New poll reveals public's ignorance of conveyancing matters
Nearly one in five people think that estate agents carry out conveyancing and the majority of homeowners do not know what they are paying for in a local property search. The poll, commissioned by the Council for National Land Information Service (C-NLIS), the leading provider of land and property information, reveals that the British public are uninformed about many areas of the housing market.
For example: a worrying 19% of respondents think that estate agents carry out conveyancing, and a further 8% think that homeowners actually carry out the task themselves. Many are also unclear on what they are paying for when they commission their conveyancers to carry out local searches. With high profile cases, such as Madonna discovering that a footpath lies on her premises in Wiltshire, 73% of people are aware that local searches can, if a specific enquiry has been made, identify close proximity to public rights of way. However, under half of the respondents realised that the following were also identified: planned road humps and sewer works, as well as resident parking controls.
Items which can be found on a full search response include, close proximity to public right of way, planned road humps, sewer works and nearby resident parking controls. Many homeowners are also unaware how vital it is for their conveyancers to use the most up to date local authority searches, as under a third of respondents know that local searches have, for conveyance purposes, a shelf life of only three months.
Although it is less than six months until the packs will be mandatory, a worrying 37% of homeowners are still unaware of HIPs, which will contain information upfront on a property for sale. There is also confusion over who will foot the bill, with 15% of people believing that estate agents, and 29% believing buyers, will have to pay for the pack.
Over half of the respondents do not know what the current Bank of England base interest rate is, despite it recently increasing to 5% last month. With a high percentage of respondents failing to keep abreast of the changing base rate, many homeowners could be overlooking the impact the latest rise will have on their personal wealth and could unwittingly be paying more for their mortgage.