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House buyers blame poor communication for failed transactions

Conveyancing Association launches protocol to act as 'single reference point'

6 December 2013

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Almost a quarter of house buyers blame poor communication between lawyers, lenders and estate agents for failed transactions, according to a survey for the Conveyancing Association.

The survey also found that, of 1,500 people who had bought a house in the past five years, 47 per cent felt that lawyers, lenders and solicitors could have communicated better. A similar percentage said they believed this would have "significantly speeded up" the process.

Researchers from OnePoll reported that just over a half of house buyers said the transaction took longer than expected, with just under half saying it involved unforeseen delays.

Publication of the survey results coincides with the launch today of the Conveyancing Association protocol.

A spokesman said this was "designed to collate guidance from the Law Society, the Council for Licensed Conveyancers, the legal ombudsman, the Council for Mortgage Lenders and case law" and provide, for the first time, a "single point of reference for best practice".

He said the Association believed the protocol could shorten the length of a house transaction by up to five working days.

Eddie Goldsmith, chairman of the Association, called on "members and non-members alike" to refer to the protocol in "industry-wide effort to streamline the conveyancing process".

Goldsmith said he hoped the protocol "would 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".