Friday 23 August 2019

Solicitors & estate agents must speed up property process

Rowena Quinn
Rowena Quinn
Donal Buckley

Donal Buckley

Solicitors and estate agents have been called on to speed up the process of property sales by investing in new technology and preparing contracts prior to the start of sales.

The call came at a recent seminar for property and legal experts, where there was strong criticism of the delays of up to 200 days in the processing of property sales or conveyancing.

Rowena Quinn, managing partner of Hunters Estate Agent, which organised the seminar, announced that Hunters will stop using the 'Sale Agreed' stage of the sales process.

"Taking a property off the market because it is 'Sale Agreed' and transferring control of the process to the buyer's solicitor is not in our clients' best interest," she explained.

Hunters will not launch a property for sale until the contracts are prepared and she called on all agents to follow suit. The firm will also publish a list of legal firms who would be willing to prepare contracts in the three-week period prior to a property going to market.

Hunters will request The Institute of Professional Auctioneers and Valuers and the Society of Chartered Surveyors to endorse this list.

The need for technology investment in order to accelerate legal processing of property sales was called for by Susan Cosgrove, principal at Cosgrove Gaynard Solicitors.

"Innovations like E-Conveyancing and Blockchain could be game-changers, but solicitors must embrace these developments or risk bearing the brunt of criticism around delays," she added.

The Law Society has been broadly supportive, but Government action is still lagging behind.

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