Prepare by planning ahead
‘Why is my conveyancing taking so long?’ This is a question home sellers almost always ask their Estate Agents. As an Estate Agent, one way to support your customer is to help speed up the conveyancer’s work rate. Solicitors have a reputation for dragging their feet with the conveyancing process – not always undeserved. Fortunately, there are steps you can take, as your customer’s agent, to accelerate the process. The best way to avoid a slow conveyancing process is to plan ahead.
Choose the best time to sell
With property sales, after location, location, location, the next most important factor is timing, timing, timing. If you can afford to wait, the best time to sell is spring.
The bright, warmer springtime weather usually shows homes and gardens at their most appealing. Property buyers are at their most enthusiastic. By the time summer comes around, holidays can get in the way.
In autumn and winter, the cold weather deters many house hunters, and, for many people, Christmas takes priority. On the other hand, the festive season can provide a spur to buyers, who are desperate to complete and move in by Christmas. This is why September can be a fruitful month for selling.
Choose the right kind of buyer
If a quick sale is important to your customer, then helping them to choose the right buyer can make all the difference to the conveyancing process. The highest offer is not always the best.
For example, a cash buyer will almost always be able to complete more quickly than a buyer needing a mortgage. Mortgage providers will need extra due diligence to be carried out, as well as a survey, which can cause delays.
As they aren’t dependent on others to complete a sale, a buyer who isn’t in a chain is also more likely to result in quicker completion.
How to speed up the conveyancing process
The answer lies in early-stage planning. The first job of the conveyancing solicitor is to gather all relevant documentation and information and to complete the conveyancing formalities. If you can encourage your customer to have all their ducks in a row as early as possible, you’ll g a long way towards preventing frustrating delays when a buyer has been found.
Once you accept an offer, your solicitor sends a draft contract and any relevant information to the buyer’s solicitor, who will then reply with any relevant questions.
If your customer can instruct their solicitor and complete these initial formalities when they first put their property on the market, you can reduce the conveyancing time by weeks.
What kind of documentation is needed?
The buyer and their solicitor will want access to a wide range of paperwork relating to the property they’ve agreed to buy. This includes:
- Up-to-date gas and electrical safety certificates
- Planning permission and building regulations approval for any work that has previously been carried out at the property
- Warranties, including NHBC certificates in the case of new-build homes
It’s a straightforward task to collate these documents as early in the process as possible – even before the property is put on the market.
Complete and return property information forms promptly
The conveyancing solicitor will send numerous forms for completion. Examples include
- the Property Information Form (TA6)
- Fittings and Contents Form (TA10)
These forms ask questions about the property and how your customer has been using it. The forms can be quite detailed. You can support your customer by encouraging them to complete and return them as soon as possible. Again, there’s no reason why they can’t be completed before you’ve found a buyer.
Solicitors who can act for your customer’s mortgage lender
One way to ensure that the conveyancing process is as speedy as possible is to encourage your customer to choose a solicitor who is able to act for their chosen mortgage lender – a solicitor who is on the mortgage lender’s panel of approved solicitors.
If your customer’s solicitor isn’t on your chosen lender’s panel, the conveyancing process will have to be outsourced to an alternative solicitor, resulting in significant conveyancing delays.
Choosing the right solicitor
As your customer’s Estate Agent, you can make a big difference to the speed of the conveyancing process by helping your customer to choose the right solicitor. The key is to use your network to find a solicitor who is proactive – one who is as keen as you are to support your customer. One who is eager to build a healthy working relationship. Do your research –
- How quick was the solicitor to come back with a quote for conveyancing?
- Is the solicitor part of the Conveyancing Quality Scheme?
- Do they have Lexcel accreditation?
- Have they won awards for conveyancing excellence?
- Can they work to pre-agreed deadlines?
- What about online client reviews? Are they favourable?
Speeding up the conveyancing process
Once your customer has instructed the solicitor, there’s plenty you can do to keep things going smoothly. Remember – you can be your customer’s hero. Use your experience, expertise, and diplomatic skills to put subtle pressure on the solicitor – to keep them working diligently and speedily through the conveyancing process.
Support your client in their relationship with the solicitor, and they will remember and appreciate your efforts forever!
The Agent Extra team were once Estate Agents, experiencing the frustrations involved when dealing with conveyancers and the time wasted waiting for responses. They have stepped away from careers as Estate Agents, and instead now provide UK Estate Agents with lead generation services