Updated: Feb 18
It is reasonable to expect that when you eventually find your new dream home that the legal process lurches into action like a well oiled machine. It is an assumption that often just doesn't bear out under close scrutiny.
Conveyancers work in a highly regulated environment and are duty bound to follow strict protocols before spending client monies. They may even be fined by their own ruling bodies if they cannot show that they exercised sufficient caution before doing so.
If we assume that you have chosen your conveyancer on day 1 of your purchase (many won't) - prior to spending your money on Searches, a Conveyancer would have to:
Distribute their instruction terms
Receive signed instructions back
Confirm their instructions to the other side
Request a contract
Receive a contract
Complete ID/AML procedures with their client
Arrange to take funds on account
Await confirmation of cleared funds from their accounts team
Check that they have a suitable contract
Some Conveyancers prefer to wait for their client to have their survey and receive their mortgage offer before placing Search orders and even then might hesitate for fear of the purchase aborting. Clients (especially first time buyers) have high expectations that they are in safe hands and are receiving good advice but we believe fundamentally that data needs to be sought much earlier in every transaction.
Since the data contained in the Searches forms the very basis of the contract why does a purchaser only gain access to it when they are weeks if not months into a transaction?
Why proceed with buying a house to find out months into the transaction that there are intrinsic problems? It's like cooking a roast chicken dinner and finding out at the last minute that all your guests are vegetarian?
Vendors, in our view, should be encouraged to gather data pertinent to their sale and order their own Searches as soon as the board goes up in the front garden. Agents may say 'why do we want sellers to find out about these possible problems?' Well they are going to come out during the sale anyway, why not find out sooner since you get paid on completion and not by the hour?
The cost of Searches can easily be negotiated into a sale or sold on to buyers. Sellers no longer proceed blindfold, are empowered by their involvement and encouraged by their highly proactive Estate Agent. Buyers are presented with a property that is transparently ready to be sold!
With a third of all transactions failing, causing untold waste, stress and misery we believe that the answer is simple, getting legally prepared circumvents many of the pinch points plaguing the UK home buying process today.
But what do you think?