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What Can Estate Agents Do To Help Conveyancers

There is often a disconnect between what the Estate Agent wants to happen and what the Conveyancer needs to proceed.  It can then be difficult to remember that we must work together to achieve completion.

A Conveyancing matter is by definition a contentious one and stressful for all involved. Parties within the process are coming from different places and each has their own focus.  Unfortunately these may not always align.

But what can Estate Agents do to help the process?

Issue Accurate Memorandum of Sale

The Memorandum of Sale confirms the parties names, Conveyancer details, price agreed and any fixtures and fittings for sale.

To avoid delays in the process it is vital that the parties full names, including middle names, are shown.

Errors in the Memorandum result in the seller’s Conveyancer issuing incorrect documents, typographical errors in the draft contract, enquiries being raised and contracts needing to be redrawn. 

At this point ID checks will not be concluded, or even started, and the Conveyancer relies on the details within the Estate Agent’s Memorandum.

Providing Particulars of Sale & Photographs

This is a document with photos and a floor plan.  It lists the number of rooms and property features.   Providing this ensures both sides are aware of alterations and additions.

An accurate sales particulars will save time and avoids unnecessary enquiries about works at the property. Remember that the Conveyancer does not ever go to the property.

Checking the Property has a Valid EPC

They are valid for 10 years.  Ask the seller to  arrange a new one where necessary. For EPC status check the online government register:

Getting Property Tenure Right & Ensuring Management Packs Are On Order

Is the property freehold or leasehold?  Leaseholds are far more complex and time-consuming.  It is not always obvious and overlooking this results in delays down the line.  You can have leasehold houses. You can also have freehold houses with communal areas maintained via service charges.

Where leasehold ensure the seller contacts the Management Company and Freeholder to order Leasehold Management Packs (LPE1). There may be two packs. One covers Ground Rent and the other Service Charges.  The buyer’s Conveyancer will not be able to complete without the packs and they could take months to arrive.

Even with Freehold properties there can be a Service Charge for maintenance of communal areas. Councils no longer adopt these. Again a pack is needed. Address this as soon as possible.

Getting Property Extent Right

Property can be registered at HM Land Registry under several title numbers or parcels of land.  This could be one parcel of land for the house and another for the garden. People buy additional pieces of land from time to time.

If this is missed it means the seller’s Conveyancer could be unaware when issuing the Draft Contract Pack. Consequently the buyer’s Conveyancer, will receive a defective Draft Contract Pack and order searches that don’t cover all of the land.

A second set of searches will then be required and the buyer will pay twice.  An unnecessary expense and delay for the buyer. If the seller mentions anything about acquiring an additional piece of land advise both Conveyancers.

ID Checks

Agents are regulated and required to obtain satisfactory ID so why not provide this to the Conveyancer to speed matters up. Buyers and sellers are often frustrated with having to provide ID over and over again. 

Ensure you meet in person, see original documents and that you verify and have adequately stamped and certified the copies of ID. This will be incredibly helpful to the Conveyancer and cut time taken for compliance regulations.

Attending the Property

Remember that the Conveyancer does not attend the property. If there are obvious alterations then address these with the seller to ensure they locate all structural guarantees, invoices, warranties, planning permissions and building regulations certificates. This avoids delays and enquiries.


If the seller mentions probate being required, or that they are selling on behalf of a deceased family member, check that they already hold probate. Probate applications can take more than six months to complete. Delay and frustration ensue.

Former Housing Association Properties

These can have buy back or consent requirements. The buyer may need to be approved by the Housing Association. This causes delays.

Conveyancer Due Diligence & Compliance

Conveyancers are heavily regulated with time-consuming compliance. It is frustrating to all parties, including the Conveyancer.  Pressuring Conveyancers will not be helpful as their hands are tied.

No Conveyancer, or law firm, will risk regulatory intervention or removal from the lender panel because parties are dismayed at the delay.

Source of Funds (Buyers)

Help the Conveyancer by making sure the buyer understands the intrusive requirement to provide Source of Funds evidence. This means a full paper trail evidencing the same and not just where funds are held but how the were acquired. The government implemented these requirements to prevent crime and fraud. It is not Conveyancers being pedantic.

Indemnity Insurance & Title Defects

Not all title defects can be covered with indemnity insurance. It depends on the defect. Remember that Indemnity insurance does not solve the defect it just insures it. There is also no guarantee that a claim under indemnity insurance would be successful. Some lenders and buyers won't be happy with such flimsy cover.


Allow Conveyancers sufficient time to action correspondence, emails and calls. Post will be dealt with in date order of receipt.  It is impossible to instantly action all letters, calls and emails due to the sheer volume.

Chasing constantly slows Conveyancers down as they cannot get to the file and are waylaid with calls or emails.

The above is meant to be helpful and is not a criticism of Estate Agents. We can all do our bit to improve the Conveyancing experience.

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