The importance of addressing Conveyancing earlier in the home moving journey
14 October 2020 20750 Views
We all know that people can’t move to a new house without going through the Conveyancing process. However, with that said, it is sometimes the afterthought in the home moving process for sellers, often being sorted once a buyer is in place.
We spoke to our Head of Estate Agency Services about the importance of addressing Conveyancing earlier on in the process and how it benefits the whole client journey.
1. Conveyancing is often the afterthought in an Agent/Client conversation and sometimes only instructed once a buyer has been found – what are your thoughts on this?
This seems to be the case. A couple of years ago I did some internal research and discovered that, within the sample analysed, over 60% of sellers did not appoint a conveyancer until they had found a buyer. This means that, based on external research conducted a few years ago, these sellers are adding at least three weeks to their progression time and are increasing the risk of their sale falling through.
I ‘say’ these sellers are responsible, however I would point the finger at Estate Agents. Property professionals should not just be talking about, during the initial marketing proposal, how much they think they can achieve and how they will find the most suitable buyer. This is only part of their job and they should also be educating the client about their best practices around how they can influence the journey from sale agreed to exchange and completion.
We partner with some agents that are very good at this and it actually gives them an additional USP to help win the instruction in the first place. Clients today are seeking more knowledge so that they can make an informed decision about who they are going to instruct. Sort Move is well positioned to assist with these proposals, with niche services like ‘Sale Only’ conveyancing and our Fast-Start seller on-boarding which is currently in beta testing phase.
2. What is the benefit of addressing Conveyancing earlier on in the conversation and the home moving journey?
The advantage of the conversation itself, as covered in the previous point, is to educate the seller about the end-to-end moving process, not just about the buyer find. The benefit to the client journey and the home moving process is speed and assurance:
Speed – by completing certain tasks before the buyer is found, contracts of sale can be issued once an offer has been agreed and all checks are complete (quite often on the same day). These include the completion of protocol forms (TA6/7/10), a title check, ID and AML checks and the gathering of supporting documentation (such as EPC, certificates and guarantees).
Assurance – once the client has completed the above, potential obstacles can be uncovered and dealt with. For example, an additional name on a title that hasn’t been brought to the attention of the agent (which leads to revision of the EA agreement and additional ID); an unregistered property; disclosure of recent changes to the property but the seller cannot find the supporting documentation and has to retrace their steps. All sorted before ‘sale agreed’ means that you reduce the risk of fall through by reducing the progression time. It also proves to the buyer that the seller is motivated as they are legally ready to proceed.
Click here for a useful guide to Sort Move’s online Fast-Start proposition: https://youtu.be/FT6jpHpWbm4
3. Conveyancing sometimes gets a bad reputation, and this is why many Agents steer away from referring their clients. What do you think is important with an Agent/Conveyancer relationship?
Quite simply I think it is vital that they understand what one another do. If an agent doesn’t fully understand the conveyancing process, they must educate themselves so that they can do the same for their clients. If they can, go and visit their office and put faces to the names of the people that are progressing their matters. They should have the mindset of working with them, not against.
Unfortunately, through both first-hand experience and talking to many agents, there are law firms that just don’t specialise in Conveyancing. These types often don’t know how to converse with Estate Agents and have very questionable attitudes towards customer service.
I have spent nearly 18 years in industry, 16 of which were at a leading Estate Agency network. Fortunately, I have a solid network of property law specialists who love working with Estate Agents and I can introduce business owners / stakeholders to them via the Sort Move portal (which is completely free to use).
4. As a former Estate Agent yourself, tell us your ‘ideal’ for the process you would take and how you would address Conveyancing into the wider journey.
During the initial marketing proposal I would always make every effort to relate to the potential client and try to fully understand their motivation and needs. This would then put emotion behind the pound sign, reason for selling and timeframe.
Let’s be honest, Conveyancing is the least sexy part of the home moving process. So make it relevant! For example, Mr Jones became an accidental Landlord some years ago however his latest tenants have just moved out and rental conditions are no longer favourable for him. He wants to dispose of this property and selling now would take him closer to retirement. He still has a mortgage on the property so will be a significant cost for every month that it is sat empty.
By having a real conversation, and not focusing on myself / my business / why I have awarded myself the title of best agent in town, I have discovered:
Motivation – he wants to retire early and never planned to have an investment property (a further conversation here about how this came about and present knowledge/experience of that period of time).
Needs – to sell. This empty property is costing him money.
The Pound Sign – he hasn’t indicated that he wants to try an over inflated price to test the market. Speed is equally as important.
This information allows for a meaningful conversation about what marketing techniques I have in my toolkit and which are beneficial for this client and property. It also opens up the discussion about how I can help to expedite the sale’s progression once a buyer has been found, potentially saving him one or two mortgage payments (of course, I would tell the client about Fast-Start onboarding and the Sale Only service…both powered by Sort Move).
Always remember that the agent is the one perceived to be the expert in home moving, so prove that theory. Most clients think they know the process but are often outdated and need guidance. When I operated an Estate Agency branch, I knew that the local competition just talked about themselves and had a tendency to forget that, whilst they do this every day, the client does not. They also never got further than talking about finding a buyer.
The greatest feedback I received was from clients that told me that they instructed me because I listened to them and I gave them knowledge about how to get from listing to completion.
If you’d like to find out more about how Sort Move can help you and your clients, please contact our friendly team to set up your free account or to arrange a demo: