The founder of a new online sales assistance service says agents are often unfairly blamed by the public for failings in "a fragmented, antiquated and fundamentally broken conveyancing system."
Tom Holmes - a former staff member at HouseSimple - now works on PropTech conveyancing startup Keyzee.
In an article on the changing agency landscape, which he has shared with Estate Agent Today, he says online agents backed by large marketing budgets and supportive reviews have attempted to disrupt the traditional business models surrounding sales and lettings.
But he insists the moving process will remain unfriendly for consumers without conveyancing changing too.
Holmes says that good agents routinely intervene to help push the legal aspects of a deal along but "in reality they are at the mercy of the conveyancers acting for either side — yet will still have to bear the brunt of the discontent from their clients for the frustration they have to endure in achieving their goal of actually moving house."
He adds that there is much in the current conveyancing process that adds little value to anybody and "which could be dealt with much more simply (and quickly) or in some cases just left out completely."
Homes says: "In addition to the fact that the majority of conveyancing transactions are dealt with according to a standard format — the Law Society Standard Conditions of Sale — the arguments for fundamentally reimagining and automating this process are overwhelming"
The United States has tackled 'disruption' of the sales process more effectively, he suggests, because realtors must not only market a property but also act for their clients in the legal transfer of a title once a sale has been agreed.
He says that companies like his, creating a system of automated conveyancing and providing it to estate agents, the agents then have additional influence over transactions without the costs of becoming conveyancers or partnering with existing conveyancers.
"The benefits to both agent and client are significant — not least in the experience of having a single point of contact for the client and an agent who owns each of their clients for the entire home moving journey" he claims.
You can read Holmes' article in full here.