Quarter of homebuyers ‘would pay more’ for conveyancing

But why?


uying a property is an exciting, yet stressful experience. It is a rollercoaster of high and lows but, all worth it when the keys to your new property are dropped in your hands.

When you open the front door, you can start planning and creating to make it your perfect home.

And this thrill does not diminish with age or experience; from the first time buyer to the couple downsizing to their third or fourth property.

It is a thrilling ride that requires legal help from expert conveyancers, with many property buyers and sellers turning the online world for the best in conveyancing, such as the highly reputable, web-based conveyancers, Online Conveyancing Quote.

Expensive and time-consuming

However, buying and selling property takes time – sometimes a long time, with unforeseen issues and hold ups – and can be expensive, especially with some solicitors and conveyancers charging by the hour.

If there is one bugbear, however that the majority property buyers agree on, it is the time it takes to complete the sale on a property. In a recent survey of just over 2,000 recent home buyers, 25% of them said they would be willing to pay more for conveyancing, if the process could be faster.

More worrying, however, was the fact that half of these people surveyed would not consider taking their business back to the conveyancing solicitors that they used as the poor customer service they felt they received was a ‘key stress point’.

The digital age could have an even bigger impact on house buying and selling in the future

But, the house buying and selling process steeped in history and ‘traditions’ has become a lumbering slow beast in many cases. The ‘minimum’ time for a straightforward completion on a property is 6 to 8 weeks, but only if there are no hiccups of any kind, but the Government website itself puts the average at anything between 2 to 3 months. It could take a quarter of a year to buy a property!

In other countries, the system is much quicker but the house construction methods and age are different, with less red tape in some cases too. However, the process is being streamlined and standardised, with one driving force being the UK Government’s ‘Digital by Default’ programme.

The Land Registry will be conducting most of its services online, as well as providing additional services too.

And conveyancing is following suit. Many licensed conveyancers and a smattering of solicitors have already been providing conveyancing services online, but Veyo, a joint initiative between the Law Society and IT firm Mastek UK will bring these services together.

Will it be enough?

Historically, the process of buying a property in the UK is a long, hard and winding road. Some services offered and paid for by the purchasing party have not only been poor, but cumbersome and irksome.

And the survey of these 2,000 homebuyers in the UK, back these claims so much so, that the solutions are somewhat obvious;

  • Stress is a common and almost accepted part of buying a property but, buyers and sellers are telling us that this is no longer acceptable; the waiting aspects involved in the process are said to be the most stressful.
  • From the 2,000 people interviewed, the average time it took to buy a property was 11 weeks and 3 days, matching the higher end of the Government’s estimation of 3 months.
  • 25% would, as a result pay more for conveyancing of they thought this buying time could be reduced
  • Dealing with solicitors was identified as a key stress-inducing factor
  • A third of those surveyed said they felt detached from the conveyancing process, with the same kind of figure again saying they had no clear knowledge of what the process entailed
  • A third of those surveyed – 42% – said they would be looking to sell again within 3 years BUT, they felt they would not be returning to the same conveyancing solicitors
  • The majority of those interviewed – 78% – used a solicitor with a smaller proportion using a licensed conveyancer; the remaining small number did the conveyancing themselves or used online conveyancing firms.

What changes?

It has been recognised that a 3 month conveyancing process in today’s modern, digital age is no longer acceptable and there are a swathe of changes earmarked to come, one of which is the Veyo portal.

The changes at the Land Registry too should help to decrease the amount of time some aspects of conveyancing seem to take, and the standardisation of fees should also help make it less expensive to buy and sell property.

The digital era could finally be reaching the house buying and selling process, changing it for the better.

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