Friday, May 12, 2006

Your Conveyancer Knits Socks In Hull

It's not difficult to appreciate how stressful moving house can be when you've been a property lawyer for 18 years. I've developed some pretty useful skills to try and minimise that stress for my clients, mainly based upon keeping them informed, not using jargon, returning their calls and not giving them unrealistic expectations ( this is often the trickiest to manage) and on the most part, I think they are reasonably happy with the experience.

Occasionally I get a call from a client, upset because a chain has collapsed, or their partner has been made redundant, or ( more likely) they've been misinformed by their estate agent but, after defaulting to my counselling training, they usually go away more relaxed, if still naturally disappointed that things haven't worked out as they'd hoped and within a short time, they're back on the phone to tell me about the new dream home they've found.

Today I had the pleasure of ringing a particularly anxious lady to tell her that everybody was now ready to exchange, albeit for a completion date 7 days after her preferred date. I expected her to huff and chuff a bit but then begrudgingly agree to the date, relieved in the knowledge that she had some certainty and no more fears that the buyers would back out.

I did not expect her to treat me to an almost perfect rendition of that scene in The Exorcist. I listened sympathetically as she spun her head and covered me in verbal projectile vomit. She finished by stating that, unless completion takes place next week, she and her husband would be DEAD! She elaborated on that point. It would be entirely the fault of my firm, and by implication me, and that we would be responsible for the costs of a double funeral.

I handled it as professionally as I could - I burst out laughing! Now I've heard some reasons for impossible deadlines before, but to date, Death by Conveyancing has not been amongst them.

I know some of you are frantically trying to sell your houses right now, and I promise you, I apologised for my inappropriate behaviour, blaming an involuntary hysterical reaction to her predicament. I think I may even have managed to whip up the rest of the tardy chain sufficiently to see this lady moving to her own time-scale after all but I won't know for sure until next week ( which means she's got another weekend of uncertainty ahead of her when she could have been confidently booking her removals for 2 weeks time).

I'm glad it's Friday. I shall be mainly looking for these
accompanied by him, him and her here


Blogger delcatto said...

Having been through house selling/buying hell on a few occasions,I don't envy your job.I'm sure your counselling skills are much called for.
Unless the mafia are after them or their house is above an old Red Indian burial ground which will regurgitate the dead to kill will it kill them?
Stress does strange things to people...

9:36 pm  
Anonymous Beki said...

The cause of death on the death certificate would make interesting reading...

fatal levels of conveyancing in the system leading to full humour and vital system death.

Her mother knits socks in Hull!

Have a wonderful twitching weekend!

9:36 pm  
Blogger tom909 said...

Cherry, don't get me started on bloody solicitors and conveyancing - I'll presume you really don't want practically everyone in the country to tell you all their horror stories.
Have a great weekend spotting - I watched a yellow wagtail flitting about by the River Bovey yesterday - It's catching this bird thing isn't it.

9:55 pm  
Blogger Cherrypie said...

Del - she was MOST insistent and, surprisingly, quite calm at the point that she said it -which is what made it stand out so much. I'm used to melodramatics but this person definitely won the Oscar for me.

2:01 am  
Blogger Cherrypie said...

Beki - I loved your comments so much I changed the Title. Thank you x

2:02 am  
Blogger Cherrypie said...

Tom - some nights it feels like I've had everyone's particularly unique problems told to me. What's a few more between friends? ( if that mad woman is looking in - yes! I know you are a particularly special case of unique - you and the other 249 whose calls I will also answer before I hang up my quill for the night)

I saw yellow wagtails for the first ( acknowledged) time the other week. It was great. If all goes well this weekend, I'll let you know when our next Blind Blogging Bird Bash is taking place and invite you along - we may even decide to venture south if we can be assured of Daddies Sauce on our bacon butties x

( You've done it again, Tom - you are the only person who illicits a veritable post's worth of comment from me)

2:11 am  
Blogger Cherrypie said...

Psst, Beki. I can actually knit too but don't tell anyone else 'cos that Sharon is in some sort of knitting cult and I wouldn't want to be their next virgin 3-pie sacrifice

2:15 am  
Blogger CeCe said...

Ha ha, that's AWESOME that you laughed at her! You're great!

6:24 am  
Blogger Seany said...

Good on you for laughing! I wish I'd considered that many years ago before I developed the art of growing another layer of thick skin, broadening my shoulders yet further and letting them get on with it.

Thanks for the Exorcist pic by the way - that should bring back some long-forgotten nightmares!

7:39 am  
Blogger Mark Gamon said...

I've moved housea few times. And I'm selling one as we speak. I've never had any complaints about the solicitors. I nearly ended up in court earlier this year courtesy an unscrupulous estate agent, but I think he was the exception that proves the rule: most of them seem fine.

Mortgage companies, on the other hand... Just don't get me started. No matter how much you like heated debate ;)

9:34 am  
Blogger Cherrypie said...

I'm pleased you are all being so understanding. I had thought you might all be appalled at my laughter but I should have known you'd appreciate the absurd.

Seany - I'm sorry the visuals aren't up to your usual quality

Mark - I am with you on the lenders.

11:19 am  
Blogger homo escapeons said...

Larf Out Loud!

You should have tricked her into coming down to the office and sprinkled coffee on her and chanted


then grabbed her by the throat and pleaded
"no no no TAKE ME instead" you leap through your office window aaaargh!

3:54 pm  
Blogger andrea said...

Verbal projectile vomit -- that is something I *have* to remember to use. You are a source of many happy turns-of-phrase, Ms. Pie. As for conveyancing horror stories, when our turn comes (later this year I'm hoping) will you laugh at me, too, then take a huge cut in your fee? :) Have fun blogger birding.

4:14 pm  
Blogger Cherrypie said...

Now why didn't I think of that, HE? Hmmmm.

Andrea - It's the closest I can get to painting with words x

8:21 pm  
Blogger tom909 said...

Come on Cherry Pie - what birds did you spot?

10:28 pm  
Blogger Cherrypie said...

You'll probably have to go to Digi-Birder or Birdman's Blog for an accurate report ( Birdman even had a notepad!), Tom.

I did get a tree-creeper though, makes a nice change from the more common stalkers I seem to attract x

10:38 pm  
Blogger Melora said...

What a hoot! Was it really your fault, or was she just looking to bite someone's head off? Maybe if I have to keep on property appraising for a few more years (God forbid!), I will be able to laugh at mortgage brokers when they give me outrageous estimates of property values!

12:15 am  
Blogger Joyce said...

great use of photos!

8:43 pm  
Blogger Kate said...

Thank you, this really made me laugh, which was helpful after a rather stressful couple of days.

You know Death by Conveyancing would make a good title for a PD James novel.

2:24 pm  
Blogger Cherrypie said...

Melora - some days it feels like the problems of the world are all my causing, but on this occasion, there was no-one to blame, just circumstances. Mortgag brokers are rarely innocent, though, in my experience

5:47 pm  
Blogger Cherrypie said...

Pleased to have been of some use to someone, Kate - I'll be over to yours later 'cos I could do with some relief too - it's been a trying day

Joyce - xxx

5:49 pm  
Blogger Ian T. said...

That pied flycatcher is very similar to some of the birds we call robins in Australia - particularly the scarlet, pink and flame robins - which are in the flycatcher family.

Dealing with people on a regular basis, you're always going to get a few of those...

11:05 am  

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