Just 8% of recent home-buyers would seek out a big brand such as the Co-op to handle their conveyancing the next time they move, a consumer survey has found.
Instead two-thirds expect to approach a high street solicitor or specialist conveyancer, according to the poll, which was conducted for the Conveyancing Association (CA) to mark the launch of customer service ‘pledges’ that it says are a first for the industry.
The survey of 500 people who had bought a house since the start of 2011 said 34% planned to contact a specialist conveyancer the next time they buy a house, compared to 31% who will go to a high street solicitor and 8% to a big-name brand.
Two-thirds of house buyers said they had experienced delays during their transaction, which nearly half blamed on conveyancers. Nine out of ten said they were frustrated with such things as bureaucracy, a lack of information, delays, and cost during their transaction.
CA chairman Eddie Goldsmith, senior partner of Goldsmith Williams, said the commitment of its members – who between them carry out 15% of all UK property transactions – to uphold the new pledges “marks a significant milestone”.
The pledges cover: quality of service regardless of the value of instructions; client satisfaction after requesting and acting on feedback; efficient processes that aim to cut out delays; ensuring properties have “good and marketable” title, promptly registered; pro-actively combating fraud; and mutual support and information sharing within a ‘trusted community’ of conveyancers.
Detailed steps that the association’s members will be expected to take include: using case management systems and training staff to explain costs clearly; using electronic means to communicate when possible and not raising unnecessary enquiries; conducting enhanced due diligence when appropriate; and helping to develop common procedures and regularly attending member meetings.
Mr Goldsmith explained: “These pledges go above and beyond the requirements of our members’ regulators and industry accreditation schemes such as the Conveyancing Quality Scheme (CQS). Importantly, they also bring licensed conveyancers who can’t use CQS into the fold, thereby bringing the whole industry of specialist conveyancers together in a groundbreaking initiative.”
He continued: “[They] will ensure conveyancers communicate regularly and clearly with their clients… At the same time [they] will assure lenders that transactions are promptly registered at the Land Registry with a good and marketable title, and that members will take pro-active steps to protect mortgage funds and combat mortgage and property fraud.”