Home buyers dissatisfied with conveyancers and moving process, survey finds

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22 January 2015

Moving: dealing with solicitors a key stress point

Moving: dealing with solicitors a key stress point

There is considerable unhappiness among home buyers and sellers with conveyancers and the speed of the moving process, new research has found.

The poll of 2,002 people found that 42% of consumers were unsure or unlikely to offer repeat business to their conveyancer, while only 18% of those who had previously purchased a property cited the experience as a reason to instruct them again.

Nearly four-fifths of consumers (78%) used a solicitor for their transaction, 11% a licensed conveyancer, and 4% an online conveyancing service. Some 5% did it themselves.

Dealing with solicitors was seen as a key stress point when buying or selling a house. In addition to the lengthy process, consumers vented their frustrations about poor levels of service and poor communication.

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Just under a third of people reported feeling out of touch during the conveyancing process and of those, 60% found dealing with solicitors as one of the most stressful aspect.

Though price remains a significant factor in choosing a conveyancer, one in four consumers said they would pay more for a faster service.

The Morar Consulting research was commissioned by Veyo, the Law Society/Mastek UK joint venture that will be launching a new conveyancing portal shortly.

Though estate agents were the main source of information to help buyers and sellers understand the moving process, a recommendation from one came only fifth on the list of factors that influenced consumers’ decision to choose a conveyancer (cited by 25%).

It came behind a good reputation (36%), recommendation from friend/family (30%), local to the area of the property (29%) and lowest price/low fees quoted (27%).

Less important, but still significant, factors were quality of enquiry response (19%), speed of enquiry response (17%), being the family solicitor (15%) and ‘seemed to offer the fastest turnaround’ (10%).

The survey found the average conveyance took 11.3 weeks. Unsurprisingly, consumers had limited knowledge of the process and found the waiting, followed by the cost, the most stressful aspects of it. Confirming timescale for exchange and completion was voted the most onerous step.

Elliot Vigar, CEO of Veyo, said: “There is a long history of misgivings for the lengthy conveyancing process in England and Wales. An average conveyancing time of three months in our digital era is simply not good enough for homebuyers and they have made it clear what they wish for.

“With many homebuyers even willing to stump up more money for a fast track service, it is clear that conveyancers or solicitors who are able to demonstrate their speed and efficiency will have a competitive edge to their business offering.”

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