Solicitors Welcome Government Plans to Speed Up Conveyancing
The Government says it is looking to modernise the home-buying process to improve and speed up the whole process.
These include a pre-contract financial commitment ‘which would be forfeit should the seller, without warning, raise the price or pull out without warning’ in order to tackle problems around the practice of ‘gazumping’.
As part of the plans it has also been mooted that the lender’s requirements could be simplified and industry-standard universal instructions and documents created for conveyancers to deal with.
Welcoming the move, Sarah Major, said: “A universal handbook would greatly speed up the process. To have the same requirements for each lender would negate the need to report differently on each matter depending on who the lender is.
“With regards to the pre-contract financial agreement I think this would be dependent on the terms of the agreement, whilst it could potentially tackle the seller taking higher offers it would not stop the purchaser from offering on another property or re negotiating the deal, therefore its rather buyer biased,” she added.
“I would be interested to see what they are proposing, in the fairness of both parties a move to deal with the transaction on a missives approach like the Scottish system might be more beneficial"
Other suggestions include requiring estate agents to obtain basic information at the point at which a property is marketed and provide ‘more detailed, standardised’ property questionnaires from the conveyancer to complete while a buyer is being sought.
A centrally held database of management packs could be part of regulation of the sector that deals with leasehold properties.
It was also noted by the Government that a move towards ‘factory conveyancing’ was not only leading to delays but also potentially costing the clients, he said.
“A good solicitors firm is not a conveyancing factory. We have clients who use us for all their property transactions and recommend us to family and friends, so we must be doing something right. I would hope that the Government would consider that consultation would be better placed with the solicitors rather than just the agents and over a broad range of firms from the volume conveyancers to firms like Pearsons,” said Sarah
Options to modernise the homebuying process, announced at the time of last year’s autumn statement, will be published by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills ‘later this year’, and invite evidence and proposals from the property industry and consumers.
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