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New plans to streamline the buying and selling of homes

New proposals have been put forward to streamline and speed up the process of buying and selling a home.

The new ideas are contained in a discussion document called Modernising the Home Moving Process, which has been drawn up by the Conveyancing Association.

The White Paper focuses particularly on the benefits to be gained from creating greater certainty far earlier in the home moving process. It suggests a number of ways in which this can be achieved including:

·  centralising the identity verification of the parties to reduce the risk of fraud and money laundering

·  collating the Property Information and Title Information on the marketing of a property

·  requiring a legal commitment on offer to reduce transaction failures

·  requiring completion monies to be sent through the day before completion

·  amending the Commonhold & Leasehold Reform Act 2002 to resolve the unreasonable cost and delay now associated with the leasehold sales process

·  providing a reliable lending decision-in-principle based on a ‘hard’ credit report without impacting on the applicant’s credit score

·  reviewing the CML Handbook to remove anomalies and ambiguous entries which generate post-valuation enquiries.

Eddie Goldsmith, Chairman of The Conveyancing Association, said: “Since the beginning of the recovery of the property market, conveyancing times have steadily increased from eight weeks – from offer to completion – up to the latest estimate, which places transaction times at 13 weeks.

“For leasehold transactions the length of time is often greater. It is against this backdrop that the CA decided to embark on a project to identify why these delays occur, how the process works in other countries, and by undertaking research and talking to as many stakeholders as possible, to identify potential solutions which can get us to a far better place for all concerned.”

The proposals will be discussed in detail over the coming months. We shall keep clients informed of developments.

Please contact us if you would like more information about the legal aspects of buying or selling a home.