One of the biggest delays in exchanging contracts is caused by lawyers being involved in negotiating terms that could have been agreed between the parties before instructing the lawyers.
When lawyers are instructed, one will have to prepare an initial draft of the contact. If the terms are unclear, they will generally prepare it in favour of their client. Then, when the draft is put before the other party, they may realise that it is not what they intended.
A small point in the terms can often develop into lengthy detailed drafting if it has not been discussed between the parties previously. This can apply to several clauses, not just one, resulting in several drafts going back and forth, adding weeks to the process, and much frustration.
A clear set of terms, marked subject to contract, can be agreed at the outset with the help of experienced agents or surveyors. Any points that then arise can be discussed with the lawyer, probably in just a couple of conversations, saving hours of negotiation later.
What if we’re working on a fixed fee?
Working with the lawyers as a team can help ensure a smooth process, resulting in them providing a cost-effective service.
Where lawyers are able to work with clear terms that have been agreed at the outset, they will be able to price their work to match their fixed fee scale. However, if they are regularly having to negotiate deals that are unclear, then they will have to adjust their fixed fees accordingly.