Estate agents must take their share of blame for property transaction delays

Iain McKenzie
Iain McKenzie

Delays with the return of property searches has been one key factor for sales taking longer to complete.

The conveyancing process, and searches have predominantly been held responsible for delays in recent years across the property transaction; owing to sheer volume of transactions, inconsistencies and lack of collaboration, but estate agents must take their share of blame for property transaction delays, according to the CEO of The Guild of Property Professionals, Iain McKenzie.

While McKenzie believes the conveyancing process is dated and needs to change, agents are not in his view entirely blameless and have their part to play to some degree.

He commented: “I believe that the process is too linear, and more than one aspect should be done at the same time by the conveyancer. However, agents should manage their clients’ expectations and disappointment by clearing the runway and ensuring all the information they provide to the conveyancer is correct.”

McKenzie points out that 60% of memorandums of sale are inaccurate, often because they do not have the right initials or names, while there are no chain details on them or upfront information.

“To help speed the process, agents could also look at instructing their conveyancer at the time of instruction. Moreover, agents should be explaining to their clients that they are client, and they must tell their lawyer what to do,” he added. “It is important that agents have as much knowledge about the conveyancing process as possible, so that they can take control of their conveyancing chain themselves.”


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  1. Highstreetblues

    A controversial article. I think you’ll find us EA’s do enough having to needlessly “progress chase” the transactions. “Talk to the other side” when the Conveyancer can’t be bothered to pick up the phone, or if a query is too difficult. There wouldn’t be any instructions if it wasn’t for us – and now we’re having to wait endlessly to be paid. Moan over 🙂 Have a good day!

  2. janbyerss


    Standard sols reply ” i have sent an e mail and am waiting for a reply”

    If sols picked up a phone rather than sending e mails the while thing would be much faster


  3. Another House

    What is the point of spending time putting chain details on memos when the solicitors say they are to busy to update their clients. They don’t call each other!! One of the real issues is that both buyers and sellers do not see the value in paying a few hundred quid more for a decent solicitor but when they do there is normally a rubbish one on the other side or in the chain and so the delays begin. I welcome the day when I can spend all my time on getting properties on and selling them rather than spending half a day chasing everyone. Sales progression is done because another party involved is not doing their job


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