance grows. The pressure in the pot increases.

This is the short version of how people end up having threats made ‘if they’re not out by this Thursday I’m pulling out.’

You can have one party who has been repeatedly misled by the agent who is ‘managing their expectations’ who ends up thoroughly fed up and believing it is the vendors ‘dragging their feet’ or ‘messing around’ or even worse they believe the vendors are ‘deliberately delaying’. See what happens is that the total absence of honest information allied to the repeated building up and disappointment creates a vacuum where there should be accurate information into which speculation accumulates.

The ‘contract chaser’ at the EA is unlikely to admit ‘6-8 weeks’ is rubbish after having ‘promised’ that early on. Definitely unlikely to admit that they were stringing you along each time, in their mind to stop you having the rage explosion that is now sure to come anyway. It is truly daft.

So into that vacuum the honest people moving insert their own speculation like ‘I’ll bet they’re holding out for a better offer’ or ‘I bet they’ve changed their mind’. They then say this to the agent who just says ‘Oh I’m sure that isn’t the case’ Which doesn’t help and doesn’t address the real reason the vacuum opened up in the first place.

I have seen this personally. I have actually met people with all these concerns. The astonishment on their face when I have said ‘actually, your vendors feel that way about you’ is always amusing. The astonishment quickly turns quizzical, then quizzical turns to curiosity and at this point I normally end up explaining what is written above.

I haven’t yet mentioned about the solicitors either and how their communication can further blight things.

Shall we have a quick look? Sounds like a plan

you :  estate agent said we should be able to complete in 3 weeks, is that possible?

Solicitor : that is technically possible. I cannot make guarantees but it could happen

you : ok, thanks, that has put my mind at rest

So, what happened there? Nothing, that’s what!

You might have asked

you : The estate agent said Coco the clown might clean my house top to bottom for me next week
Solicitor : that is technically possible. I cannot make guarantees but it could happen
you : ok, thanks, that has put my mind at rest

I could get sillier if it helps?

You could however have said this

you : The estate agent said we could complete in three weeks. Could you please inform me what at our end is outstanding preventing us from exchanging in that time-frame and if you’re aware of how well progressed the other parties are? What chances would you give of us being able to exchange within the next 7-10 days?

That does however mean you’d end up going back to the EA and saying this

STOP SPECULATING. We’re not even in a position to think about exchanging yet!

The actual accurate, blow by blow on this I will one day write citing how each party further wrecks things with speculation and a less than empathetic approach along the way. For now though this is enough to highlight why following the table of influence advice and concentrating on the exchange date is the right, chilled out way to approach this.

Do you know some Estate Agents on the memorandum of sale are actually daft enough to put an ‘anticipated completion date’. Now think about that for a moment. At this point all you have had is somebody you know nothing about make an offer, and you said yes.

You or they could have a major operation planned, or a round the world cruise. You might have a buyer who is a complete fantasist, a total Walter Mitty. Nobody knows anything about the transaction or each other. Nobody knows how busy the solicitors are, or at that point even how long local searches are taking, or how efficient/inefficient everybody involved is . And yet somebody, from somewhere just pulled an ‘anticipated completion date’ out of thin air (or out of somewhere else I can’t mention). They don’t even know the chain length at this point.

Why? I can tell you why

‘managing their expectations’

Truly mental. Can you imagine how that sets people up for disappointment?

You can imagine the innocent couple, just had an offer accepted and the piece of paper confirming it TELLS them when they are moving in. Yep, it’s on a letterhead from the professionals. They now KNOW when they’re moving.

‘But we only put ‘anticipated’ so the coy looking agents cry.’

‘You know full f%^king well what you’re doing.’ says I.

STOP IT.

This couple; It isn’t their fault that they get angry when this date floats by in a sea of mumbling and vague reassurances. Let alone the second or third time.

Remember from earlier, WHITE NOISE

You will also note hopefully the critical importance of language.

The sea of white noise is made up of the same requests, hopes, desires, P’s & Q’s. And, dare I say it complete, total and utter bulls%&t.

What I am suggesting for you is that you dispense not with the politeness, nor the courtesy but with the chinks of light through which a ‘Sales Negotiator’ or Solicitor can drive a huge 40Tonne truck. That you shut your ears to the pointless noise. Concentrate on you, and the moments within the process you can trust. In your communication early on;

‘If possible’ becomes ‘I must insist’

‘Do you think we can’ becomes ‘ I am instructing that we’

We need to make it such that your demands are the demands in first, that everyone else in the chain will need to work to. You set the tone, the pace. You create a structure. Yes, I know you’re paying out a lot of money and this stuff should be all done for you, but, :insert big sigh here: if that was the case there wouldn’t be the thousands of stories and it wouldn’t be accepted wisdom that moving is stressful. Plus, as we have now seen, a well planned move is a move without the stress. Well planned is notice period, time-frame and a lack of last minute shenanigans.

