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Lack of communication slowing down sale completion times - claim

Estate agents spend almost half their working day chasing or being chased for issues as a new report highlights concerns about communication within the housing sector.

The research among agents, conveyancers, lenders and surveyors by data company Landmark Information Group aimed to identify the top frustrations shared by all property professionals.

All groups said they spend more than 20% of their working days chasing or being chased – but this rose to 44% for estate agents.


Poor communication among stakeholders was as a top five frustration causing delays for estate agents and conveyancers in particular.

Slower transaction times were ranked as a top three frustration by 37% of agents, as the report revealed the average time from instruction to completion is now 19 weeks – 77% longer than in 2007. 

It comes as research by Landmark among 500 consumers found most aspire to wrap up their home moves within an 8-week timeframe.

More than half of agents said the biggest cause in delays was chain issues.

Ever-increasing regulatory and admin burden placed on property professionals also appeared as a top five frustration for all four groups.

The research found that 60% of estate agents said compliance, specifically complex anti-money laundering (AML) rules and regulation, were difficult to manage, while just under three-quarters said  they have a consistent risk management process across the business – down from 81% last year. 

When pressed further about the impact of regulation, 56% of agents said they found it challenging to keep up to date with the latest AML, fraud and cyber-security updates. 

Another 58% said they cannot afford to recruit staff with AML, fraud or cybersecurity skills – up from 53% in 2022

Simon Brown, chief executive of Landmark Information Group, said: “Our research has thrown into sharp focus the many shared challenges our sector is facing. It also reminds us that we’re all part of the same property ecosystem, and although our roles and areas of expertise are different, we share more areas of commonality than we perhaps thought. 

“We are all experiencing some of the same frustrations around difficult communications, increasing amounts of administration and a desire for better technology, which is why we wholeheartedly welcome the Government's latest commitment to improving the home moving process. With investment in tech and data the industry can establish a collaborative solution to provide the speed and certainty the property professionals and consumers are so desperately craving.”  

> Download the full report

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    General education seems a key issue here between the stakeholders. All should spend some time with the other stakeholders so they understand their business processes better.
    Then all parties should be looking for the easy wins. Asking the buyers to pay for the searches at the point of sale reduced completion times by 33% but also reduced fall throughs from 43% to zero. this is a step every estate agent could implement today and be ready for Monday morning.

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    The fundamental issue is that the fact that a property transaction is a legal transaction has been sidelined by those third parties who make a living off this process.
    If a seller was obliged by law to ensure a property they were selling was saleable at the point of marketing it then a lot if not all of the angst would evaporate.
    In fact, if the system was run as it should be, Exchange could take place on the day an offer is accepted.
    There’s no point in developing tech to make the current dysfunctional process work better because it is inherently dysfunctional.
    The first person the seller should visit is the Conveyancer. In that way sanity, certainty and speed returns to the system (so long as the process driven bulk conveyancers start employing people with legal expertise and the ability to apply legal thinking) and estate agents stop recommending people use a certain conveyancer because of a referral fee rather expertise.


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