Making the conveyancing process fit for the 21st century

If you’re involved with the internet in any sort of professional capacity (including conveyancing), you’ll know that speed matters.

If your website is slow to load, not only is there a very strong chance that you’ll lose the attention of the person who clicked on your link but may find your search engine rankings dropping as well. Now imagine you’re buying a house and you’re waiting for the conveyancing process to finish, so you can complete the transaction.

Instead of getting everything done in the sort of double-quick time we’ve come to expect in the digital age, you may have to wait for literally over a month before you can finally exchange. That’s a recipe for frustration and lost home sales and it’s an issue which needs to be addressed urgently if the conveyancing process is to remain credible in the 21st century.

Conveyancing – an analogue process in a digital age

In very simple terms, up to now, the conveyancing system has only really made some polite nods to the fact that the rest of the world has gone digital. For the most part, it has continued to follow the established, analogue process.

As an example of this, compare what happens during a standard retail transaction (even with a small retailer) and the conveyancing process. When you make an online purchase, you generally have the option to create an account which stores your details which you can log at any time to check the progress of your order plus most retailers will email you at key points during the preparation and dispatch of your item(s).

Now compare this to the conveyancing process. You place the instruction with your conveyancer and wait, sometimes without any updates, for as long as it takes, which can be over a month. This was not exactly good customer services even in the old days, for modern customers, with high expectations, it can be frustrating to the point of infuriating.

Using technology to improve time management

The underlying issue with conveyancing is that it still relies on a number of manual processes, which are not necessarily hugely time-consuming in and of themselves, but which need to be fitted into a human’s schedule and there can be a limit to what even the best conveyancers can do to progress enquiries if they are dealing with people who are simply overloaded with work, local authority employees for example.

The best conveyancers will, of course, do their best to keep their requests visible and to keep their clients updated, but at the end of the day, as all real-estate professionals will know, a chain is only as strong as its weakest link and sometimes all you can do is wait until someone has fulfilled the task assigned to them. The only long-term solution to this is to reduce the workload on humans and the best way to do this is to create a self-service system using technology.

That is exactly what the new Local Land Charges system is intended to do. It will provide a digital and centralized alternative to traditional local authority searches and should hopefully prove to be a key first step in the development of a conveyancing process which is fit for the 21st century.


Kindly shared by Hopwood House