How to streamline the conveyancing process
As the government consults on how to reduce the time taken to reach exchange of contracts in conveyancing transactions, what can you do as a seller or purchaser to speed up the conveyancing process?
The Government’s Call for Evidence, ending on 17th December 2017, has asked for feedback on a number of points, including how to:
- Help consumers make more informed decisions when selecting a conveyancer.
- Make improvements to the processing of property searches in order to speed up the selling and buying of homes.
With the possible benefits of:
- Encouraging sellers and buyers to use the same firm (subject to conflict of interest).
- Creating a ‘Property Passport’ or similar (but not a relaunch of the home information packs) and a better use of e-conveyancing and digital technology.
- The introduction of a ‘How to Buy/Sell’ guide.
Conveyancing transactions are commonly delayed due to:
- Defective title/lease – for example an old lease or a right/restriction on a title may be unacceptable for buyers or their lenders today.
- An incomplete chain – you may have found your dream home but your sellers may not have found theirs yet.
- Lease extensions simultaneous with a sale – there are many different routes to extend your lease and most take time due to the additional correspondence with the Landlord (or their solicitor) and considerations as to funding the lease extension. Any purchaser will also want to ensure that the terms of the extended lease are acceptable to them, and so will any lender.
So what can sellers and buyers do to speed up the conveyancing process?
Here is a brief checklist:
- Make sure the admin is done – provide your ID, sign the authorisation to commence work and confirm all of your details and provide all paperwork you hold in relation to the property as soon as possible.
- If you are buying and selling, wherever possible, use the same solicitor for the sale and purchase. Having two lawyers to deal with increases the time, correspondence and time taken to transfer documents and funds on related transactions.
- When selling a property complete and return your Property Information Forms and supporting documents to your lawyer, even before you have accepted an offer.
- Buyers should confirm how they are funding their purchase and obtain an offer in principle as soon as possible. If funds are coming from another source, such as a Help to Buy Scheme or family member, provide as much detail as possible to your solicitor at the outset of the transaction.
What do Anthony Gold do to help?
- One lawyer acting – yes, you will get emails from their team assistant and paralegal to speed up communication, but the lawyer will be doing all of the legal work and have a full and comprehensive understanding of your transaction and any related transaction.
- Up front on conveyancing fees – we aim to provide you with an estimate of the work that is included together with a breakdown of disbursements and what may incur an additional fee. This includes the drafting of deeds of covenant or trust documents.
- We are on the panels of all major lenders and the majority of smaller lenders too – meaning we can act for your lender too and streamline the process by answering their enquiries and dealing with their requirements directly, without going through a third-party solicitor. We receive mortgage funds on completion (usually the working day before hand), meaning an earlier time for completion on the day.
- By working closely with other specialists in our leasehold enfranchisement, housing, family and probate departments to assist with a lease extension, deeds of trust or co-habitation agreements and sales as part of the administration of an estate, we are aware of all aspects and factors that need to be taken into consideration on your particular transaction.
- Attached to every estimate is our ‘Guide to buying and selling residential property guide’ – a valuable resource to first timers and an update to those who have bought and sold before, from detailing circumstances when an indemnity policy may be needed to those who might need to be notified of your new address.
- We send the property information forms to sellers as soon as they instruct us, even if this is before they have found a buyer. This means when a buyer is found they can be sent with the draft contract and Land Registry title documents as soon as we receive the memorandum of sale from the estate agent.
- Similarly, when acting for buyers we forward all the information to the buyer once received, and compile the ‘report on title’ once we have received all the documents, including searches and replies to enquiries. This means that if the buyer has any questions for the seller, these can be forwarded early in the transaction so they can be addressed and resolved.
For further information on our services or to obtain an estimate please contact a member of the conveyancing team.