Stockholm Syndrome and Conveyancing

Now here’s a title written firmly tongue in cheek.

A quick, lite definition of stockholm syndrome is as follows

Stockholm syndrome has been defined as a condition in which hostages develop a psychological alliance with their captors during captivity. Emotional bonds may be formed between captor and captives, during intimate time together, but these are generally considered irrational in light of the danger or risk endured by the victims.

A couple of weeks ago one of our clients is heard saying the following, and this is pretty much spot-on what was said

‘Thank You so much, I can’t believe you’ve managed to get us in. You’ve pulled it off and we’re so grateful.’

This sentence was said at pretty much bang on 16:30 in the afternoon. It's thirty degrees, blazing sun. This client and our staff have been sat, for four hours in their respective vehicles. Miserable.

2 hours prior to this, muggins here has to place the first ‘checking in’ call to this client who repeats what she has been saying for a while. She said it to me when I met her for the initial quotation, she said it numerous times on the phone, and she said it to the crew when they were packing the day before. Indeed she’s been saying it all morning on moving day too. There were another three calls as the next 2 hours unfolded. This lady ended up taking all her frustration and worry out on me. Its cool, I’m paid to do this. But then I’m also paid to write stuff like this so the public know where the blame and stress truly lies < in both senses of that word.

My solicitor is a personal friend, there won’t be any problems
yeah, right

See, I don’t know about you but me, if I’m paying somebody to do a job I kinda expect them to do it. If they don’t I am likely to be narked.

I would suggest that given our client was obligated to provide vacant possession by 1pm then that’s what she should do. That is what she and us ensured, as did every other home in the chain.

I would suggest that given our client then expects to be moving into her new home that day, in reasonable fashion and in reasonable time, to be moved in during the course of the afternoon is reasonable.

I would suggest that if we moved her or any other client out and then went and played football for three hours only to return late afternoon and spend much of the evening moving her in, she, well, would be right royally peed off.

I would suggest that where we’re heading here in this blog post is solicitor incompetence. That however is a charge I often make. Moreover get repeatedly slated for online, by, you guessed it, conveyancers.

On this day we heard the usual tripe repeated by our client from calls to her solicitors office, that being ‘waiting for the banks’. So, here is where this post will get properly interesting. Pay attention.

I’m calling total bullshit on this. In public, right now.

These funds are sent by CHAPS. There is a post all about CHAPS here, with all the evidence set out to back up the contents of this blog post. CHAPS is real-time. Let’s let that sink in. Real-Time. Take minute and see if you are making the connection with the moving industry’s continuing state of being serious effing annoyed with the tripe clients get told by their conveyancers and the words ‘CHAPS’ + ‘REAL-TIME’.

Yeah, you got it – INSTANT. IMMEDIATE. THEN&THERE. As one account gets its balance amended so does the other. Yes there can sometimes be a delay, but even if we gave benefit of the doubt on this, the fact remains that the system opens at 6am means even if we gave each transaction 1hr to get sorted this would still see a chain comfortably completed as per the clients rightful expectations. If first transaction was 6am, and then the second was a 9am….a chain of five is done by 1pm.

To re-cap where we’re already at. This solicitor who is a ‘friend’ operates in an environment whereby the process of funds transfer can be started at 6am (!) – and that early transaction can be pre-programmed the day before – and on the day of moving our client and crew are sat doing nothing but slowly cooking in the summer heat for four hours in a closed environment, being miserable.

We should make mention here of those conveyancers at position 1 who are thoroughly negligently not drawing down mortgage funds until day of completion. Even though they absolutely know this could destroy the day for many by inserting a ridiculous delay.

I’m suggesting that a ‘friend’ with access to such a rapid funds transfer system isn’t much of a ‘friend’ if they leave our client with c)4.5 hours worth of moving in @6tonnes of furniture sat roasting needlessly in a car for four hours on moving day when they could have been safely ensconced in their new home by 5pm.

