Only 40% of UK adults know what conveyancing is – HomeOwners Alliance

Only 40% of UK adults know what conveyancing is, according to the latest research carried out by the HomeOwners Alliance (HOA).

With only two in five UK adults understanding the conveyancing process and 40% of them wrongly think that the conveyancer checks the structure of the property, the HOA’s latest research highlights why it needs to raise awareness of the homebuying and selling process.

Only two out of five UK adults (40%) are aware of what conveyancing is, while the number for those who are already homeowners is still only just over half (52%), despite the fact they would have used a conveyancer or conveyancing solicitor to secure ownership.

The HOA surveyed 2,000 UK adults on behalf of National Conveyancing Week to find out exactly what consumers understand about the role of a conveyancer in the home purchase/sale process. The HOA also investigated how UK homeowners found their conveyancer, their satisfaction with the service, and what improvements they would like to see to the process.

What the research revealed:
    • Large numbers of consumers are unsure about the services a conveyancer will provide them with. 48% were unaware the conveyancer acts on behalf of both them and the mortgage lender while 40%, wrongly think, the conveyancer checks the structure of the property is sound.
    • High levels of consumer satisfaction with the service they received.72% said they were satisfied with the service provided by their conveyancer with 74% of those who had bought a home within the last five years saying they would use the same conveyancing firm again.
    • A majority said their experience of the conveyancing process could have been improved, with 38% of those saying they simply wanted it to be faster, 31% wanting more frequent communication from their conveyancer, and 21% wanting a clearer explanation of the legal process and the issues that arose.
    • Delays have doubled in the last 5 years with 40% of homemovers experiencing delays compared to 20% who bought over 5 years ago. Gazumping, mortgage/lender and the issuing of leasehold management packs were blamed for the increase in delays.

You can read the full results in the report, The world of conveyancing: What do consumers really think.

National Conveyancing Week:

In an effort to raise awareness of the conveyancing process among UK consumers, National Conveyancing Week is taking place between the 11th and 15th March 2024. The week aims to grow understanding of what conveyancers do, where to find conveyancing services and what to expect from the conveyancing process.

On Wednesday 13th March, the HOA’s CEO Paula Higgins presented the full results of the survey to conveyancers, encouraging them to think about how they can communicate more proactively with their clients and their role to reduce delays even within their control.

Rob Hailstone, organiser of National Conveyancing Week, comments:

“With only two out of five adults currently knowing what conveyancing is, there has to be a focus on improving the wider consumer understanding of the home buying and selling legal process and the role of the conveyancer, and we have to accept that many people going through this are not clear on what is happening, or how long it might take.

“Part of the focus of National Conveyancing Week is about highlighting ‘best in class’ conveyancing firms which consumers can have confidence in instructing, but also trying to help firms themselves improve their service either through better communication, or explaining the process in simpler terms and managing expectations about how long it does take to complete in today’s market.”

Paula Higgins, Chief Executive of HomeOwners Alliance, also adds:

“It would be very unwise to sell or buy your home without using a conveyancer and while it’s great to receive good news that the conveyancing service is improving for consumers, more needs to be done to raise awareness of what conveyancers do.

“I’m particularly alarmed that 40% of people wrongly believe the conveyancer will check the structure of the building.

“This is the job of the surveyor, not the conveyancer.”


Kindly shared by HomeOwners Alliance (HOA)