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There is a simple solution to reduce property fall-throughs

Daniel Hamilton-Charlton of Property Searches Direct says there is an easy answer to prevent no completions and speed up sales.

It is hard to deny that a huge problem exists with the UK property market, transactions take far too long and a third of sales never complete. If you couple that with a dominant no sale no fee business model, estate agents are doing a lot of work for nothing.

Several high-profile trials have taken place recently. 4Corners Property, clearly demonstrating that they could reduce fall-through rates to 0%, and more than half the amount of time transactions took to complete. Then there was the year-long pilot by conveyancer Thomas Legal, which reduced transaction times by 80 days.


But what new-fangled piece of technology did they have up their sleeves that would cost them a small fortune? Absolutely nothing. They simply proved that upfront material information and/or getting buyers to commit financially to a transaction by purchasing their searches and making that a condition of the sale, was enough.

Far be it for me to say, we told you so, however, my business has been providing access to searches and the completion of up-front information for clients for three years now. We have made little impact on the state of the market overall, but a massive impact on the clients we have helped. Unfortunately, the sector has been either too resistant to change, or too worried to step out of their comfort zones even though buyers and sellers are hungry for progress.


Simply put, buyers and sellers need to take more responsibility, and all you need to do as an estate agent is enable that to happen. They don’t want to be passive participants in the moving process. Sellers need to come to the market contract ready with all the information and documentation they need to enable their conveyancer to issue a contract.

Buyers should have mortgage funds agreed upon and be prepared to pay for searches immediately after an offer is agreed upon, making that commitment a condition of sale. Simples!!


Those firms that are willing to embrace change sooner rather than later are likely to benefit the most rather than playing catch-up down the line.

There are dozens of companies developing new tech-driven solutions for agents, conveyancers, and stakeholders, but everything to achieve this nirvana is already available; and has been for some time. The missing ingredient has been an appetite from the industry to improve itself.

At Property Searches Direct we are re-confirming our commitment to help estate agents deliver simple to adopt changes for FREE. We want to help agents make the purchase of searches a condition of sale and let buyers prove their commitment to you and your sellers.

We need less talk and more action; it might just work.

To help things along, we have revamped our message to estate agents. Find out more here

Daniel Hamilton-Charlton – CEO and Founder, Property Searches Direct Ltd (main picture)


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