Agents are being urged to push through their pipelines before the upcoming stamp duty deadlines.
The plea comes from Simply Conveyancing, which says that in addition to meeting customers' wishes, agents can earn thousands of pounds in additional revenue before the full stamp duty holiday ends on June 30.
"Progressing pipelines should be agents' absolute focus at the moment as there is so much additional income available. Taking advantage of higher transaction levels now could help agents to underpin their finances for the remainder of the year and beyond" says Vicky Quinn-Campbell, sales and marketing director at Simply Conveyancing.
"Although lockdown restrictions are gradually easing, the landscape is still fragile so agents must have the right processes and options in place to give transactions the best possible chance of completing" she adds.
A Simultaneous Exchange and Completion - SIM - is when all parties in the chain agree a date for the exchange and completion to happen at the same time, although it is recommended that there is at least one or two weeks between both.
If SIMs are well-planned with all conveyancers in the chain, they can provide more certainty but also mean plans can be changed easily as there is no contract in place.
"Although a SIM means home movers don't have the benefit of an exchanged contract before the moving date, if for any reason any party in the chain cannot move on the planned date, they are not liable for costs or risking their deposit as no contract has been exchanged" Quinn-Campbell explains.
"There are risks as the lack of contract means parties could pull out at any time, putting pre-paid costs such as removals at risk. However, if a SIM is the right option for the chain, it can allow the transaction to complete more smoothly."
She adds that an Exchange on Notice means the completion is agreed with a notice period instead of a fixed date. This provides movers in a chain with the option to wait until all parties are able to complete by providing an agreed notice period such as seven days.
This approach allows conveyancers to insert a long stop date in which no costs are incurred if it is not met - for example, 'seven days notice, but no longer than June 30 2021'.
"An Exchange on Notice allows agents and conveyancers to set out clear timelines that everyone agrees with, while leaving flexibility to reissue contracts and change dates should circumstances change. This type of agreement is most useful for the longest chains” Quinn-Campbell adds.
Alongside the legal and practical steps agents need to have in place, she says working with the best conveyancers and prioritising communication can help to progress pipelines.
"It's important to keep clients calm while educating them about their options. Positivity is vital, although agents must manage client expectations - especially when it comes to timelines" says Quinn-Campbell.
She adds that it's beneficial for agents to work with Covid-secure conveyancers who have the innovative technology in place to help transactions progress more quickly.
"Solicitors that can act on both sides of the transaction can help deals to complete even more smoothly and quickly, while agents who provide all the information on the chain can improve their chances of earning additional revenue ahead of the stamp duty deadline" she concludes.