Industry leaders form plan for urgent action on homebuying process

Industry comes together to discuss way forward to improve home moving experience


30 March 2015: This month property industry leaders met to discuss potential solutions to one of the most serious challenges facing their sector.

The latest initiative in the Conveyancing Association (CA)’s campaign to tackle ongoing delays to the home buying process, the ultimate aim of the session was to determine potential steps forward in those areas requiring the most immediate attention.

Based on the results of a recent survey conducted by the CA – which asked conveyancers and estate agents to highlight how they believed the home-moving process could be improved – the roundtable session focused on the following themes:

  1. Chain expectations: a regular issue for 60% of respondents and an “absolute nightmare” for 18%;
  2. Unrealistic client expectations: a regular issue for 54% of respondents;
  3. Leasehold sales information: a regular issue for 51% of respondents and an “absolute nightmare” for 10%.

 

Potential solutions discussed, included:

  • The need to ensure the necessary training and standards are in place to guarantee that the transaction chain is set up properly from the outset, minimising the possibility of problems arising further down the line;
  • The need to educate and inform consumers, making sure that they fully understand the transactions process, including the likely time scales on these;
  • The need for all parties involved in a transaction to work cooperatively;
  • The need to tackle ongoing issues around the Leasehold sale process, including the length of time it takes for the necessary information to be provided in order for a leasehold transaction to be progressed.

The roundtable event, which took place at the Conveyancing Association (CA)’s first All-Members Meeting of the year, was held in London on 12 March.

Amongst those who attended and contributed to the debate were leading industry figures, including: Christopher Hamer, Property Ombudsman; Roger Wilson, Connells; Michelle Banks, ARMA; Jane Finch, Moving Association; Michael Garson, Law Society; Simon Law, SLC; and Allison Bradbury, Land Registry.

In an initial step towards addressing some of the issues discussed, the CA has published its Leasehold Transaction Guide, which aims to provide conveyancers with an overview of the existing laws around leasehold transactions.

The CA is also urging conveyancers to answer its short Lender Engagement Survey, which can be found here, as the Association looks to continue to work with industry to iron out the ongoing issues it currently faces.

The survey will be open until 7 April 2015.

Gilbert Nesbitt of Wilson Nesbitt Solicitors said:

“The process of purchasing a property can be very stressful - finding the right house, getting an offer accepted, the mortgage application process, and then the legal conveyancing process – it is understandable that some purchasers can get confused and anxious.

“The round table event proved incredibly valuable, as lenders, estate agents and conveyancers sat down together to discuss how the home moving experience could be improved. It was clear that the individual roles played by the different representatives of the sector were so intertwined in the house buying process, that it is essential that we continue to work together in order to provide a more comprehensible and stress-free experience for home buyers.”

 

Wilson Nesbitt is a member firm of the Conveyancing Association.