In a White Paper, the CA said fundamental action was needed to improve and achieve greater certainty in the homebuying process. The paper outlined the following ways in which this could be achieved:
- Centralising the identity verification of the parties to reduce the risk of fraud and money laundering
- Collating the property information and title information on the marketing of a property
- Requiring a legal commitment on offer to reduce transaction failures
- Requiring completion monies to be sent through the day before completion
- Amending the Commonhold & Leasehold Reform Act 2002 to resolve the unreasonable cost and delay now associated with the leasehold sales process
- Providing a reliable lending decision-in-principle based on a ‘hard’ credit report without impacting on the applicant’s credit score
- Reviewing the CML Handbook to remove anomalies and ambiguous entries which generate post-valuation enquiries
The portal itself would take care of all general administrative tasks, such as client details, mortgage details and searches.
It would be accessible by brokers, conveyancers, lenders and estate agents and encourage a collaborative attitude towards the home moving process for the client.
In doing this the CA said it would reduce the threat of fraud and ensure everyone is privy to what is happening during each stage of the process.
Brokers would be included in the process by invitation from the client, who would then give them access to their application. The broker would then be able to make amendments to information which relates to them and engage with other stakeholders when needed.
Beth Rudolf, director of delivery at the CA, said: “Our vision of how the future looks recognises that the industry needs access to a consistent level of digitised conveyancing, enabling the delivery of data information and the investigation of data, plus the need to create the beginnings of artificial intelligence.
“This seems like a huge step forward from where we are now – and it is – but the technology already exists and we now need to bring this together in order to make this happen.”
Eddie Goldsmith, chairman of The Conveyancing Association and partner at Goldsmith Williams, added the home buying process is already a very stressful experience from all perspectives. He saw the creation of an online portal as a way to improve the experience for everyone involved.
The contents of the White Paper will be discussed at the CA’s ‘Modernising Conveyancing’ conference next month. Goldsmith said the proposal will be open to debate to stakeholders, who will be able to express their opinions on the idea.
“Based on what feedback we get from the conference from stakeholders, we will follow it up and speak to existing platforms in the market who can help develop this solution further,” said Goldsmith.