A conveyancing expert is calling for sellers to complete and return their property information questionnaire to their conveyancer before there have even been viewings of the home they wish to sell.
Harpal Singh, managing director of Broker Conveyancing, writes on the Mortgage Strategy website that it takes a seller an average of 10 days or more to complete and return their property information questionnaire to their conveyancer. This could extend to two weeks if you include postage and processing time.
“They [conveyancers] cannot even issue a contract to the buyer’s conveyancer until that is returned. ... What if every seller was made to complete this documentation prior to any viewings?” he asks.
Singh describes the move as a “no-brainer” and says it is preferable to the possible return of Home Information Packs, mooted recently by leading Conservative Michael Gove during discussion on a Tory manifesto pledge to reform and speed up the house buying process.
The Conservatives have since back-tracked on Gove’s comments and Singh urges any further temptation to resuscitate HIPs should be resisted.
“That is not to say some of the fundamentals that underpinned HIPs were not correct or worth pursuing” he says, adding: “[but] HIPs contained searches that had to be paid for, that might not have been acceptable to some conveyancers or lenders, and that could be out of date by the time a sale was agreed. What is more, if I was buying a car from you, I want my mechanic, not yours, to report on it. The same is true of valuations and surveys.”
Singh says the Conveyancing Association’s recent call to simplify and speed up the process is the right approach but that some quick wins were possible in the meantime - with a pre-viewing completion of the property information questionnaire being the most obvious, he believes.