As if we did not have enough hurdles to cross in relation to closing your sale we now have to watch your purchase money does not disappear!
Picture the following situation:
Having made the decision to sell your property and dealt with all inquiries, visits to your house , and the auctioneer and the whole prospect of moving whether to somewhere local or downsizing to another part of the country you finally get to close the sale. You await the transfer of the monies into your account.
You would think that once the solicitor has charge of the funds that nothing can go wrong.
Here’s the up-to-date situation.
In recent years with the changes in the way funds are transferred by financial institutions Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) has become more common at the closing of sales for property.We now have to watch out for criminals posing as sellers trying to intercept funds which are transferred electronically. Fraudsters use computer malware which allows them to gain access to individuals computers as well as those of estate agents and in some cases law firms.
We are now been warned by The Law Society against buyers and sellers using cafe Wi-Fi systems to check emails when house purchases or sales are in process. It seems fraudsters can hack into vulnerable public Wi-Fi systems these days. What has happened is the seller’s solicitor receives an email which looks like it comes from the client which tells the solicitor to re direct funds to a new account. If the solicitor is not very vigilant and does not cross check this change of instructions funds can be stolen and may not be recovered .
You know the scene,everybody wants everything “done yesterday” Ideally if both sellers solicitor and buyers solicitor are in the same bank transfers can easily be done. If there are different banks involved it takes longer. No sale will now close unless cleared funds are in the Seller’s solicitors bank account. It is vital to ensure your money is in safe hands.
This problem is something we will hear more about.