Parts B and C of the process to improve material information disclosure in property listings were published on 30th November by National Trading Standards, within comprehensive new guidance for sales and letting agents. So, what difference will this make?
The current situation
When commission is wrapped up in properties lingering in a slow market, no one wins.
There are few things as frustrating as seeing your commission stuck as the back and forth between conveyancers drags on, and the phone continues to ring, with stressed buyers and sellers calling to check how everything is or isn’t progressing. When clients pull out with cold feet because it’s all taking too long, hours of your work go unpaid.
We all know the UK property industry has slowed down – the average transaction time in England & Wales is 133 days, 58 days longer than it was in 20071 – which is causing considerable upset for clients, too. With a small rethink of how we do things, though, we could get commissions paid faster … and nobly transform the property industry.
How can estate agents speed up conveyancing?
We all know that every transaction comes with a mountain of documents and data, and there’s no avoiding it. As it stands, the gathering of all that information starts when the seller accepts an offer, and the estate agent issues a memorandum of sale to lawyers on both sides.
At that point, conveyancers kickstart a process that they work through every day. They trawl through half-completed paperwork, chase the other side’s lawyer, who chases the estate agent, who chases the seller or buyer, who rummages around in old files – enquiries can take weeks.
Estate agents can slash the time to complete a property transaction by collating all information upfront – when they list the property. That way, the conveyancer has everything needed for a comprehensive draft contract pack, and the transaction can and will move quickly from the outset.
What is upfront information (UFI)?
Estate agents can work with conveyancers to fast track a transaction – and enhance working relationships in the industry. If they cannot gather all the necessary information and paperwork, letting the conveyancer know what’s missing is a huge help.
Getting everything collated before creating the draft contract means fewer queries and delays later. Gathering this information upfront means conveyancing can start immediately when the seller accepts an offer. It’s a simple change, but estate agents can make an enormous difference to clients and the industry by gathering that information.
Complying with NTS material information requirements
The National Trading Standards new guidance means that estate agents are now mandated to gather and provide “material information” when a property goes on the market. Much of this will also be useful in the conveyancing transaction, and if the lawyer is instructed early enough in the process, they could assist with meeting the compliance burden. According to the new guidance, sellers are advised to bring a conveyancer on board at an early stage to help ensure validated information is available to the agent for marketing and that issues such as restrictive covenants or boundaries are addressed at an early stage.
Furthermore, if conveyancers adopt workflow management tools that are designed to specifically process UFI, they can easily automate a Key Facts Document to share to divulge all necessary data and information for you to comply with the requirements.
The benefits of actively processing UFI
Achieving an offer on a property can take up to 14 weeks2, so even getting to that point can be quite stressful for the parties involved.
When a buyer sees the process progress efficiently after making an offer, they feel more confident in the people supporting them. Expecting a fast completion, anecdotally, sees fewer buyers pull out of a purchase when they have less concern for delays.
With most material in place to draft the contract, conveyancers save considerable time not having to chase each other, estate agents and buyers or sellers. This way, they can expedite the transaction process.
At Ochresoft, we’re committed to creating efficiency through workflows and improving the property transaction process for everyone – and changing the industry for the better at the same time. We’re unpicking conveyancing to identify where we can speed up, streamline and deliver genuine benefits for all.
Our new Upfront Information (UFI) Property Process prepares conveyancers for the incoming influx of information from supportive estate agents, so, together, they can ensure comprehensive information gets moving from the moment a client accepts an offer on their property.
Existential ideas of transforming the property industry, at that point, feel less noble and more an obvious move to release pipeline value and nurture better relationships all round, so everyone wins.
Help the industry and help yourself;https://www.ochresoft.com/conveyancing-workflows/upfront-information-property-process
PREPARE TO BE INSPIRED
At ESTAS we’re proud to be a part of this year’s Women in Estate Agency Conference, taking place on Thursday 7th March 2024.
What started as a supportive Facebook group of nearly 3,000 members, has grown into a powerful platform that fosters positive change in the industry. Building on the success of last year’s conference, they’re gearing up for an even more impactful event for 2024.
We know this is a conference you don’t want to miss; Last year was one of the most aspiring events I have ever attended with amazing speakers, special guests, incredible networking opportunities and an aftershow party sponsored by us! We can’t wait to be a part of it.
If you’re interested in attending, discounted early bird tickets are available until Valentine’s Day.
To find out more and book your tickets, visit:
ESTAS Key date update for 2024
29th February – Deadline for reviews for 2024 awards
Midnight on 29th Feb is when the ‘Review Season‘ closes for the 2024 awards. As long as you have a minimum of 15 reviews from sellers & buyers or 15 from landlords or tenants (if you are entering one of the letting categories) your branch will be eligible for the ESTAS Shortlist for 2023. For all the minimum review requirements please click here.
26th April 2024 – ESTAS BIG Postcode Reveal
For the first time we are announcing our local Postcode Winners in April in a virtual Awards ceremony (this replaces our Shortlist announcements). The awards will be announced by Phil Spencer giving each firm the perfect platform to promote their ‘award winning service’ through the Spring and Summer. Winners of the Best in Postcode Category will then find out if they are a regional or national winner at prestigious ESTAS Awards in October.
Every agent who wins a Best in Postcode award will receive a free medal license and free marketing pack to promote their win across all of their online, social media and printed marketing activities with no date restrictions.
18th October 2024 – The ESTAS Awards
The biggest day in the UK residential property industry! Once again we’ll be bringing together the cream of estate agency, property lawyers and mortgage brokers to see who has won a coveted ESTAS Award at the 21st ESTAS Awards.
Tickets are now on sale at an early bird rate here.