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Faster transactions for buyers and sellers now priority for search group

With far-reaching reforms of conveyancing and other aspects of house buying high on the government’s agenda, a trade body has revealed that it’s to restructure to become more PropTech focussed. 

The Council of Property Search Organisations, CoPSO, says it’s embarked on “an all-encompassing strategic review” following the recent agreement by there Law Society of the Search Code - an industry kitemark for searches in the property industry.

“In a fast-changing world and following the Law Society recognition of the Search Code the timing is perfect for us to undertake a grass roots review of CoPSO’s role in an increasingly digital home buying marketplace” explains James Sherwood-Rogers, the organisation’s chairman.


“In many ways CoPSO and its members have been the pioneers in what is now progressively called PropTech and are uniquely placed to drive forward the PropTech agenda to increase efficiency, shrink transaction times and reduce costs in the home buying and selling process” he continues.

In recent days conveyancing has been put in a central position in the government’s agenda for house buying reform.

Some 80 per cent of searches are now completed within 10 working days according to housing minister Heather Wheeler, following government pressure on local authorities last year.

At the same time HM Land Registry is continuing with its Local Land Charges digitisation programme, which aims to get 26 councils on faster digital searches in the short term. Earlier this month the Isles of Scilly council became the fifth authority to switch from council Local Land Charges to digital searches handled by the Registry.

There are no dates set for other councils to come across during this phase of the digitisation programme, but they are likely to come on stream during 2019. They include Blackburn, Carlisle, East Lindsay, the London boroughs of Harrow and Lambeth, Milton Keynes, North West Leicestershire, Norwich, Peterborough, Sefton, St Helens, Stevenage, Thameside, Thanet, Walsall and Watford.

  • Matt Faizey

    Searches are a small issue in the grand scheme.
    Over on PIE earlier I wrote, and stand by;
    (And post here because I consider most of the 'problems' currently being put forward are deflecting from the true issues)

    Technology isn’t the issue.

    The issue is that broadly conveyancers are selfish b8st8rds.

    Not considering that their clients would like clear explanations

    Not considering their clients emotions, obligations and lives. Specifically where timescales and notice are concerned.

    Failing to empathise, acknowledge and then act to stop their clients not knowing how moving day should work and leaving their clients sat in cars/homeless for hours because they fail to ensure key release in a timely fashion.

    Being utterly hypocritical. Many with employment contracts mandating minimum notice periods for time off and who wouldn’t dream of giving their employers just a few days notice that need time off yet seem to think ensuring their client only has >5 days Inbetween exchange and completion totally cocking up notice periods and planning time is acceptable. Hence being the cause of the main point of stress.

    Failing to explain to clients that completion dates are worthless without exchange.

    Coming out will bullpoo to justify their pointless practices, such as drawing mortgage funds down on completion day, or refusing to exchange until mortgage funds are in.

    And many, many more selfish practices that are way way away from truly acting in their clients best interests.

    And going for lunch while their client is waiting to get into their new house.

    Oh, and the cheapie production line conveyancers now attempting to give themselves even more latitude to be slow, sh1te and selfish by requesting there be no completion time in the contract. Which is a recipe for utter chaos resulting in people needlessly being rendered homeless.

    Has there ever been a ‘profession’ so cheapened and manipulated by firms and people intellectually, and educationally deficient at any point in living memory?


    Only if that technology identifies selfish Muppets and electrocutes them

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    You have forgotten Friday afternoon golf.

    And 5.00pm closing.

    And lunchtime closing.

    And failing to provide a locum.

    And applying for searches at the start of a transaction, not the week before scheduled exchange.

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    Happy chappy Andrew

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    With any chain of transactions I tend to pay less attention to the things that can happen quickly but instead concentrate on what is likely to take longest. Often this is the leases in leasehold sales and estate management of the block.
    I think the only way to speed up this side property matters is to have some compulsory all-encompassing insurance that covers the silly stuff that comes up in these leasehold transactions. Problems that will in reality, never come to pass could be insured against from the beginning rather than argued about for weeks/months and then an insurance indemnity policy taken out. It could also apply to freehold I suppose.

    There are some great conveyancers out there by the way, but not enough. The good solicitors and conveyancers I deal with say that they find those they deal with getting worse and worse as they are so scared of being sued and are not blessed with common sense. My suggested insurance would stop them worrying so much.


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