‘But isn’t that selfish?’ I hear you cry.

No. Setting aside the fact that if nobody says anything nothing will get done until one person from the EA or Solicitors will make a phonecall…..

You’re going to like this

The chain is almost at the point whereby dates can be discussed. In theory the homeowners should be asked when they’d like to move;

Hi, Mrs Smith? It it’s Jess from the EA’s office here. We’ve been informed that your chain is close to being able to exchange contracts. It is now time to discuss moving dates. Thinking 3-5 weeks hence are there any dates you cannot do, or that you would specifically like?

That is what should happen. However, this is what does happen;

Hi, Mrs Smith? It it’s Jess from the EA’s office here. We’ve been informed that your chain is close to being able to exchange contracts. It has been muted that Friday 27th is a good day. I am presuming you are ok with that?

Lovely language. Mrs Smith hardly wants to say no. Who came up with that date? Nobody but the EA. Why? Well it is more efficient, faster and hugely easier just to sway the chain. The next phonecall ‘Jess’ makes is to the buyer of Mrs Smiths’ property

Hi, Mrs Jones? It’s Jess from the EA here. Great News Mrs Jones, we’re all set for completion on the 27th. Mrs Smith has confirmed she’s all ready and raring to go for that date and we’re not expecting any problems anywhere else in the chain. I presume you’re happy too with the 27th?

OOH, She’s a clever one, but she has another call to make yet. Right now Mrs Smith thinks the 27th had already been decided. Mrs Jones does too.

Jess now calls the EA acting for the home Mrs Smith is buying.

Hi, how are you. You know the chain with the Smith and Jones (see what I did there?) well they’re both ready to exchange assuming your client can meet the 27th. They’ve both decided that is the date they want……

Three phonecalls instead of 3 hours work back and forth negotiating………. Garnished with a wafer thin threat that if that client doesn’t meet the 27th there may be problems…..

Somebody has to start the process, but it absolutely should be somebody who is actually moving, rather than on a commission from the sale! If you think of a chain of three you will have somebody at the bottom likely out of rented or a first timer, then the middle party and then top of chain.

Top and bottom have one thing in common, a lack of date pressure in comparison to number 2. Think about it. Top of chain = deceased or into store or maybe into care etc. There can be no pressure from above them. Similarly the bottom party, if say out of parent or rental = no absolute necessity to physically move on completion day. Their respective psychological, financial and physical positions are completely different to the middle party.

The second party in the chain of three has to move on completion day. They have no overlap. No wiggle room.

Would it be unfair for them to call the shots? More to the point, are they in a position far more influential than the others?

Yes, they are. Think about that table of influence.

They can directly communicate both up, and down the entire chain. They can send a request, or a demand both ways at the same time. Bottom cannot communicate with top, and vice versa. The middle party is in a hugely more influential position.

It’s just the way it is. And it also just so happens that they most certainly have the moral high ground given all factors.

There can be 2, 4, 6 or 8 or any number in a chain. Everybody is NOT in the same position,

Think about not only where you are, but where others are too.

Shall we move on to completion day?

It’s the banks fault

Yep, this one gets said a lot.

Money transfers can take a while to go through

This too.

It’s just the way it is

And this.

There’s a theme here. When a customer gets the keys to the new house very late. After they’ve been sat in their car, in the summer heat for 4 hours wondering WTF is happening.

This is the stuff they hear when they ask the EA or the Solicitor.

Well, to be fair, it was happy hour and all you can eat for a tenner at the chinese resturant, and then, when we got to the office I’d missed so much on facebook that another half hour went real quick, then me mate popped in for a cuppa and before yer know it most of the afternoon had gone…..

This one, not so much.

Ok. Sorry, I am being unfair (but only slightly) with that one. However….

I’m sorry, yes I know your buyers funds were in at 10:00 but I was on the phone, then in a meeting, then forgot and went to lunch. I did however send the funds on the very second I got back, at half two. I would have chased them on too but I got distracted by a different client. Sorry you were sat in the car for 3 hours when you could have been moving in.

Strangely, we don’t find that one so popular.

So, how are we going to avoid this for you?

I will write here the letter/email I would write to my solicitor. I’ll pretend I am position two in the chain as that is where I placed you for the table of influence.

