Another piece about conveyancing? Seems like it's been a bit of free-for-all in the last couple of weeks on the woes of conveyancing - various solutions have been touted, including agents being told to collaborate more with conveyancers or else think about starting their own law firms.
Maybe it's time for a fresh approach to the problems - but this time from the customer's perspective rather than something to calm down the warring factions of agents and conveyancers.
Why should estate agents even care?
Ultimately, as an estate agent, you just want to see the sale completed successfully. So you can get on with other things like listing and selling more properties.
You have a duty of care to your seller, of course. But while you want to maintain good relations with the other parties to the transaction they are not ultimately your problem.
Or maybe they are? When the conveyancing process fails, it more often than not falls into the lap of the estate agent. Often, perhaps, because you are the most contactable rather than the right person to contact. (Who else is available at weekends and can be relied on to answer the phone every time?)
As I recently suggested, there is one way to resolve the issue of the conveyancing crisis - by conveyancers pricing realistically for the work they do on a transaction and looking to reduce their workload. There is also another route to free up the time of busy conveyancers so they can get on with the job they were trained to do, as opposed to non-legal admin work.
How about a Home Mover Advisor?
The Home Move Advisor is a new type of expert in the home moving process. It is being pioneered by us here at You Convey.
A Home Mover Advisor (or HMA for short) is essentially a home moving ‘fixer’. They take over complete responsibility for coordinating and progressing the conveyancing process. So other parties, such as the selling agent, don’t have to.
The overall benefits of using a HMA are that there should be fewer problems, fewer delays, the sale should complete more quickly, and that time and money is saved in the process.
Maybe worth looking at this in more detail?
How HMAs help to smooth the process
The Home Mover Advisor provides assistance to all parties at every stage and facilitates collaboration.
Experienced staff have the time to explain things to the buyer or the seller. The HMA does the hand holding. This has particular benefits when first-time buyers, or those who have not been in the market for some time, are involved. Leaving the regulated conveyancers to get on with their important job, it means that a Home Mover advisor can be proactive and head off problems before they actually happen - and keep everyone in the transaction up-to-date and informed.
HMAs and estate agents
For the estate agent, working with a HMA can deliver a number of very real and tangible benefits.
Each and every week literally hours of time can be freed up as someone else takes responsibility for progressing the sale and dealing with calls and queries.
You benefit from increased certainty and confidence that the transaction will complete in a timely period.
Customer service and satisfaction can be dramatically improved. The likelihood of strong customer recommendations, repeat business and positive ‘five star’ reviews is increased. The potential for problems and complaints is reduced.
You can potentially make more money in less time. You will have more time to spend on attracting new listings and negotiating more sales.
The HMA service does not actually cost the customer any more in conveyancing terms than it otherwise would. So there is nothing for you to sell.
Conveyancing more like it should be
No-one is claiming that the conveyancing process can be revolutionised overnight. One day, maybe, it will be possible to buy and sell a property at the click of a button. But it is likely to be some years away yet.
In the meantime, Home Mover Advisors are working to improve and transform the current conveyancing process. By taking ownership of the entire process, and smoothing and streamlining it wherever possible, they are making it as quick and straightforward as it can possibly be in the circumstances.
The result where a Home Mover Advisor is involved in a transaction is a better experience for all the parties involved, time and money saved, and a real competitive advantage for the estate agent.
*Eddie Goldsmith is the founder of YouConvey, which aims to offer collaborative conveyancing for 21st century customers. He is also a former chairman of the Conveyancing Associaton.