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10 Oct, 2023/ by Homeward Legal /Buyer, First Time Buyer, Sale & Purchase, Seller

When you're planning on moving house, you will no doubt look at a number of estate agent particulars (on paper or online) to create a shortlist of those properties that would be worth investigating further.

A little bit more research plus some judicious viewing appointments will shorten that list further, before you plump for the home that you really want to buy.

You put in an offer, maybe with a bit of haggling and compromise, before settling on an asking price that both you and the seller are happy with.

You appoint a surveyor, who, depending on who you line up to do it, will book an assessment appointment with the estate agent or the owner to check the building over and get back to you within a few days with any areas of concern in a report.

And then you line up the conveyancing solicitor.

And everything seems to grind to a slow crawl. This is not necessarily the problem with the solicitor you have chosen, but with the rather rigid process which constrains the speed at which the legal profession can move.

The ideal solution

For over a quarter of a century, we have been living in a truly digital age, where information is at our fingertips in microseconds, orders for goods can be turned around in less than a day, and communication is instantaneous.

The natural expectation, then, is for all processes to be completed at the snap of the fingers. But the whole conveyancing process seems to be one of the last bastions of the old way of working.

The issue, of course, is not with any individual firm, company or person involved necessarily, but with the lack of interconnectedness of the information and the poor immediacy in presenting it to the requestor.

It therefore makes sense to automate, digitise and streamline everything along the path to shorten the conveyancing period to something that's less frustrating than the average six to eight weeks at present. Naturally, because it is a legal process and needs to be precise, more care needs to be taken than in other fields of our lives, but the access to joined-up information should be expected and must be a priority to resolve.

To this end, a new Digital Property Market Steering Groupwas formed earlier this year to drive the process of digital transformation for the property market.

How's it all going?

The Steering Group met in the middle of September for the first time, with all the stakeholders present.

One of the key problems with getting information streamlined and globally digitised, those attending recognised, was how to get hold of upfront information on a property that's otherwise unavailable from other resources.

This harks back to the days of the Home Information Pack (HIP) which asked for the Energy Performance Certificate, information on searches results, title document evidence, and other paraphernalia associated with a property. HIPs were dropped after it was found to be a little unwieldy. 

Nevertheless, the first solution that needs to be identified to reach the goal of digitised upfront information is how to obtain these important details in a way that is effective and not overly onerous.

Various solicitor firms have analysed the current position and made their own assessments and put forward thoughts about what this could mean for homebuyers (and, of course, sellers, as they will have to stump up much of the information that's required).

It's very early days in the process and discussions are ongoing. Will there be a significant and acceptable breakthrough to assist the acceleration of conveyancing and reduce the length of time it takes during a very stressful time? 

Watch this space.

Worried about how much time and effort all of this legal process will currently take?

That's where Homeward Legal can really help with affordable but quality conveyancing services! They will start work on your planned purchase and/or sale as soon as you agree to the quotation and appoint them to represent you, and will work hard to complete the process in as short a time as possible. 

Homeward Legal will also provide a quote that will not change - what you are quoted is what you pay for standard conveyancing process.

There are some unforeseen items that might arise during the purchase and/or sale, but the solicitor discusses these and their cost as they come up. 

In addition, to protect the homebuyer further, Homeward Legal operates a ‘no completion, no fee' promise, which ensures that, should the purchase or sale not go through as planned to completion status, no payment is required.

Call  to get your conveyancing quote started, or to discuss your concerns with your plans to move.

Or you can get a quick quote, using Homeward Legal's easy-to-use quote generator.

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