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From David Jabbari, Solicitor, CEO of Muve There is always a tendency in conveyancing firms to get very defensive when this subject is broached, and blame everything but the legal process. This issue has been coming up across the property press recently and I think it is a great opportunity for the law firms to put their hands up and admit they could be doing a lot better. One report was suggesting that sellers who do not list this month are likely to miss the SDLT holiday period. It is truly shocking, and frankly unbelievable, that sellers would need to list this month to get in within the SDLT holiday deadline due to the conveyancing process. The issue is that conveyancers fail to re-examine their processes: they simply say I am working flat out but never stop to ask whether they are working efficiently, whether they are making mountains out of molehills throughout the process. I had a solicitor on the other side the other day who would not accept a completion payment by the Faster Payment method without an undertaking that we would not recall the money (and this was while the csutomers were in a van waiting for the keys!). We did a major review of our processes and created a MuveFast service targeting 28 day exchanges, and we are successful in this in over 90% of cases. The big issue I am seeing is mortgage approvals but this is definitely improving. There is no doubt that lots of law firms were too slow to unfurlough and have not invested in new capacity to keep up with demand. We were fortunate that we raised over £1m new investment during Covid and have ploughed this immediately into new capacity and a new estate agency account management team. Never was there a more important time to ensure that instructed lawyers are committed to faster transaction times and have the resources to deliver this. (david.jabbari@muve.me.uk).

From: DAVID JABBARI - CEO OF MUVE 22 September 2020 10:06 AM

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