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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Sellers must be “on it” and collate info upfront to help a smooth sale

A leading conveyancing industry chief says the one factor that would help improve the slow house buying process today would be the provision of upfront information.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4 Beth Rudolf, director of delivery at the Conveyacing Association, told listeners: “Unless the seller has been really 'on it' and got everything ready upfront when they decided to sell the property the conveyancers are in that awful position where they’ve got to wait for up to 10 different organisations to provide them with the information they need.”

She continued: “If we can get sellers … to collate their information together, they get their searches done themselves, if they’re selling a flat … then they get the leasehold information in, that means when a buyer is found they’ve got everything that the buyer needs, that their valuer needs, that their lender needs to be able to review the information.”

The programme spoke with a buyer who had an offer accepted on a London flat in September last year; he is renting so is not in a chain himself, but now in early April he still has no idea of an exchange or completion date. His mortgage offer ran out earlier this week but his bank has granted him a 15-day grace period.

You can hear the programme here - the segment on house sales begins around 30 minutes in to the programme.

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    Doing just this, i was able to exchange the sale of my house in 2 weeks and 2 days. When we agreed the sale the buyer had not appointed a conveyancer. It can be done. I completed the property forms and even purchased the searches. Put them in a PIP Vault so potential buyers could see them before they viewed or offered. I did not get a survey done up front but this was completed in the second week. IT CAN BE DONE, I believe the drive has to come from the estate agent and seller.

  • Justin Moy

    Gazeal - simply put! Works for us

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    Of course good agents once they get the listing coach the vendor.....right?

  • Daniel Hamilton-Charlton

    It's the only way forward to seriously inject some speed in to transactions and the reason why my business was developed last year and has seen a massive influx of vendors coming to us directly as they are wanting to speed up their sales. Most have expressed amazement that their estate agents have not been offering them the same levels of support. Things have to change as the market is screaming out for better support. Well done Beth, keep banging the drum.

  • Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR    Proptech Real Estate Influencer

    Analogue to digital, the legal profession just needs to repeat that mantra twice a day, and then implement it and in three years conveyancing will be a five day matter - from sstc to exchange. Alternatively, continue with paper, files and second class stamps, and antiquated legacy systems and see how many new clients you have in the year 2025 beating a path to your door ...

    Daniel Hamilton-Charlton

    Even a firm that is entirely paperless can have clients take weeks to provide them with all the required answers to questions to enable them to make progress. Agents continue to miss the point here, or refuse the believe that they can help matters.
    This is not about conveyancing practices, it is about using marketing time appropriately to gather all the data to provide to the conveyancer on the day the sale is agreed.
    We work with a number of paperless firms and we have, on many occasions sent the final report back for the search pack before they have even received a contract pack from the vendors solicitors; that is likely down to lack of information from the vendor, not lack of skill or technology.
    If you are an influencer, please take on board what really happens at a conveyancers and share that with your contacts. We would love to help you as we are passionate to improve the status quo and need as much help as possible.

     
    Matthew Gardiner Legge

    "oh, a progress report, let me go and get the file....." or "I'm still waiting for a reply to a letter I wrote a week ago" or "we're ready to exchange contracts, could you send a copy of the EPC?" ugh...

     
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    Auctioneers have been doing this for generations, hence exchange and completion within 6 - 8 weeks from initial instructions. What is effectively being promoted here is a voluntary home information pack.

  • David Bennett

    Dare I say (an improved) HIPs. Just don't charge twice!

    Daniel Hamilton-Charlton

    I think the word HIP gives the industry an excuse NOT to ask Vendors to get better prepared for their sale. Let's not use that... ever :-)
    I believe that completing protocol forms, collating all information up front (FENSA, Boiler Servicing, Gas / Elec Safety checks, energy bills, leasehold information, getting searches underway (when marketing at the right price) and EPC sorted will be enough of a game changer.

     
    Matthew Gardiner Legge

    HIPs were years ahead of their time. I found them extremely useful for things like lease info and was sorry when they were abandoned. Had they remained I believe the system would have been streamlined year on year and by now we would have had something approaching an efficient conveyancing system.

     
  • DAVID JABBARI - SOLICITOR AND CEO OF MUVE

    To be honest this whole debate sounds to me like how to build an electric car whilst retaining the internal combustion engine. We need the Land Registry or other gov.uk body to create a proper digital passport for each title number, linked to digitisation of local authority search data, so that 80% of the data that matters about a property is available all the time. If the government went further and adopted the Australian system of a central conveyancing portal where all the parties have to lodge the documents, including lenders, even better. But trust me there is no prospect of any of this happening anytime soon in the UK and I very much suspect we will be having this same debate 10 years from now. Digital signatures were made possible by the Land Registration Act 2002 and when were they implemented by the Land Registry - last year!!

    Daniel Hamilton-Charlton

    But much of the current delay is the legal profession refusing to admit that change is an option and estate agents believing that there is nothing that they can do to help improve matters because if they do ask their preferred conveyancer whether they can help, they are told to leave things as they are. Estate Agents literally hold the key, but the legal profession must give its approval of them to get more involved with better preparing vendors for the conveyance.

     
  • DAVID JABBARI - SOLICITOR AND CEO OF MUVE

    Point is Daniel, it should not be manual. Why should there even be a 'search industry' at all: this information should be digital and available to me on my screen to download in less than 60 seconds. The madness of waiting any time at all for information that probably has a bearing on 1 in a million transactions. I always use the example of MOTs (gov.uk/check-mot-history) - you should be able to put in a property address and get similar information, together with other documents e.g. FENSA, planning permissions etc. Until that day, the process will be all about paying lawyers to run around after documents and some will be good at it, others won't.

    Daniel Hamilton-Charlton

    Because buyers should be able to attain environmental reports too. It's not just about the local authority search is it. Although the other day we had a buyer come to us because, and I quote, "my solicitor won't order me an environmental report, because they simply don't do them". I fully support that the LAS data be digitised for sure.
    What is delaying matters is clients not being equipped with all the answers needed to get files moving. Time when the property is being marketed is wasted as vendors are not being told what they need to collate and complete. This is part of what we are hoping to change.

     
  • Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR    Proptech Real Estate Influencer

    The digital native locusts will search out the digital native conveyancers, I do not think these locusts buy stamps or even own a biro, so can not comprehend using a company that does. Totally agree that the law society and whole fabric of the legal profession needs to have a good talk to itself and realise that it is not an 'island'. If the failures of the retailers, and the ascendency of e-platform businesses like Amazon have not drilled home the message that the consumer - consumes 24/7 365, and buying a property is an act of a consumer in need of UX - so being open 9 to 5 with an hour for lunch and not at weekends is a 1960's idyll not a 2025 reality.

    Daniel Hamilton-Charlton

    you still got your fingers in your ears and your eyes shut Andrew? . Time when the property is being marketed is wasted as vendors are not being told what they need to collate and complete because estate agents don't want to actively participate, or don't believe that they can. No point waiting for Nirvana to arrive, that is decades away, so why not make the best of what is available today? Did you even listen to the radio programme referenced in the article?

     
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