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Industry leaders form plan for urgent action on homebuying process

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

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 (available to download here), 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.

Eddie Goldsmith, Chairman of the Conveyancing Association, said:

“The round table event brought key figures in the property industry together to discuss what changes we can make to existing process in order to render the home moving experience a better one for all involved – not least our customers.

“Bringing representatives from across the industry – including conveyancers, estate agents and lenders – together in one room to talk through the issue each faces helped highlight the areas we absolutely need to be addressing.

“What the discussion made crystal clear was that if we are to succeed in our mission, what we absolutely need to do is to keep working together.

“This is something the CA has seen as incremental to the success of this campaign and we look forward to continuing to work with our industry counterparts to improve the experience of handling a transaction, from a professional point of view, and of buying or selling a home, from a consumer point of view.”

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