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Improving the home buying and selling process

 

The Government published its findings following a ‘Call for Evidence’ and opened its summary with the immortal line “We all know that the current home buying and selling process in England is not fit for purpose.”
Now, Sajid Javid may have a point, and there is no question that a significant number of coordinated changes need to be made in order to make the experience of buying and selling property better for all stakeholders. But such a sweeping statement does great disservice to many thousands of hard working souls that are trying to make that broken process work.

 

We have moved a long way from quill and parchment, and technology certainly has an integral part to play but there is currently still a fundamental need for human intervention in the conveyancing process.

 

Crucially, all stakeholders in a transaction have to recognise, appreciate and behave in the context of partnership, not just acting as ‘buyers’ and ‘sellers’ of legal services. The hysterical demand for immediate attention and results, and the seeking out of someone to blame when things are delayed or, heaven forbid, incorrect will only ever compound the problem. Viewed in another way, positive dialogue and a desire for cooperation between all stakeholders surely leads to a better prospect for success than conflict and unreasonable expectation.

 

The latest Government initiative to centralise Land Charges at the Land Registry causes greater information fragmentation and the expectation that all local authority searches can be completed within ten days is a laudable ambition but is wholly unachievable in the short term. An entire industry, the personal search agent, grew up based on exactly the same challenges 15-20 years ago and still offers a genuine alternative to the ‘Council Search’.

 

At Index Property Information, we have completely embraced the partnership approach. Our relationships with multiple Local Authority departments (Land Charges, Planning, Building Control, Highways to name just four) enables us to gather public information and produce a Regulated Search, generally quicker, at least as accurate and cheaper than the Council Search.

 

Index has been delivering great service to our customers since we opened our doors in 2010 and, never mind a ten-day turnaround, can provide evidence of complete search packs having been delivered on the same day as the request. It might be unusual but it’s certainly not unheard of nor unachievable.

 

To our customers, we are trusted ‘partners’ in the conveyancing process, the support that we give to them enables a great deal more efficiency and cost savings than for those that don’t yet work with us!

 

If Sajid Javid would like help and guidance on the ‘art of the possible’ in relation to at least one part of our broken conveyancing process, then he need look no further than Index and my door is always open!

 

Anne Lucking, Managing Director – Index Property Information


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