As the UK prepares for the re-opening of the economy, many conveyancers are starting to wonder what the future looks like after lockdown. Although no one can be certain what lies ahead for the property market as a whole, there is no doubt that there will be changes that have a lasting effect. These changes will affect buyers, sellers, conveyancing firms, estate agents, surveyors, and every other person within the property market.
In order to stay ahead, it is important to be prepared for a post-lockdown world, whatever it may bring. This means being guided by the Government in terms of all regulations and requirements and staying abreast of trends in buying and selling, especially when it comes to assisting clients through these uncertain times. Buyers and sellers turn to conveyancers in the expectation that they are able to answer the many questions they may have on how lockdown and its after-effects will impact property transactions. When guidelines are followed, the sales and purchase process can be done in a way that guides current and future transactions.
Similar to the ‘Boris Bounce’ that occurred after Brexit, a surge in purchases and sales is expected after lockdown comes to an end. This comes down to numerous factors, from buyers waiting to complete their purchase to those looking to upgrade to a property offering office space for remote work. While it is still too early to say what will happen once the market reopens, having some idea of how to approach post-lockdown conveyancing and specifically the role that conveyancers will need to play will greatly help.
The role of conveyancers after lockdown.
Some of the challenges that conveyancers may experience when the market reopens include:
- A surge of completions and exchanges that have been stuck in the pipeline during lockdown;
- Communication bottlenecks resulting from closed firms and firms inundated with exchanges and completions;
- Agents and panels struggling to get completions to speed up the process and increase cashflow;
- Teams trying to get up to speed on files after coming back from furlough;
- Outdated files resulting from reduced staff, untouched files or paused transactions;
- An increase in enquiries across all legal areas;
- Reduced cash flows, depleted reserves, delayed furlough payments, increased wages as staff return to work, rent payments, and other unforeseen costs.
While navigating these challenges, conveyancers will also need to continue to support the sales and purchase process, setting clients’ minds at ease and helping them complete transactions. This can be done by continuing to support unoccupied property sales wherever possible, supporting clients needing to change dates to complete transactions on occupied properties over lockdown, advise clients not to exchange contracts on occupied properties until provision has been made to minimise risks posed by COVID-19, and, wherever possible, prioritise support for clients self-isolating to arrange new dates under their current circumstances.
The Moving Hub will continue to help wherever we can, through our comprehensive conveyancing panel that brings together estate agents, financial advisors and mortgage lenders together. Contact us to find out more about how a conveyancing panel can help you help your clients.