Can Conveyancing Become Paperless?
How Digital Advancements Are Changing The Home Buying Process
Speed, efficiency and increased communication are the main benefits for law firms embracing digital technologies in conveyancing.
Conveyancing is an integral part of the home buying process, where a professional solicitor will liaise and negotiate with the vendor’s legal representatives as well as raising property searches to determine that you’re receiving a good investment for your money. Typically, the conveyancing process in the UK takes between 8 to 12 weeks, which can seem frustratingly slow when you’re eager to exchange and complete on the purchase of your dream home. However, advancements in digital conveyancing mean that the future of home buying is set up to be more customer-driven and speedier from the minute that the offer is accepted.
Apps Provide Customers With Better Communication
Many law firms are embracing the changes that the digital age has brought to the conveyancing industry. E-conveyancing allows firms to utilise the most contemporary digital methods to deliver quicker and more affordable services for their clients. Apps or online portals allow the customer to see the progress of their purchase in real time, rather than having to physically pick up the phone and ask to speak to a solicitor. Knowledge about your property case is just a click away.
Speeding Up The Search Process
Some legal apps are linked to sister search companies which allow you to order the necessary searches on the day that your offer has been accepted. Better relationships between councils and search agencies mean that digital results can be shared and acted upon quickly. Such methods help to reduce the risk of data duplication and don’t rely on the postal service or other outdated means to submit the search findings back to the conveyancing solicitor.
HM Land Registry On Board
Perhaps one of the keys to the advancement of digital conveyancing is to have HM Land Registry onboard. Currently they have transferred over 1,000 digital mortgage deeds required for those who are remortgaging. This service allows homeowners to go through the remortgaging process quicker due to less paperwork and a decreased chance of delays occurring. HM Land Registry are also collaborating with councils to move local land charges data to an accessible central digitised register.
One of the initial jobs that is required as soon as a conveyancing solicitor takes on a client is to check the identityof the clients to make sure that there are no legal restrictions in play. In terms of money laundering regulations, it is the solicitor’s responsibility to confirm the validity of the ID by asking for two forms – either a passport or driver’s licence plus current proof of address.
Traditionally, the ID check would require the client to present these documents in person, or by post, but just as the passport application process has moved on in recent years, so too have solicitor’s ID checks. It’s now possible to forego the paperwork and clients can upload images of themselves which will then be cross-checked with third-party data agents such as credit-checking companies.
A professional conveyancing solicitors Essex team explains that modern firms are also scrapping laborious internal processes and switching to more convenient digital methods instead too. Even emailing is becoming old-fashioned as clients and conveyancers make better use of real-time live chat, online portals and case management services.
The digital conveyancing industry has not quite reached its full potential yet, there are still improvements to be made and more law firms yet to embrace these innovations. But with each advancement, there is increased hope that the time from offer acceptance to completion could be reduced further!