Dear Sir / Madam
I am turning my thoughts to completion day. May I ask you some questions and seek some reassurance.
I am presuming the time in our contract for completion is 13:00. Please advise if this wasn’t your intention, and if not what time will be in there, and why? Now, I am fully aware of course that I am legally obligated to provide vacant possession to my buyers at this time. I will achieve this. I intend for us to be in a position to collect the keys very shortly after the time in the contract. Which does of course mean I am seeking reassurance that your service will meet the contractual obligations you yourself have written.
Thinking of my new home, and of the process moving in however please could you confirm for me what you will do first thing on the day to chase my buyers solicitor into sending funds with zero delay? Whilst on that topic could you confirm for me that my buyers solicitor is drawing down their mortgage funds the day before so as to not cause any wholly unessessary delays waiting for funds to come in.
Could you confirm how long it will take for you to find out my funds have landed in your client account, and how you will do so? Then, how long it will take for you to forward those funds on. Moreover will you confirm that you will be chasing the vendors solicitor to acknowledge reciept and how long you expect this to take?
Please could you confirm for me that you will call me to confirm each step as it happens, i.e my funds coming in, and you then forwarding them on.
Will you guarantee that the funds will be through in time for the time in the contract to be honoured correctly?
Will you ensure that the Estate Agent acting for my vendor are called promptly by the vendors solicitor to confirm we can have key release on time?
Lastly, and not wishing to be pessimistic but could you confirm you are fully familiar with the process of serving notice to complete on my vendors should they not be out and able to provide me with vacant possession for the (presumed at this stage) contract time of 13:00?
Your Sincerely
Happy Home Mover.

Succinct. Does the job. Ensures your solicitor knows you are relatively well informed with regards what has to happen but also makes it clear you have zero intention of being messed around.

As I have mentioned, there is nothing offensive in there, nothing to cause offence. You’re merely confirming that the job you are already paying a fee for will be executed promptly, efficiently and to your best interests.

I did give consideration to contacting the Bank of England with a view to publishing data for CHAPS transfer times. This being to show that the CHAPS system is being unfairly blamed where the real cause is now, and has been for dacades – human inefficiency.

To be completely honest – I know what the data would show, and it would depress me greatly! Plus, I’ll leave that powder dry for after I have had a sufficient number of complaints from ‘professionals’ regarding this advice centre!

There is a blog post on this site that has info on what is happening behind the scenes on the day with funds transfer. Click here to open in a separate window.

It might be worth sliding into this letter the question confirming what time your solicitor starts work on the day in question. While you’re there just ensure they actually work a 5 day week too, you’d be surprised how many don’t.

Plus, couldn’t hurt to confirm if he/she has any holidays planned at that time……. It wouldn’t be the first time a client had the sudden surprise……..

Cognitive Dissonance

Ever Heard of this?

This is what the legal profession, certainly where conveyancing is concerned experiences, day in, day out – purely in my opinion of course.

Source = Wiki – In the field of psychology, cognitive dissonance is the mental discomfort (psychological stress) experienced by a person who simultaneously holds two or more contradictory beliefs, ideas, or values. The occurrence of cognitive dissonance is consequence of a person’s performing an action that contradicts personal beliefs, ideals, and values; and also occurs when confronted with new information that contradicts said beliefs, ideals, and values.[1][2]

In A Theory of Cognitive Dissonance (1957), Leon Festinger proposed that human beings strive for internal psychological consistency in order to mentally function in the real world. That a person who experiences internal inconsistency tends to become psychologically uncomfortable, and so is motivated to reduce the cognitive dissonance: either by changing parts of the cognition, to justify the stressful behavior; or by adding new parts to the cognition that causes the psychological dissonance; and by actively avoiding social situations and contradictory information that are likely to increase the magnitude of the cognitive dissonance.[1]

For example, in the situation whereby one cannot be openly critical of one’s own failures or lack of ability an individual might seek to externalise (head in sand) in order to deflect from a rather hard truth.

Which brings me right back to where this page started

It’s the banks fault

Money Transfers can take a while to go through

It’s just the way it is

Yeah?

Not for you, not now.

This year we’ve seen a firm take 3 hours to acknowledge funds being received. In my career I’ve seen a Solicitor go for lunch, then shopping, and forget about a completion. I have seen the solicitor acting for the first party in a chain of five not transfer funds until 14:30 (destroyed the day for numbers 4 and 5). I have seen one particular idiot say ‘I don’t check for clients funds until after lunch, it’s just how I do it’ < They might have been in funds since 10am!

The stuff these pages are having a pop at are behaviours, habits, and accepted practices that are unfair. Not all solicitors are bad and not all EA’s are either.

The process however is not only flawed, it is easily cheapened, manipulated, or bent by people with their own motives and agendas.

They only get away with it because their clients know no better.

Hence why I write this.

Matt

matt@mgtr.co.uk  

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