For a well-functioning property market, with transactions occurring regularly and with minimum disruption, a fast conveyancing process is of vital importance.
So estate agents across the land will be pleased to see the move by HM Land Registry to make its conveyancing ‘simpler, faster and cheaper’ for the general public.
Reflecting the increased desire for digital and online solutions to property issues, the Land Registry has recently been on a drive to digitalise its services.
The changes, which could happen as soon as April, will ultimately include conveyancing documents being fully digitised with e-signatures, while other measures will be introduced to make the process faster, slicker, simpler and cheaper as well as more protected against digital fraud and cyber-attacks.
A five year process
At the end of 2017 details were revealed of the Registry’s five year digital strategy to improve the conveyancing process, backed up with a league table of conveyancing companies that it said were creating additional work and unnecessary delays by submitting insufficient or inaccurate information.
As part of its plans, the Registry plans to automate and digitise around 95% of its daily transactions by 2022, up from the 81% recorded in 2016.
The plan is to make it much easier and more straightforward for conveyancers to submit applications to HM Land Registry, while the non-ministerial government department will also work closely with the industry to see how delays could be further reduced.
To make this possible, the Registry will look to automate “the most straightforward updates and aspects of the complex processes where possible and beneficial.” By doing this, experienced caseworkers will be saved from ‘needless copy typing, data entry and repeat administrative work’, which in turn will free them to focus on exercising expert judgement on registration applications.
Local Land Charges
It was recently revealed that the Registry has started working with 26 local authorities in England to transfer their local search information online - known officially as Local Land Charges. The programme is set to launch later this year and it’s hoped it will aid up to 125,000 buyers in 2018 to 2019.
The new digital register, the Registry says, will help eradicate regional variations in the speed, format and costs of searches. What’s more, online search results will be available immediately in a variety of formats to suit the customer.
The aim, ultimately, is for the Registry “to become the world’s leading land registry for speed, simplicity and an open approach to data,” while also cutting out some of the inconsistencies in service (dependent on postcode) that have caused issues in the past.
The government, which has promised to make the house-buying process simpler, faster and cheaper, and called for a consultation on how to make this possible, has backed the proposals to increase Land Registry’s digital credentials.
A more joined-up approach - with local councils on board and easier access to government information online for a reasonable fee - is expected to lead to quicker conveyancing for those buying and selling homes.
A digital future for our industry
Much like HM Land Registry, most agents are likely to be working on digital strategies to cope with the demands of a 21st century industry but making sure all your online processes work seamlessly is vitally important if you want stand out from the crowd and compete in a tough marketplace.
Pointing your clients in the direction of good-quality conveyancers is only one part of your business, but having reliable, tailored property software in place will free up more time for you to achieve that.
In an increasingly digital world, you’ll want all parts of your business to work in complete harmony, at the click of a button, from anywhere in the world. Our system allows you to do this, while also creating tailored customer log-in areas so you can keep your customers happy, engaged and informed, whether it’s a query about the conveyancing process or putting them in contact with a respected firm of solicitors/conveyancers in the first place.
It’s also vital, in this day and age, to have a website that both looks the part and works flawlessly. Our website design service, which can provide you with many cutting-edge features to help you stand apart from the competition, will ensure your website works as smoothly as HM Land Registry’s new conveyancing service, improving your offerings to both buyers and sellers into the bargain.
For more information about what we can do for you, please get in touch with us on 0208 123 9019 or book a free demo here.