It is time to take active steps to speed up transactions

Ed Mead

Want to speed up your transactions? Take active steps now (whilst hot air continues).

A merry go round of ministers, agents and conveyancers are arguing over who does what how and when in the buying and selling process. Multiple interest groups talk but whilst precious little is done, yet there are simple steps we all know about getting lost in the noise.

It’s all going on but nothing’s happening.

Fact is that for almost all transactions agreeing a deal usually entails a solid 14-21 day delay before a meaningful contract goes out.

Stephen Foden, from Fodens Solicitors, puts it like this…

  • Memorandum of sale issued
  • Conveyancers seek instructions from buyer and request funds for searches
  • Buyer provides instructions, ID and funds
  • Conveyancer orders searches
  • Searches returned

…….and as a West Midlands National Agent simply says…

“Having the searches before a sale was agreed cut the exchange time in half”.

So, a large chunk of this delay is unnecessary and easily sortable – right now, but how best?

Back in my day personal searches were not widely accepted, with lenders at the front of the queue. Happily, only 4% of lenders decline them now and those providing them are rated and do the job properly – despite having to use either their own or conveyancers’ insurance to back them up. Official searches are backed by Local Authority insurance, but we all know the potential delays there. What you might not have known is the disparity in costs between personal and official, or that you can leverage that difference in a way that might surprise you.

Using personal searches opens up a better income stream as official searches are much more expensive and offer a less headroom for a sensible referral fee. Thus, we have a win/win here as agents can both recommend a modern and faster result – whilst benefiting financially. Counterintuitive perhaps, but a vagary worth further investigation.

As a baby step towards speeding things up, immediately and meaningfully, how would you feel if I said you could have all this, pre-installed in a data room ready to send to all parties – oh, and make a properly earned and significant referral fee into the bargain?




Email the story to a friend!


  1. Rob Hailstone

    So, this is an article on how to obtain another referral fee by marking up the price of a personal search, making the public pay more than they need to?

  2. aSalesAgent

    Official searches ordered direct from two of my local authorities would only three workings days; however, almost all the lawyers I deal with order regulated searches instead. Searches sourced via an intermediary search provider take at least four weeks, frustrating many of my sales.

  3. Rob Hailstone

    For the avoidance of doubt, a regulated search is what was know as a personal search. AKA a regulated personal search.

  4. #ImpressiveConveyancing

    Always official as anything less you would need to have fully disclosed to a client why you would ever want to depart from official – that would be hard to cover everthing.



You must be logged in to report this comment!

Comments are closed.

Thank you for signing up to our newsletter, we have sent you an email asking you to confirm your subscription. Additionally if you would like to create a free EYE account which allows you to comment on news stories and manage your email subscriptions please enter a password below.