Nearly half of homebuyers say lawyers are too slow


Paper documentation, ID verification and cost are all cited as significant pain points for homebuyers.

Nearly half (45%) of homebuyers say slow property lawyer response time is a key pain point in the house buying process, according to research from risk management platform Thirdfort.

The research highlights how compliance and administrative procedures, including paper documentation and ID verification, contribute to a negative experience for people using conveyancers and property lawyers.

The survey of 2,054 UK adults by YouGov also reveals other key pain points for homebuyers:

  • 32% cited cost;
  • 24% highlight providing paper documents such as bank statements, utilities and payslips;
  • 22% say providing information already supplied to an estate agent or mortgage broker;
  • 13% say confirming their identity by gathering ID and/or proof of address.

Recent data suggests that the average time to sell a home has hit a 10-year high, with the housing market feeling the impact of high inflation and rising interest rates.

Olly Thornton-Berry, co-founder and Managing Director of Thirdfort, said:

“Housing market uncertainty and rising interest rates mean it is more important than ever for home buyers to get their property transactions over the line quickly. Despite this, transaction times are increasing, creating stress and uncertainty for buyers and sellers. Conveyancers are a critical part of this puzzle. Our research shows that law firm clients value a quicker and more efficient service without the administrative headaches associated with compliance and client onboarding.

Tech developments, such as Open Banking, and biometric verification, can help make compliance simple, fast and secure. Despite this, many conveyancers still rely on gathering paper documents. We need more forward-looking property professionals to embrace the latest technology to transform the client experience.”

Thirdfort automates KYC, AML and Source of Funds verification using AI, biometric verification, and Open Banking. It has transformed a cumbersome process that has historically taken weeks into one that takes just minutes.

To help reduce the needless repetition of KYC and AML checks in the house-buying process, Thirdfort offers Secure Share – a simple and secure report sharing for property professionals and their clients. The buyer or seller can instruct their professional adviser to share a report with other advisers involved in the transaction, such as estate agents or mortgage brokers.

Olly Thornton-Berry concluded:

“Conveyancers operate in a competitive market. With our Secure Share function, property professionals can offer a superior experience by asking clients to complete their KYC and AML verification only once across the transaction. By tackling the needless repetition of verification tasks, Secure Share significantly cuts the time needed to complete a transaction, making them faster and more efficient for all involved.”

Overall, Thirdfort has verified more than 1m people on behalf of more than 1,000 conveyancers, lawyers, estate agents and other regulated professional services firms. This number accounts for around 2.5% of all adult smartphone users in the UK.

This article was submitted to be published by Thirdfort as part of their advertising agreement with Today’s Conveyancer. The views expressed in this article are those of the submitter and not those of Today’s Conveyancer.

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