In an article drafted by James Munro, for Property Industry eye, the Head of the National Trading Standards Estate and Letting Agency team makes it clear that having agents encourage the engagement of a lawyer or conveyancer from a property’s listing is the best way to improve transaction times and mitigate mistakes.
"We would like to see agents encouraging sellers to engage a lawyer or conveyancer at the outset to make sure that all the necessary information is collected, and that issues such as problems with title, restrictive covenants and other matters are addressed at an early stage.
More and more agents are checking the title plan and title deeds for properties – these are available online at minimal cost and can provide valuable information about rights of way and other information which should be disclosed on the property particulars.
How many agents have been told by a seller about the boundaries of the garden only for it turn out that the bit of garden at the end doesn’t actually belong to the property?
The introduction of property information questionnaires for use by agents is a great step forward. Getting properties ‘market ready’ is welcome news.
The aim of getting market ready is to smooth the journey for agents and their customers – reducing the time taken, with fewer abandoned transactions. Why wait for people to find things out further down the line?
If sales agents could convince vendors to instruct lawyers or conveyancers at the outset, so much more could be done at an earlier stage, which would ultimately save time and money for all concerned."
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Head of National Trading Standards Estate & Letting Agency Team