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Agents tell conveyancers how they can improve performance

The estate agents’ trade body has set out three ways conveyancers can further help the sales process.

Propertymark has made the suggestions in a response to the Law Commission, stating three key improvements to conveyancing for agents and consumers.

In March the Law Commission opened a consultation on the latest Programme of Law Reform; that consultation closed in July.  


The objective was to identify areas of the substantive law of England and Wales that needed reform, and to help government and law industry decision makers prioritise those reforms.

Propertymark highlighted these elements:

- shifting to vendor disclosure and upfront information;

- digitisation of local land searches; and 

- implementation of digitised property logbooks to speed up transactions, helping agents and consumers, as well as reducing fall throughs and the wastage of time and costs.

In 2018, the government made clear its intention to make conveyancing England and Wales “quicker, cheaper and less stressful”. It currently takes an average of 20 weeks to buy or sell a property and over a third of sales fall through at a cost of £250m to consumers.

Timothy Douglas, Policy and Campaigns Manager for Propertymark, says: “There are significant resources in the industry being wasted unnecessarily which could be solved by Propertymark’s proposed changes. 

“We want to bring the process into the 21st century, reduce fall throughs, improve customer satisfaction, and avoid cases of mis-selling.  These changes could be made with relative ease and should be adopted consistently on an industry-wide level to ensure transparency and uniformity in the conveyancing process.”

In 2020, 31 per cent of failed transactions were due to purchasers changing their minds and a further 11 per cent of sales fell through due to survey findings - these are issues Propertymark argues could be countered in part by providing more information at the start of the buying process. 

  • Rob Hailstone

    Progress is being made then:

    HMLR are currently digitising local land searches

    We now have the existence of the The Residential Logbook Association (RLBA)

    I am creating a directory of law firms that will provide information up front

    Residential Logbook Association

    Thanks for the mention Rob. We are looking forward to working with you on market awareness and understanding of all the new products (eg Logbooks, Sellers Packs etc).

  • icon

    Quicker sales and reducing fall throughs is a clear focus.
    At the Residential Logbook Association (RLBA) we are just looking to run some trials with agents. Please could any agents keen to help this development message me, Tim Main @pip ltd on Linked-in.

  • Nigel Walley

    Great to see this statement from PropertyMark. Key points:
    - Digital Property Logbooks have already been implemented and are rolling out. Around 250k homes already have one.
    - Digital Property Logbooks are taking a lead in the roll out of digital 'Legal Packs' containing Upfront Data. These Legal Packs are a subset of the data contained in a Logbook.
    - The Residential Logbook Association (RLBA) is working with key industry stakeholders to standardize Logbook data, and the means by which it is transfered to Estate Agents and Conveyancers. Please see our website for info.

  • Daniel Hamilton-Charlton

    Our logbook is available to any agent wishing to gain market share so long as they are committed to delivering up front data to help speed up transactions, as that is why it has been created.
    We provide a unique QR Code to enable agents to get market engagement, your branding is in the logbook for life. The logbook has a fully digitised BASPI form (from which we can auto populate standard protocol forms), tracked market trends, personal reminders, document stores and even the ability to favourite another home anywhere in the UK to see if it ever decides to sell.
    Know who is thinking of selling before they even request a valuation.
    The future is already here. Get in touch with us at Property Searches Direct if you want to know more.


    Nice FREE advert!

    Residential Logbook Association

    Great to hear Daniel, although your product sounds like a Sellers Pack not a 'Logbook'?

  • Residential Logbook Association

    We are really pleased to see this intervention by the NAEA. We look forward to working with them on best practice for Estate Agents to utilise Property Logbooks and related products such as Sellers' Legal Packs.

  • Daniel Hamilton-Charlton

    Hi RLBA. A logbook is a digital environment where information pertinent to a sale can be collated. Call it what you will.
    We have identified all elements required to actually help speed up transactions and made them available in a digital environment.
    Data collected at the start or even prior to a conveyance starting IS up front data.

  • Andrew Stanton PROPTECH-PR A Consultancy for Proptech Founders

    Spend a few moments reading the news and then the comments section of The Law Society Gazette and you will get a pretty good feel of why adoption to new legal tech is a very slow burner, even despite the latest report by The Law Society of England - in July. Urging digital change.

    Despite the new Law Society president I. Stephanie Boyce, stating there will be a brave new world built on five pillars “These principles (pillars) include compliance, lawfulness, capability, transparency and accountability and they will likely increase consumer choice, create clarity and reduce time spent on procurement'. (Which will create)

    “A more stable and predictable environment will also be created for lawtech developers, as they will have a better understanding of the profession’s standards and match their products with these standards.

    “We hope this research will be the first step to digitally transforming the profession in a way which stays true to solicitors’ ethical obligations.”

    The sad reality is that most of the rank and file of the legal sector did not even blink, with only 11 of those in the legal sector even bothering to respond to a call for thoughts and views. If some estate agents are Dinosaurs who like the idea of being analogues (many are digital masters) then many in the legal sector are 'ameoba living in the sea', the next stage back, I am not being unkind - but single-celled animals adapted to extreme ocean depths is a pretty apt description of the bunker style mindest of many 'in charge' in the legal sector. Technology will not replace them, other law firms who embrace technology will.


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