Eight ways to improve the home moving process

The Conveyancing Association publishes a plan to improve the moving experience for everyone

The Conveyancing Association has devised a tech-centric eight-point Strategic Plan to improve the home-moving process for everyone, including a proposal to bring in “E-Home Reports” – which sounds quite a lot like HIPs.

The Plan, published in a dossier called “Building the framework for the future” follows last year’s publication of the CA’s rather more in-depth White Paper on “Modernising the Home Moving Process” and sets out how the CA intend to deliver three key aims:

  • Swifter certainty
  • Fraud protection
  • Effective communication

The plan breaks these pithy aims down into eight work streams which it believes can offer “significant improvements to the home moving process”.

Eight ways The Conveyancing Association wants to improve the home moving process:

  1. Enhanced ID verification: helping develop a reliable product that reduces verification instances but increases certainty.
  2. E-Home Reports – upfront provision of information: providing a comprehensive collection of information upfront prior to the property being marketed.
  3. Reservation agreements: providing a standardised agreement to reduce uncertainty and create home mover choice.
  4. Completion certainty: enabling completion monies to be sent the day before completion to make moving home easier for clients on the day of completion.
  5. Leasehold reform: reducing the costs and delays associated with leasehold transactions, plus helping develop a redress scheme and support fair terms in new leases.
  6. Lending process improvements: creating the ability for buyers to obtain a reliable Decision-in-Principle, plus reduce post-offer queries and improve communication with lenders.
  7. Better search data provision: reducing costs and delays, plus creating a version of CON 29 relevant for lenders with optional borrower questions, and digitise relevant data.
  8. A secure property portal: helping create a secure communications platform including a ‘Property Log Book’ for every property.

Each of these eight “streams” gets a brief step-by-step explainer of how it might deliver positive progress,  but the CA flags up that some ideas are pretty ambitious… The “Property Log Book” in particular could take some work to get up and running. But others feel like they could deliver quick wins.

Beth Rudolf, Director of Delivery at the Conveyancing Association: “After considerable input from many stakeholders and our member firms, we are now able to present our plans for delivering real change in the home moving process through this Strategic Plan. The eight work streams outlined are focused on areas which we believe require significant attention but also have the capacity to make the most difference to all those who take some part in the purchase of a home. They cover a wide range of intended deliverables and, for some, come with a number of unique and not inconsiderable challenges to meet. However at the CA we believe that, just because these may be difficult to achieve, it doesn’t mean we should shirk from them.

“Last year’s White Paper set the scene for the improvements we believe are absolutely necessary in order to create a far more positive home moving experience, and now through this Strategic Plan we set out the steps we will be taking to achieve them. By setting out these work streams we want to invite further engagement and support, and to provide an outline of how we will progress through their delivery and the results we want to achieve.

“In a number of key areas, progress has already been made – I’m thinking particularly of leasehold reform where, thanks to the concerted efforts of stakeholders, the Government has committed to a review of leasehold tenure, and where we have already begun the process of developing greater consumer understanding via our consumer guide on leasehold administration fees which provides consumers with the information necessary to ask the right questions before viewing a property. There is clearly further work to be done, not least providing a form of redress, but in terms of this work stream we are already some way down the track.

“For others, there is clearly a lot more to be done, but this Strategic Plan provides an overall guide for us to follow and focuses us on the job ahead. We would like to thank those who have already engaged with us for their insight and support, and will be looking for further involvement from many practitioners, affiliates, stakeholders and other organisations, to make these ambitions a reality.”

Read the full dossier at conveyancingassociation.org.uk (PDF)