Improving the home buying process in England and Wales was identified as a priority by the Conveyancing Association, which represents some 50 conveyancing firms. The idea is to push towards electronic conveyancing. E-conveyancing has already been successfully implemented in Australia. The Conveyancing Association also propose the use of ‘skinny electronic home reports’. This will be a simpler version of the Home Information Pack which was abandoned three years after its introduction.
A conveyancing transaction on average can take up to three months to complete. The idea is to speed up the process and make it more transparent. Changes to the conveyancing process could include:
- Reviewing the standard conditions of sale so that completion monies are sent the day before completion.
- Gathering property and title information early to identify any missing documents.
- An ‘e-home report’ could ensure that search results are available when marketing the property.
The conveyancing system in England and Wales can be criticised for being slow, in comparison to other jurisdictions such as Australia, United States and Scotland. If information was readily available when marketing the property, the whole conveyancing process would be simpler.
Conveyancing solicitors are overwhelmingly in favour of ‘pre-contract packs’ to speed up the homebuying process. This is to be prepared by the seller’s solicitor for the buyer’s solicitor. The pack would contain proof of title, and client documents such as TA6 and TA10 forms. However, it will not contain searches or survey valuations.
Please contact Lucie Stewart or Dipak Odedra if you would like advice on the legal aspects of buying or selling a home.