Over the last five years, consumers believe that almost a quarter (23%) of all home purchases or sales have fallen through due to delays caused by poor communication between lawyers lenders and estate agents, according to a survey by OnePoll, commissioned by the Conveyancing Association.
The results show that, for over half (52%) of those who have bought or sold a house since 2008, the transaction took longer than expected, with just under half (48%) saying the process involved unforeseen delays.Of the 1500 respondents who took part, almost half (47%) felt that the various parties involved in their sale or purchase (including the solicitor or conveyancer, the lender and the estate agent) could have communicated with each other better – while 46% said this would have significantly speeded up the home buying or selling process.
In a bid to tackle this problem and make the conveyancing process more efficient, the Conveyancing Association has been working together with Connells, Move with Us, Countrywide and LSL Property Services, to develop the CA Protocol.
Launched today at the Conveyancing Association’s Christmas Dinner, the Protocol is designed to collate guidance from the Law Society, the Council for Licensed Conveyancers, the Legal Ombudsman, the Council of Mortgage Lenders and case law – providing licensed conveyancers and solicitors with a single point of reference for best practice, for the very first time. The Conveyancing Association believes the Protocol could shorten the length of time of a house transaction by up to five working days – and that it will ultimately enable licensed conveyancers and solicitors to provide their customers with a better service.
Sheila Kumar, Chief Executive of the Council of Licensed Conveyancers, says:
“I congratulate the CA on developing this useful protocol aimed at improving service to clients. Acting in the client’s best interest will always come before sheer speed but as we know any step to improve the conveyancing process is a welcome one. I hope that we can see more cross-sector action like this in future to improve the ways we work and to deliver better outcomes for consumers.”
Eddie Goldsmith, Chairman of the Conveyancing Association, says:
“Anyone who has purchased or sold a house knows what a stressful time this can be. The Conveyancing Association’s mission is to look for ways to make these transactions quicker and easier – ensuring our members’ customers are provided with the best service possible. The CA’s Protocol aims to do just that.
“As the industry’s first ever single point of reference for solicitors and conveyancers alike, we hope the Protocol will ensure that all parties involved in the purchase or sale of a house are ‘singing from the same hymn sheet’ – facilitating communication and cutting down the time currently being lost during this process.
“We encourage members and non-members alike to refer to the Protocol in an industry-wide effort to streamline the conveyancing process.”
The launch of the Protocol, follows the Conveyancing Association’s launch last year of the ‘Pledges’ – the industry’s first ever set of customer service commitments going above and beyond existing regulations and accreditation schemes, which all CA members have agreed to uphold. A copy of the Protocol will be available at www.theconveyancingassociation.co.uk.
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