Major shift in the way ‘conveyancers and estate agents liaise with each other’

Conveyancing expert Lloyd Davies, former operations director of the Conveyancing Association, believes that the working relationship between estate agents and conveyancers is fast improving.

Davies, who has worked in conveyancing for more than 30 years, said the industry had faced its most difficult time since the Second World War during the pandemic with “five quarterly Christmas and SDLT deadlines, a massive backlog of work as well as the disruption to office working”.

And he predicted that while 2022 may be “steadier”, the relationship between agents and conveyancers will continue to improve.

He said: “I believe that there has been a shift in the way that conveyancers and estate agents liaise with each other, with a more professional and understanding approach becoming more prevalent.

“The wellbeing initiatives engendered by the industry such as the “Be Kind We Care” initiative will continue to drive standards up in the industry, as poor behaviour amongst professionals is no longer acceptable, and industry leaders are enlightened as to how they can get the best out of their teams through wellbeing initiatives and training.”

Davies also predicted that property prices will continue to increase in 2022 with transaction volumes remaining high, which is why he believes it is important that companies ensure that conveyancers are not overloaded with work; that they take regular time away from the office on holidays to avoid burnout; that they don’t overwork from home and that they look after themselves and each other.

He continued: “I believe that the pandemic will continue to have an impact on our work and lives, perhaps for several years to come, but most conveyancing practices have adapted to home working and restricted access to the office and have been operating at full capacity for most of this year.

“Transaction volumes are still high, although the number of properties on the market is a concern. Demand will continue to outstrip supply as stock is low and so house prices will continue to increase next year – at an average of 8-9% I believe. Transaction attrition rates will decrease as purchasers will need to follow through due to the lack of properties to choose from.

“Volumes will remain high I believe, at well over a million residential property transactions, following on from the record residential sales year in 2021, forecast to be the busiest year since 2007, and just over a million sales in 2020 and close to that in 2019.”

“The migration away from the cities will continue with city spaces being filled readily by eager youngsters and first time buyers. Prices in rural and coastal areas will rise well above those in the cities as home working and the choice of locality is now a reality for so many.”



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  1. Rob Hailstone

    A positive note to end the year on:)

  2. johnclay

    Interesting that a positive article about the future of the legal process generates just one comment.  Does it demonstrate the ignorance of estate agents and others not involved in the conveyancing process who think that it just involves shuffling a few forms around?  Until agents wake up, understand the complexity of the process and cooperate there is no chance of moving forward.  Conveyancers want to speed things up, whereas agents just want to whinge.

    I give one simple example:  CPRs (Consumer Protection Regulations) require agents to supply details of the lease when a flat is advertised.  In practice very few do so (breaking the law) which causes a long delay or even an abort when the buyer discovers that the lease is too short or the service charges are high.


    1. PeeBee

      “Does it demonstrate the ignorance of estate agents and others not involved in the conveyancing process…?”
      No – I would suggest that it demonstrates (backed up by the read count) that it’s Christmas Eve and not many are reading EYE.
      “CPRs (Consumer Protection Regulations) require agents to supply details of the lease when a flat is advertised.”
      Actually, I would suggest – shock, horror! – there is no requirement whatsoever in the CPRs 2008 to supply Lease information.  CPRs are a set of general regulations covering a multitude of  ‘traders’ – and while there are some examples of bad business practice given within the Legislation, none specifically relate to Estate Agency… but feel free to post the relevant paragraph and prove me wrong.
      In the 2015 “Guidance on Property Sales and Lettings” document published by National Trading Standards it is stated
      “In the most straightforward property sales and lets, the material information that you should give to consumers may be quite basic (the asking price, location, number and size of rooms, whether the property is freehold or leasehold, length of lease, amount of service charges and ground rent, and the status of utilities/services)… This information should be provided as early in the marketing process as possible and not left until a potential buyer expresses an interest in a property.”
      I would suggest that neither “that you should” or “should be” are bold, precise and compelling instructions that something is supposedly a Legal requirement.
      The Guidance also states
      “At the outset of the marketing process, you are not expected to research issues that are outside your line of business, for example, where your business is marketing property and the issues are those that a surveyor or conveyancer would investigate.”
      According to the Licensed Conveyancer Job Description published on the SimplyLaw website, duties include
      * Checking contracts on behalf of your clients
      * Working with Land Registry documents and title deeds.
      The Agent is commissioned by the seller, and works, as specified in TEAA 1979 in their best interests.  The Conveyancer is commissioned by the buyer, and has a duty of care to their client.  So… the debate rages on… is it the Estate Agent’s job – or the buyer’s Conveyancer’s job – to provide the information to the ‘consumer’?
      Back to your comments.
      “In practice very few do so (breaking the law)”
      The above Guidance states
      “This guidance is not a substitute for the law itself nor does it replace the role of a court which is to provide a definitive interpretation of the law…
      The guidance will be kept under review and we will consider adding to it on an ongoing basis in the light of user feedback, practical experience, case law and changes in legislation.”
      To that effect, it is believed that, to date (despite hundreds of thousands of Leasehold properties having been sold since CPRs took effect over thirteen years ago) not one single case has been tested in court.  It would seem then that the Legal system does not want to poke that particular hornets’ nest with its’ sharp stick.
      “Conveyancers want to speed things up, whereas agents just want to whinge.”
      Sounds like you don’t subscribe to Mr Davies’ belief that Agents and Conveyancers are making some inroads on improving relations between the camps.  That, I suggest, is your problem to deal with, Sir – but I would recommend you go about dealing with your problem in a different way, as ironically, your post is a prima facie whinge.
      And you surely don’t want to be seen to be whingeing like an agent, do you?


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