Conveyancers suggest better communication would help speed up post-offer queries

The survey is used to identify w. the industry can collaborate to improve the mortgage and conveyancing process.

It also asks conveyancers to rate a number of lenders in terms of their waiting and response times, consistency of reply, clarity of mortgage instruction and follow-up actions.

When asked how the post-mortgage offer process could speed up, 48% of conveyancers believe better communication via the lender portals would speed up the post-mortgage offer process.

Conveyancers also suggested other ways that would speed up the post-mortgage offer process including securing a better response time to queries (36%), greater consistency within UK Finance’s lender handbook part two (11%) and the introduction of a standard post-offer referral form (5%).

While 11% focused on the lender handbook, when asked whether they felt either the UK Finance or building societies handbooks needed to be updated, less than half said yes.

The survey also sought to gain views on the withdrawal of mortgage offers and how common this had now become.

While 50% of respondents said they had rarely acted for a client who had a mortgage offer withdrawn or amended, 27% said this had happened ‘sometimes’, while 8% said ‘usually’.

Elsew., when asked why a mortgage offer might have been withdrawn, almost 50% answered that it was to do with issues with the property title, 27% believe the borrower not meeting affordability requirements, 12% said the terms of the lease and 13% noted something else.

Meanwhile, conveyancers were generally positive about the use of lender portals with over 80% believing they add benefits to the profession in helping them deal with lenders.

However, only just over 50% believe the charges to use them are reasonable.

T. was also overwhelming positivity about the greater use of Qualified Electronic Signatures (QES) within the process.

Close to 80% of respondents said they felt having the ability to sign dispositions such as mortgage deeds and transfers using a QES accepted by HM Land Registry would improve the customer journey.

The Conveyancing Association director of delivery Beth Rudolf says the survey is “always a useful exercise in its ability to determine the current bottlenecks that we hope can be overcome with a sharing of this .rmation and greater collaboration to improve the home moving and mortgage process”.

“Clearly, we have already started to engage with the lender community on potential areas for improvement. Post-offer queries are a major drain on all stakeholders within the process and it’s obvious from the survey results that a large number of these can be sidestepped with the greater use of upfront .rmation at the point of marketing.”

“This is already on its way thanks to the National Trading Standards Estate and Letting Agent Team project to deliver material .rmation. By having the correct details about a property at instruction, stakeholders can reduce their liability and the resources needed in dealing with the case which will improve the home moving process for all, especially the consumer.”

“We all want to see an efficient, more certain, conveyancing process in action. One that does not take the best part of five to six months, and in terms of the post-mortgage offer process, conveyancers feel better communication and quicker query response times will help significantly.”

“Greater use of technological solutions and digital options will make a huge difference to the consumer, the conveyancer and HM Land Registry.  It’s t.fore positive to see the enthusiasm for QES usage amongst conveyancers from the results, and we are aware 21 law firms are currently signed up to a QES pilot with HM Land Registry, utilising three signature platforms,” Rudolf adds.

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