The UK Conveyancing Market #2: National Homebuyers Survey Results

Our second story is based on independent national poll on consumer experience of buying and selling a home, sponsored by Veyo, reveals that the waiting aspect of buying a home is the most stressful part of the process. And the single most popular change homebuyers would like to see to improve the process is a faster and quicker service.
Highlights from the survey:
· The waiting aspect of buying a home was revealed as the most stressful part
· The average conveyancing process is reported to take 11.3 weeks
· A quarter of respondents are willing to pay more for a faster service
· Dealing with solicitors is a key stress point when buying or selling a house
· Just under a third of respondents (29%) felt out of touch during the conveyancing process and just over a third (36%) have very limited knowledge of the process
· Significant repeat business is lost – a third of respondents are considering selling again in the next three years but 42% of respondents are not sure or unlikely to reuse their conveyancer / solicitor
· Solicitors dominate the conveyancing market with 78% of consumers using a solicitor, 11% using a licensed conveyancer and the remaining respondents undertaking their own conveyancing or using an online conveyancing service
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When the 2000 respondents were asked what single change they would like to see to serve them better in the future, more opted for a faster, quicker process than lower costs, fees and stamp duty. With the conveyancing process reported to take almost 12 weeks, 65% of respondents were either willing or undecided as to whether they would pay more for a faster service.
Veyo, the conveyancing portal to be launched in Spring 2015, is a joint venture between the Law Society and Mastek UK. It will bring together in one portal all the processes, checks and documentation prepared and undertaken by solicitors and licensed conveyancers in the sale and purchase of residential properties, therefore improving the efficiency and speed of the process.
Elliot Vigar, CEO of Veyo, comments “There is a long history of misgivings for the lengthy conveyancing process in England and Wales. An average conveyancing time of three months in our digital era is simply not good enough for homebuyers and they have made it clear what they wish for. With many homebuyers even willing to stump up more money for a fast track service, it is clear that conveyancers or solicitors who are able to demonstrate their speed and efficiency will have a competitive edge to their business offering.”
The survey also revealed that one in ten consider home buying to be the most stressful life event they have ever experienced, placing it above other events such as a redundancy and having a baby for the first time. ‘Dealing with solicitors’ is seen as a key stress point when buying or selling a house. In addition to the lengthy process, consumers in the survey vented their frustrations about poor levels of service and poor communication. Just under a third of people in the survey reported feeling out of touch during the conveyancing process and of those, 60% found dealing with solicitors as one of the most stressful aspect of buying or selling a house.
Elliot Vigar continues “Understandably buying a home is incredibly stressful – there is a huge sum of money at stake. But adding to the stress is the fact that many homebuyers do not feel in control, are out of the loop and have limited knowledge of the conveyancing process. This can have a very negative impact on their relationship with their conveyancer, reducing opportunities for repeat business or any business referral. Many home movers stressed their desire for improved communication and greater transparency with advice up-front – enabling them to feel more in control. With the introduction of our conveyancing portal, home movers for the first time can track the conveyancing process of their house sale or purchase as well as properties along the whole chain, transforming their home buying experience.”