Conveyancing Association Director of Delivery Beth Rudolf, LFS Sales Director Richard Mathias, Ryder and Dutton’s Managing Director Richard Powell and Managing Director at Clutton Cox Conveyancers, Paul Hajek discuss pushing the industry forward to form better processes for client engagement and in turn speed up transactions.
Throughout the panel discussion from HBSG plans through to revisiting HIPS, there were inevitably several questions raised.
Here is a snippet of 5 key topics discussed.
Q: To make this actually work will the lawyers not have to stop no sale no fee?
A: Not at all, in fact quite the opposite. Estate Agents continue to work on a no sale no fee basis and sellers will always gravitate to those that offer that service. People are prepared to pay for results in general, even if that means having to pay more than they would otherwise. If this were not the case then Purple Bricks would be the dominant agent and whilst the pay upfront agents have made progress, they are still considerably less than 10% of the market. It may require law firms to charge slightly more however to cover the cost of work on cases that don’t complete.
Q: How do we avoid poor packs being provided?
A: It is vital that Lawyers take charge of the process and not let third party panel managers move into this space. That is what happened with HIPS with the likes of LMS, Live, Simply, etc producing low cost packs and selling them for huge profits. If Law firms gather the information and do the checks they will be far more likely to succeed.
Q: Will clients pay the additional disbursements needed to use the new up front data becoming available?
A: There will be different models. Some agents and law firms will be happy collecting funds from sellers upfront. Others will make arrangements to do this on a no sale no fee basis with search companies being paid on completion in the same way the law firms and estate agents are today.
Q: For estate agents there is a worry that lawyers will not start work on transactions for fear of spending clients’ money too soon – how do we allay these fears?
A: That’s why lawyers and agents need to work together. The law firms will welcome the steady flow of work at a guaranteed price with a no sale no fee solution. In return the transaction times will fall and everyone will be a winner.
Q: Are the forms completed by the seller/client via the estate agent the TA6? And then this is shared?
A: Minerva collects the data from the client in a web form and then populates the TA6 for the law firm and the PIQ for the agents using the same data. This means the client only completes it once, but both parties get the date they require. The ID is completed on behalf of the law firm and the clients authorises the law firm to share this with the agent. This means both parties can comply with money laundering requirements.