Almost a quarter of consumers believe a home purchase or sale fell through due to poor communication between lawyers, lenders and estate agents, a survey has found.

The poll, commissioned by the Conveyancing Association and carried out by OnePoll, showed widespread dissatisafaction at delays in the buying process over the past five years.

For 52% of respondents who had bought or sold a house since 2008, the transaction took longer than expected, with 48% saying the process involved unforeseen delays.

Of the 1,500 respondents, 47% felt the parties involved in their sale or purchase (including the solicitor or conveyancer, the lender and the estate agent) could have communicated with each other better, while 46% said this would have significantly speeded up the home buying or selling process.

The Conveyancing Association will use the survey results to promote its new protocol for best practice.

The document collates guidance from the Law Society, the Council for Licensed Conveyancers, Legal Ombudsman, Council of Mortgage Lenders and case law to create a single point of reference for solicitors to provide a better service.

The association claims the protocol could shorten the length of time of a house transaction by up to five working days.

Eddie Goldsmith, Chairman of the Conveyancing Association, said: ‘Anyone who has purchased or sold a house knows what a stressful time this can be. We hope the protocol will ensure that all parties involved in the purchase or sale of a house are singing from the same hymn sheet – facilitating communication and cutting down the time currently being lost during this process.’