The government should set up a website that helps home buyers and sellers understand what to look for in a conveyancing firm, a trade body has suggested.
Responding to the Department for Communities and Local Government's consultation on improving the homebuying process, which closed yesterday, the Conveyancing Association says the website should provide people with information about the work conveyancers do, and explain the conveyancing process and their options.
Also in its response, the association says the government should encourage the digital signing of deeds in conjunction with Land Registry's efforts to make such signatures a simple and user-friendly process. Biometric ID verification and anti-money laundering checks should be introduced. Each property should have a 'log book'. Sellers should be encouraged to provide more upfront information before marketing their property, such as title data, a conveyancing property information form, search data and structural information.
Estate agents should be required to pas a 'fit and proper person' test to trade, the response recommends. The association says it is 'generally supportive' of referral fees 'as they often provide transparency and deliver enhanced service levels due to the agreements in place'.
Beth Rudolf, the association's director of delivery, said the response has focused on 'thinking big' and 'not being constrained by the home buying process as it currently exists, or by what has happened in the past'.
She added: 'This response is all about delivering increased certainty for all parties and this is achievable if we improve the use of digital services and seek to use new and existing technology in order to cut down on duplication, to improve customer understanding, to reduce wasted time, to guard against fraud, to cut out unnecessary costs and delays, the list goes on.'