Will paperless conveyancing affect home sales?

by Housesimple on 11th April 2018

Conveyancing is at the heart of every property deal. It involves checking and transferring the title deeds before they’re stored with the Land Registry, ensuring that you have full legal rights to your property.

From April 2018, new changes to the law will allow the Land Registry to digitise large parts of the process. But how will this 'paperless conveyancing' system affect the buying and selling of property?

Simplifying the process

Conveyancing jargon is the bane of both buyers and sellers, making it tough to understand exactly what stage a deal is at. One of the Land Registry’s stated aims is to "reassess our processes, language and technology to make them as simple as possible," thereby making their data much easier to access.

This may have the knock-on effect of making the whole conveyancing process simpler, helping you to choose the right conveyancer for your property purchase or house sale. It will also make it easier for you to access your title deeds, for example when you’re seeking planning permission or settling a dispute over property boundaries.

Selling speed

If you want a quick house sale, there are already plenty of things you can do to move the process along. However, conveyancing was one section that historically couldn’t be sped up. Fortunately, these changes are designed to ensure the Land Registry handles requests more efficiently than ever – 95% of daily transactions will be automated by 2022.

While the exact impact this will have is hard to tell at this stage, the hope is that the formality of registering the deal once contracts are exchanged will be much faster. This means less last-minute worrying and quicker access to the keys to your new home.

Cutting costs

One of the clearest targets set by the Land Registry is to keep the average cost per application below £27.34. The theory is that by automating simpler processes (like registering purchases and sales) it’ll reduce the amount of time and money it takes to get the job done.

It’s worth remembering, however, that these costs are charged to your solicitor, who will handle the conveyancing process for you. Equally, conveyancing costs normally cover more than just the application with the Land Registry. Nonetheless, if you shop around to find a solicitor willing to adapt their fees to these new changes, you could end up with a few savings along the way.

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