Title And Property Information Up Front in Conveyancing? Of Course

The property market is heading for a perfect storm.   Easing of lockdown.  People wanting to move, realising that they need more space / garden / a home office. 

SDLT changes to fire up the market – but which are due to end in March 2021.  All great, right?  Well, yes of course.  All property professionals need the boost right now in terms of activity and fees.

But what about early 2021? It is possible that the ending of the furlough scheme will result in redundancies which will be devastating for those involved and may dampen the market.  But there will be sufficient people who want to move and take advantage of the SDLT savings that the market will still be busy.

This means that there will be a significant logjam of transactions to process and complete before 31 March 2021.

It is also possible that the penny will not drop for some home movers until the Christmas period and they may delay marketing until early January thinking that 12 weeks is plenty of time within which to move.

Never has it been more important therefore for home movers, their agents and conveyancers to collaborate as early in the process as possible to try to smooth their transactions.  Estate agents should be advising their seller clients to appoint a conveyancer as soon as a property goes on the market and certainly before a buyer is found.  In this way, all of the issues which tend to eat up time can be dealt with – identification, AML checks, due diligence, source of funds, to name but a few.

The penny has also dropped for many in the conveyancing market who have realised that having an up-front pack containing the Property Information Form, Fittings and Contents Form and title documents will invariably speed the process when a buyer is found.  The seller can make the pack available to their buyer even before an offer has been accepted.  This will enable a buyer to be satisfied that there are no hidden problems with the property at the point of offer.  Everyone reading this article will know of transactions which have fallen apart maybe two or three months into the process due to an adverse covenant or missing documentation.

If the property is leasehold, the delay can be even longer.  There has been a lot of talk about property log books.  But the market does not have time to wait for these initiatives to come to fruition.  We need to find a way to get information to a buyer up front now to help the market between now and March 2021.  The good news is that there is no need to reinvent the wheel.

Gazeal is a prop tech company which is making waves with its straightforward, ground-breaking reservation agreement.  What people may not know is that Gazeal also produce a seller’s pack on instruction containing the very documents mentioned above.  Sellers can use the Gazeal service and complete the Protocol forms when they instruct an agent.  Gazeal will do the rest.  For an additional modest fee, Gazeal can also produce the searches.  The parties do not even need to sign the reservation agreement to take advantage of the seller’s pack.  Job done.

By Lorraine Richardson (M.A.) Cantab

MD of Adapt Law Ltd

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