Compliance can expedite property transaction exchanges and improve the conveyancing process - Blog

Compliance can expedite property transaction exchanges and improve the conveyancing process

Compliance can expedite property transaction exchanges and improve the conveyancing process

Compliance Update Paul Offley, The Guild's Compliance Officer 24th July 2023

There are several benefits to ensuring the conveyancing and property exchange process moves ahead with as few delays as possible, such as reducing potential costs and stress for all parties concerned, as well as enhancing customer satisfaction levels for both buyers and sellers. Another key benefit to estate agents is that a faster conveyancing process can contribute to the overall economic growth of the sector, something that is particularly pertinent during more challenging times. 


Paul Offley, Compliance Officer at The Guild of Property Professionals, says that a comprehensive compliance process can help estate agents to expediate the property transaction process and meet the required legal requirements, by ensuring they have all the necessary criteria in place from the start.  He notes that this will reduce the number of sale fall throughs, as well as reducing the time from sale agreed to exchange. 


“A compliance strategy can assist agents to create a time efficient process that does not compromise on the thoroughness and accuracy required in property transactions. A balance between efficiency and compliance is essential to maintain the integrity of the process,” Offley comments. “Compliance plays a crucial role in ensuring a smooth and efficient conveyancing process. By providing upfront material information and adhering to regulatory requirements, estate agents can facilitate effective communication and collaboration with conveyancers, resulting in faster property transactions. Another key aspect about providing upfront information is that the buyer will have all the information they need to make an informed decision about the transaction.”


He notes that having a compliance process in place will help to streamline the conveyancing process. “When estate agents provide comprehensive details about a property, including relevant legal and leasehold information, it reduces the time spent on gathering necessary documentation and conducting additional research. For example, using full names in the sales memorandum rather than restricting it to initials, will help the conveyancer identify the parties involved. Having all the details means that conveyancers can quickly assess the property's status and identify any potential legal issues, enabling them to expedite the conveyancing process,” says Offley.


Furthermore, timely disclosures made by estate agents significantly contribute to a smoother conveyancing process. “By promptly disclosing material facts and potential issues related to the property, estate agents allow conveyancers to address these matters early on. This proactive approach minimises delays, prevents surprises later in the transaction, and enables conveyancers to take appropriate actions promptly,” Offley comments.


Compliance with regulatory requirements also contributes to conveyancing efficiency. “Estate agents who diligently follow consumer protection laws, anti-money laundering regulations, and data protection guidelines ensure that the conveyancing process adheres to legal obligations and operates smoothly. By avoiding compliance-related issues, such as incomplete or incorrect documentation, estate agents help conveyancers focus on the essential aspects of the transaction, reducing the risk of unnecessary delays,” says Offley.


He advises agents to instruct sellers to appoint a solicitor at the point of marketing commencing. “This is another simple step within the process that can make an impact on the time it takes for the transaction to move through to exchange,” says Offley. 


He continues, "estate agency compliance is not only about fulfilling legal obligations but also about creating a conducive environment for efficient property transactions. By providing upfront material information, making timely disclosures, and adhering to regulatory requirements, estate agents support conveyancers in their role and contribute to a smoother and more expedient conveyancing process."


In conclusion, Offley notes that The Guild of Property Professionals remains committed to supporting its Members in upholding compliance standards and fostering collaboration among industry professionals. By continuously advocating for best practices and facilitating knowledge sharing, the Guild aims to improve the conveyancing process, benefitting all parties involved in property transactions.


Paul Offley, The Guild's Compliance Officer

Paul Offley joined The Guild in 2017 as our in-house Compliance Officer, to help Members stay on top of legislation. Paul’s career has maintained a focus in estate agency for over 40 years, building a specialist knowledge in the compliance function. Paul helps Members to reduce the probability of any risk materialising by working alongside agents to identify areas where the business is at a high risk of exposure. Guild Members have compliance tools at their disposal and are regularly presented with updated information on the latest legislation requirements. Paul is also on hand to speak to agents individually, delivering quality and high standards to all our Members. Paul has been providing continual support to The Guild Members throughout COVID-19, from legislation and Government updates, to providing indispensable and personalised advice through Facebook Live. He is passionate about raising standards, and is part of The Property Ombudsman Industry Forum.

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