‘waiting for the banks’

No. the muppets involved are waiting for their client accounts to be checked and then for the individuals involved to craft an email. This being possibly after only checking the account once per hour.

And what then? Person ‘A’ in accounts emails the solicitors secretary, who eventually picks that up and emails the solicitor. Then the solicitor gets round to sending the funds on. Once done, do you think they ‘chase’ the money, actively by phone, in eager fashion? Its only eager if you count sending an email to the opposite solicitor. And what then?

The same process in reverse, all the way down to an accounts person, and back up.

While you are sat in a roasting car wondering what the feck is going on, and being told……

its the banks we’re waiting for
(if you’re not feeling angry by now you should be)

….its all a lie. A. BIG. FAT. LIE

You’d think measures would be being taken to sort this, but none are even with the existence of the HSBG group (which the author sits on) supposedly set-up to reform the process to remove the stress of moving home. It’s actually a sick joke. The Bank of England provides a real-time settlement service for your house funds. Its the utterly horrific lazy service from your solicitors that delays the acknowledgement of payments and actioning thereof. Therefore leaving thousands of people every month waiting needlessly, often for hours and having what should be a fantastic and exciting day ruined.

I go back to the quote from earlier

‘Thank You so much, I can’t believe you’ve managed to get us in. You’ve pulled it off and we’re so grateful.’

It was our man Andy who heard this as he walked through the door just as our client had received keys from the previous owner. Andy who had been sat in the vehicle for four hours. Andy who now can only start moving the client in at 4:30pm, and likely wont be home until 9pm. Andy who has a heavily pregnant wife and two young children and a right to a life. How do you think he felt?

This isn’t ignoring the other crew members. My heart went out to them too.

I wonder what the absolute muppets that are the solicitors in this chain were doing at 9pm on Friday 26th June? I’ll bet it wasn’t finishing up a thirteen hour day through no fault of your own and through no fault of the tools available to the people who destroyed the day. Moreover bearing the brunt of a client for whom the experience changes @90minutes into moving in once the euphoria wears off and the exhaustion sets in. Something fairly common and that removalist operatives will know to be true all around the world.

Our client upon being handed the keys at 4:30pm? Well, the euphoria and relief that undoubtedly (after four hours cooking in her car and being monstrously stressed with visions of having no home, clothes or somewhere to sleep over the weekend) ensured a nice release of happy drugs from within her grey matter. Upon such euphoria, displaying understandable elation, and the human desire to avoid conflict, she thanks her solicitor profusely, in such grateful tones as would befit a hostage being released from captivity.

You couldn’t make this shit up.

I refer you back to the thread title.

my solicitor is a personal friend
possibly so, but like the majority performing his or her daily duties in a manner that lacks empathy, concern or basic competence.



‘Thousands of people every month’. That’s what I wrote. Let me do some quick, not fully scientific but fairly close mathematics for you.

Average chain length in England and Wales is 4.

If we assume that position 4 only are at risk of late key release (it could be all of them and certainly I should really have included position 3) for these calcs

There are, on average @100,000 completions per month

If we say that only 7/10 are physical moves this would be 70,000.

Then we only concentrate on position 4 so 17500.

Now lets be really generaous and suggest only 1 in 5 suffers. Thats 3500 families, per month! 42000 people every year, forty two thousand families on this maths who have moving day wrecked.

Don’t forget I’ve been VERY generous to the conveyancers with this maths

10 / 10


10 / 10


10 / 10


10 / 10




CHAPS and the evidence

How many removal men does it take to change a lightbulb?

Gazumping Gazundering and Exchange of Contracts

What to do on the day to get keys quicker

free moving guide!

Looking for advice on packing? Look no further...
You could also visit the blog pages for some serious insight into the process

The packing guide a little out of date now (being re-written), but the core message is still there. It was originally written twenty years ago.

Lots of handy hints on successfully packing and preparing for your move which, while it may take 25 minutes to read, could save you hours in packing and remove a little of the stress and tension!

Fill Out to Download:

Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
0800 783 2323