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Graham Awards


Are lawyers holding up housing transactions?

Some 45 per cent of homebuyers cited in a survey say slow property lawyer response time is a key pain point in the house buying process.

The research highlights how compliance and administrative procedures, including paper documentation and ID verification, contribute to a negative experience for people using conveyancers and property lawyers.

The survey of 2,054 UK adults by YouGov, on behalf of Thirdfort, also reveals other key pain points for homebuyers: 32 per cent cite cost, 24 per cent highlight providing paper documents such as bank statements, utilities and payslips; 22 per cent say providing information already supplied to an estate agent or mortgage broker, and 13 per cent cite confirming their identity by gathering ID and/or proof of address.


Recent data suggests that the average time to sell a home has hit a 10 year high with the housing market feeling the impact of high inflation and rising interest rates.

Olly Thornton-Berry, co-founder and managing director of Thirdfort, says: “Housing market uncertainty and rising interest rates mean it is more important than ever for home buyers to get their property transactions over the line quickly. Despite this, transaction times are increasing, creating stress and uncertainty for buyers and sellers. Conveyancers are a critical part of this puzzle. Our research shows that law firm clients value a quicker and more efficient service without the administrative headaches associated with compliance and client onboarding. 

“Tech developments such as Open Banking, and biometric verification, can help make compliance simple, fast and secure. Despite this, many conveyancers still rely on gathering paper documents. We need more forward-looking property professionals to embrace the latest technology to transform the client experience.”


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