The process of buying and selling a property can be considered as one of the most stressful life experiences a person can go through alongside other major life changes such as marriage, divorce or having a child.
The residential conveyancing process can take up to 6-8 weeks to complete providing everything goes ahead smoothly, however due to unforeseen circumstances sometimes the process can take much longer. There are many issues which can result in transactions being delayed and because of this it has been identified by the government that the conveyancing process is in need of reform.
In a recent report, the government has highlighted some key proposals which are to be implemented to improve the home buying and selling process. These are:
● Create more transparency surrounding referral fees so customers can make an informed choice and feel they are being treated fairly.
● Allow clients to make a more informed choice of conveyancer which considers service levels and not just the price.
● Create ‘How to Buy’ and ‘How to Sell’ guides to better inform customers of the process from start to finish.
● To see how the process of the release of funds can be improved by working with lenders, estate agents and conveyancers to make moving-day quicker so people aren’t left waiting around.
● Introduce reservation agreements which increase commitment between buyers and sellers earlier in the process, providing more certainty and reducing the risk of gazumping.
● Encourage sellers to gather as much information as possible in respect of their property (e.g. planning permissions) in an effort to be ‘sale ready’.
● Speeding up local authority searches as these can take up to two weeks (in some cases longer) to be received.
● Having earlier contact with freeholders in a leasehold transaction to enable the leasehold transaction to proceed quicker than the current timescales.
It is clear to see that from the recommendations highlighted there is not a single area for improvement, but in fact several areas which need to be improved upon to speed up the home buying and selling process. With these recommendations in mind, it is hoped that all agencies can work together to provide a much better, stress-free experience for clients. If you’d like to speak to someone about moving home and how we can help, please contact us.
Shantel Dosanjh, Legal Advisor