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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Conveyancers back government reforms of buying and selling processes

The conveyancing industry regulator has thrown its weight behind the government’s proposals to improve the buying and selling process. 

Stephen Ward, director of strategy at the Council for Licensed Conveyancers, says the body is determined to support the measures. 

We support moves to ensure that customers are made aware of any potential referral fee by an estate agent before they make a decision on who to instruct, and that the should be encouraged to make greater use of review sites“ says Ward. 

He believes review sites are used, rated and increasingly trusted by consumers to guide their buying decisions and it is this route, rather than kite marks or additional quality standards beyond existing regulatory requirements, that the CLC says will best support consumers in shopping around and lead to informed consumer choice.

“We recognise that there is significant overlap between the government’s announcements and the ongoing work in response to the Competition and Markets Authority recommendations. We are already working with other regulators to ensure greater transparency and the provision of better information for consumers to guide their choice of a conveyancer” Ward adds.

“Similarly, we have been working with a range of providers as well as our regulated community for some time now to see how conveyancers can make use of digital platforms and other emerging technologies to drive innovation. We believe this is an essential part of improving the home buying process and one we will continue to support.”

But he adds that it is up to the government to take a lead to ensure that all parties to the proposals make progress together.

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    The Government is rightly focussing on the ‘quality' of the actual conveyancer allowed to touch the public's home moving file. Just as they seem to be looking to do with Estate Agents.

    At the moment a law business can overnight badge, say their office cleaner as a conveyancer and off that person goes. Frightening misapplication of skills.

    The quality of the conveyancer is the biggest reason for why home moving is so sluggish, and downright painful. I feel so bad for anyone seeking a conveyancing quote, as they are on such a knife edge of picking badly. Too many conveyancing organisations use poorly skilled trained staff to process drive a persons home move, treating it as a good, rather than the ‘service; it actually is. Those organisations then pay huge referral fee to entice work, and that corrupts too many estate agents to see £ signs rather than care about the quality of the conveyancer, and the cycle continues. It is why some estate agents, too often high street chains, are shunned in their own Town as law firms won't tarnish themselves or their client's business with their low quality. And sadly it is also why the same conveyancing organisations come up when you ask a conveyancer their top 10 list of who they dread facing on a home move transaction.

    I estimate 60 of my time on a sale or purchase is spend chasing the other conveyancer. All that time the deal could already have exchanged. And I just blank out how many times buying conveyancers do not spot obvious issues.

    But instead of addressing the quality of the human conveyancer, we have references to 'IT this and that' as some kind of answer - a complete red herring/distraction, as give a mediocre conveyancer all bells IT, and you still have a mediocre conveyancer, now with all bells IT - when the reality is, put two well trained (in law, conveyancing practice and procedure) conveyancers opposite each other, or line up the chain with them ….and it flies. No robotic letters, pro forma enquiries, no indemnity policy requests for things with no risk of enforcement etc, solutions with enquiries, not just enquiries, no silence for weeks then ‘here are your answers can we now complete’ outfits. Agents receive great feedback as a result of deals with good conveyancers involved, and buyer/seller (or both sometimes) send them gratitude (and therefore repeat business), lawyers do too, and lawyers and agents refer work to each other as it is a winning team….


    (Referral fees are such a travesty to the public, they need to go - but make sure any ban covers ways to circumvent them too - there are so many ways.)

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