Jun 22, 2023 9 min to read
For estate agents, a successful sale involves more than just finding a willing buyer for a motivated seller.
The conveyancing process, which includes legal and administrative tasks, is so often complex and time-consuming. And unfortunately, it’s during this period that many property sales fall through, causing frustration for both agents and clients.
However, with the right strategies in place, estate agents can significantly minimise the risks and increase the likelihood of a deal going through to completion. Here’s a few:
Promote Clear Communication
Effective communication lies at the heart of a smooth conveyancing process.
Estate agents should establish open and transparent lines of communication between all parties involved, including buyers, sellers, solicitors, and mortgage lenders.
Regular updates and prompt responses to enquiries can help build trust and prevent misunderstandings. During the point of instruction is a fantastic time to start talking about what happens after an offer is agreed, and what a seller (more on that in the next paragraph) can do to set themselves up for success.
Encourage your clients to ask questions throughout and ensure they understand each step of the process, thereby reducing the chances of unexpected complications derailing the sale.
Encourage Preemptive Checks and Documentation
One of the primary causes of delays in the conveyancing process is the discovery of issues that could have been identified earlier.
Encourage sellers to conduct necessary searches, as well as any property specific checks, such as obtaining an up-to-date property survey and addressing any potential legal or structural issues beforehand.
By preemptively addressing these matters, agents can minimise the risk of unexpected problems arising during the conveyancing process.
Use a GREAT solicitor
Choosing the right solicitor can have a significant impact on the success of a property sale.
Estate agents should recommend reputable professionals with experience in residential transactions. Efficient solicitors who proactively handle legal matters, including raising and replying to enquiries, actioning property searches, getting copies of title deeds and contracts, can help expedite the process through to exchange and reduce the likelihood of complications, anxieties, changes-of-minds or other costly delays.
Make sure your buyers are ready
Financial issues can often lead to a property sale falling through.
Encourage buyers to seek mortgage pre-approval early in the process to ensure they have a clear understanding of their borrowing capacity. This step helps prevent unexpected financing hurdles from jeopardising the sale.
Similarly, urge sellers to gather all necessary financial documentation, such as proof of ownership and mortgage details, ahead of time to avoid last-minute delays.
Set and closely manage expectations of all parties involved
Estate agents play a crucial role in overseeing the conveyancing process.
By staying actively involved and monitoring key milestones and deadlines, agents can proactively address any potential roadblocks. Set expectations clearly from the moment an offer is agreed and agree between parties when the regular communication for updates should take place. Hold each party to account on what they agreed to. If this is done right, amongst professional parties, early in the process then there should be no need to ‘chase’.
Estate agents should also educate their clients on just how long the process may take if all the planets don’t align perfectly for them. Many clients may be unfamiliar with the complexities of the conveyancing process. Share informative guides or host seminars explaining the different stages involved in property conveyancing. By empowering clients with knowledge, they will be better prepared, less anxious, and more likely to support the smooth progression of the sale.
Bringing it all together
The conveyancing process is a critical period where property sales in the UK may encounter unexpected hurdles and potentially fall through. However, by employing the strategies outlined above, estate agents can significantly enhance the chances of a successful and smooth transaction.