Conveyancers have given their backing amid increasing political appetite towards reform of the home-buying process.
The Conveyancing Association says it was pleased to have seen references in political party manifestos to improving the way transactions are made, and has particularly highlighted the Conservative Party manifesto pledge to “reform and modernise the home-buying process” and “crack down on unfair leasehold practices”.
The trade body says while it recognises the lack of appetite for a return to Home Information Packs (HIPs), its members have backed the creation of a digital-home report (D-Home Reports) which would include a comprehensive collection of information, available to prospective purchasers at the point the property is marketed.
The Association released a white paper on improving the home-buying process last year that also suggested the introduction of binding offers, similar to the reservation agreements already in place for the purchase of new-build property.
This would involve an affordable deposit being put down by the purchaser, with the potential for an insurance policy to be taken out by the seller so that if they withdraw, the purchaser’s expenses are covered.
Eddie Goldsmith, chairman of the Association, said: “We believe it is, without doubt, the right time to completely move away from the 19th century conveyancing process which is in no way fit for 21st century consumers.
“It is not acceptable in this digital era that clients have to deal with a conveyancing process which is non-digital, paper-based and keeps them in the dark throughout on the progress of the other parties in the transaction.
“Recent talks around the return of HIPs are something of a red herring because no one in the industry would want to see the Packs returned in their previous guise.
“However, by delivering a D-Home Report we believe we can save large amounts of time and put all stakeholders on the front foot before a property is even marketed.”