SRA seeks to canvass public opinion on the conveyancing process

Have you recently bought or sold a house? How did you find the process? Did the property conveyance run smoothly, or were you left dissatisfied or irritated by the whole experience? These are the crucial questions that the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) will be hoping to discover when it canvasses the opinions of 1,000 house buyers and sellers who have recently had a property conveyed.

So what is the SRA hoping to find out through its latest Conveyancing Survey?

The principle purpose of the SRA Survey is to find out how buyers and sellers viewed the conveyancing experience. The SRA hopes the study will highlight both good and bad practices, and flag up any specific areas of concern that might need to be addressed. The Regulator hopes to use the feedback it receives to help its understanding of the market.

In a statement accompanying the survey, the SRA announced that it will use the public’s views on the legal aspect of their house purchase or sale ‘to help shape the way it regulates’. To this end, former clients who have recently had a property conveyed will be asked their views about access, choice, quality and cost.

Speaking about the 2017 survey, Crispin Passmore, SRA executive director, said:

‘The research will play an important role in increasing our understanding of the conveyancing market. We want to know how it is changing, and how changes elsewhere – such as fixed fees and technology – will affect the experiences of solicitors and those who use their services.’

Why is the SRA conducting the Conveyancing Survey?

The simple answer to that is that the SRA wishes to address a number of areas of concern so that the public can be reassured that the quality of service is monitored and overseen. What problems do they hope to address specifically? Well, between November 2015 and October 2016, the SRA paid out more than £1m from its Compensation Fund to replace stolen funds that had been intended for house deposits. Furthermore, three-quarters of cybercrimes reported to the regulator in 2016 were, what it calls, ‘Friday afternoon’ fraud on conveyancing practices in one form or another. 

The issue of costs and transparency has also been a bone of contention for many conveyancing clients. In a related study published in 2013, three-quarters of firms interviewed claimed they were satisfied that the client care letter they issued addressed these issues, and had proved to be an effective way to give clients good and accurate information about costs.

However, the same study found that many conveyancing firms did not provide upfront costs information. Two-thirds of the firms surveyed felt that when a consumer was unhappy about the conveyancing cost, it was not because the costs were not spelled out upfront, but because the firm they used quoted a cheap headline figure which did not accurately reflect the final bill.

Domestic conveyancing: why chose Harold Stock & Co?

Buying a property is the most important purchases you will probably ever make. It’s a huge long-term commitment, and therefore it’s vital to put the administration of that purchase in the hands of someone you trust: someone with in-depth knowledge and years of experience. When one of Harold Stock’s property conveyancers deals with the purchase or sale of your property, you know you are in good hands.

Our conveyancers will examine and report to you upon the necessary title deeds and contractual documentation, raise searches and enquiries where needed and will see the matter through to completion. We also offer a free deeds storage service for all of our clients. Our costs are transparent and we offer a high quality legal service and value for money. What’s more, unlike many other firms, we provide a fixed fee price for conveyancing and do not levy extra administration fees for copying, postage or dealing with managing agents.

For further information about our property conveyancing services, or for more information about the other services our property team are able to offer, call Harold Stock & Co on 0330 400 4040 or email info@haroldstock.com

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