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Can we speed up the conveyancing process?

23 September 2018

At Poole Alcock we recognise that one of the most frustrating things for people wanting to move house, is the time in which it takes to complete the transaction. Last year, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government held a consultation to seek views and suggestions on how to improve the process of buying and selling houses.

The Result of the Consultation

One of the suggestions from the consultation is for the seller to provide more information up front. This has been previously tried with the introduction of Home Information Packs in 2007. Due to the financial climate at that time they were  ultimately abolished. The Ministry has said that in the long term, a “property passport” should be introduced. This would provide all the information required by a prospective purchaser. They should encourage sellers to collect relevant information about the property before it is placed on the market.

At present, this is not a legal obligation on the seller, merely a recommendation. However, it is beneficial if you are selling your property to gather together information the buyers might request. The more information you can provide to a buyer’s solicitor at the outset of a transaction, the fewer enquiries they have to raise and the less time is then spent waiting for a seller to gather that information. This in turn would help to prevent transactions from falling through. This view that has been recently echoed by the Chairman of The Conveyancing Association.

What information should I provide upfront to speed up the process?

In some cases it may be obvious what information should be provided up front. In other matters, it may not be so clear. For example, most clients recognise that an extension may need planning permission and building regulation approval. However, many clients are not aware that electrical rewires or works to electrical installations or installation of central heating systems may also require building regulation approval.

If you are selling a freehold property that is subject to a service/maintenance charge or a leasehold property, the buyer’s solicitor will require confirmation from the landlord or management company that the charges have been paid up to date and copies of the accounts. A transaction can be delayed by several weeks whilst the request for information is dealt with by the managing agent. This is another area which the Ministry has confirmed they want to reform, by setting fixed time frames and maximum fees for the provision of such information.

Committed to Excellence Pledge

At present, these are all recommendations for the future and have not yet become mandatory. However, at Poole Alcock, we recognise it is beneficial to provide as much information as quickly as possible at the outset of a transaction. As part of our Committed to Excellence pledge, we invite clients into the office for a face to face meeting. We can discuss your property and advise you which information a buyer’s solicitor is likely to request. This then enables us to deal with enquiries much quicker. As a result of this we aim to reduce delays and help your transaction proceed as smoothly as possible.

If you are selling your property, telephone us on 01270 625478 to arrange your meeting to discuss your requirements. Alternatively you can visit our Residential Conveyancing services page here or complete this form for a call back.

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