Anyone who has bought or sold a property in recent years will know that conveyancing and awaiting search results feel like they take an age to progress to a point where a solicitor is happy to say they are ready to exchange contracts.
The aim: to make house moving faster, simpler and less stressful. Specifically, it wants to assess ways of avoiding, or possibly banning, gazumping.
Documentation released by the government says, “We are aware that the conveyancing process is a source of frustration for many buyers and sellers. Around 40 per cent of buyers and sellers [in a survey of 2,000 buyers and sellers commissioned by the government] felt that the exchange of contracts was delayed and where a delay occurred, they were likely to blame the conveyancer for the other party. When asked about how the home buying and selling service could be improved, around a third of buyers and sellers wanted a faster service from conveyancers. This is recognised by conveyancing sector and they are already planning to put in place a number of improvements.”
The government raised the scope for more technical innovation in speeding up the delivery of local government searches, and scope for more competition between conveyancers in general.
“We are aware that there are some firms which offer an online conveyancing service and that there are a number of initiatives already being pursued in both the private and public sectors which could help to facilitate e-conveyancing. To provide a firm foundation for a digital revolution in conveyancing, the government will continue to work with HM Land Registry to explore how data on property, such as leases, restrictions, covenants and easements, can be made available more easily. The government believes that this will improve the transparency of the purchase process and allow the private sector to create innovative ways to use this information”
You can read the full guidance by clicking here