House Deals Fall Through in 20% of cases due to poor communication

Some 23 per cent of transactions have fallen through because of delays caused by poor communication between lawyers, lenders and estate agents, according to a survey commissioned by the Conveyancing Association.

The results show that for 52 per cent of those who have bought or sold a house since 2008, the transaction took longer than expected, with 48 per cent saying the process involved unforeseen delays.

Of the 1,500 respondents who took part, 47 per cent felt that the various parties involved in their sale or purchase (including the solicitor or conveyancer, the lender and the estate agent) could have communicated with each other better, while 46 per cent said this would have significantly speeded up the home buying or selling process.

The survey’s results come as the Conveyancing Association – working with Connells, Move with Us, Countrywide and LSL Property Services – launch the CA Protocol.

This collates advice from the Law Society, the Council for Licensed Conveyancers, the Legal Ombudsman, the Council of Mortgage Lenders and case law to provide a single ‘best practice’ guide for conveyancers and solicitors.

The Conveyancing Association believes the Protocol could shorten the length of time of a house transaction by up to five working days – and that it will ultimately enable licensed conveyancers and solicitors to provide their customers with a better service.

“As the industry’s first ever single point of reference for solicitors and conveyancers alike, we hope the protocol will ensure that all parties involved in the purchase or sale of a house are ‘singing from the same hymn sheet’” says Eddie Goldsmith, chairman of the Conveyancing Association.