Last week EYE published a piece by our regular columnist, Peter Ambrose, in which he talked about the length of time it takes for a property transaction to go through the conveyancing process.
Ambrose said: ‘…various Proptech offerings promote the concept that if everyone involved in a deal could access and automatically update the same checklist, this would solve this knotty progression problem. We’d exchange properties in six weeks and life would be fabulous. Sadly, this flawed thinking is based on misunderstandings of the process, which does mean that we’re going to be stuck with 22-week exchanges for the foreseeable future. Which is not quite so nice.’
As a result of that piece, Etienne Pollard, the CEO of ‘challenger’ conveyancing company, Juno, got in touch to take issue with the idea of the market having to endure such long periods between agreeing a deal and exchange of contracts.
Pollard says that his company has a median time to exchange of 90 days – just under 13 weeks – and that they can back that claim with published data.
He wrote to EYE saying:
“We all want to help people move home faster, but right now it’s taking longer than ever. Or is it?
“Rightmove says it takes an average of 150 days from offer accepted to completion. And last week, Peter Ambrose wrote that “we’re going to be stuck with 22 week exchanges for the foreseeable future”.
“But [our] detailed performance data shows [us] achieving a median time to exchange of just 90 days post-offer on freehold purchases, and only 2 weeks more than that for complex leaseholds.
“So how can Juno get to exchange that much faster? And are there other firms out there with an equally good (or better) median time to exchange?
“As we all know, enquiries are what really slows down conveyancing. If it takes 22 weeks to reach exchange overall, then it will take the average conveyancer about 120 days to go from search results to exchange, assuming it takes 1 week to issue the memorandum of sale, and another 3 weeks to order and receive searches.
“In contrast, conveyancing challengers like Juno take 71 days from search results to exchange on the median freehold purchase.
“They achieve this by ordering searches without delay, raising enquiries geared towards speedy resolution, and working with agents to chase for replies every few days. Three simple things that make all the difference.
“We can’t really say with confidence which other firms achieve this kind of timescale to exchange, because nobody else publishes this kind of detailed data online. What we do know is that the expected timescales that many firms advertise are very optimistic, especially in today’s market.
“That’s why [I am] calling on other conveyancing firms to collect and publish their own performance data online, so that buyers and sellers can see for themselves which conveyancers really help people move home faster.”
The following are Juno’s graphs showing the firm’s performance in recent months.
If other conveyancing operations would care to share similar comparative data EYE would be pleased to hear from them: firstname.lastname@example.org