Tactics to Speed up the Property Transaction Process
Property transaction times have been under the spotlight in recent weeks with the frenetic housing market and countdown to the stamp duty holiday end date
With conveyancing firm Martin Tolhurst last week stating that new clients’ property purchases are unlikely to hit the stamp duty deadline, and buyers understandably fraught, I believe we must see the conveyancing and estate agency sectors collaborating closer than ever before. Attacking the anticipated lengthy transactions times is critical for all concerned, and we’ll see many ‘burning the midnight oil’ in the weeks that lie ahead.
Now, more than ever, there are two key elements of the conveyancing process that could change and facilitate a superior handover and – ultimately – speed up the whole process.
Firstly, there needs to be a real ‘joining of forces’, a big shift in the estate agent and conveyancer working relationship. It is property data that has the power to unite them, with estate agents now having the opportunity to furnish conveyancers with as much salient information as possible – something which will inevitably be music to conveyancer’s ears.
Crucially, this can be at property listing stage rather than waiting until an offer has been agreed between the buyer and seller.
Unrivalled data can help to provide real insight into a property, helping the conveyancer to answer questions such as: ‘how can I gain a real understanding of the property I am transacting?’ which can only support the process.
Ultimately, the buyer needs to truly value the data being presented to them in order to make the appropriate purchase decisions.
I believe that conveyancers should demand the best possible handover from estate agents. As a conveyancer, you are unlikely to ever visit the property you are being asked to transact on. In addition to the Memorandum of Sale and EPC, agents should share photos, floorplans, a street view of the correct property, video tours or 3D walkthroughs, planning and build history and any Land Registry title information.
The easier agents make the conveyancer’s initial file set-up and the better their grasp of the areas they need to investigate, the quicker they will be able start, with the desired outcome of attacking transaction times.
The second major shift is to see sellers engaging a conveyancer at the time their property goes on the market, so that all the necessary documentation is in place when a sale is agreed.
In a challenging environment where every process and every activity seems to be impacted by delay, the time is here for all parties involved to come together as one team in a bid to create a smoother house buying process.
Matt Gilpin is the founder and CEO at Sprift