Tel: 0203 319 3643

Fax: 0208 894 5300

Emergency: 0750 625 5550

Post-offer lender queries ‘major drain’ on conveyancing process

By Monidipa Fouzder >>

(12 June 2022)

Most conveyancers have to raise a post-offer query with lenders, according to the findings of sector research to determine issues that are slowing down the home buying and selling process.

As part of the Conveyancing Association’s annual lender survey, members were asked about post-offer queries and how the process could be sped up. A quarter of the 66 respondents said they usually had to raise a query with the lender, while 57% said they sometimes had to raise one.

Asked what would speed up the post-mortgage offer process, 48% thought better communication via lender portals, 36% said securing a better response time to queries, 11% said greater consistency within the UK Finance’s Lender Handbook Part 2, and 5% said the introduction of a standard post-offer referral form.

On mortgage offers, 50% had rarely acted for clients whose offer had been withdrawn or amended, 27% said this happened ‘sometimes’ and 5% said it usually happened.

On why the mortgage offer might have been withdrawn, 50% said it was to do with issues with the property title and 12% said it was to do with the terms of the lease.

More than three-quarters of respondents believed lender portals are beneficial to the profession. However, respondents were divided on whether the charges to use them are reasonable.

Qualified electronic signatures received a positive response – 80% felt the ability to sign dispositions such as mortgage deeds and transfers with qualified electronic signatures accepted by HM Land Registry would improve the customer journey.

Beth Rudolf, the association’s director of delivery, said the lender survey was useful in determining current bottlenecks. ‘Post-offer queries are a major drain on all stakeholders within the process and it’s obvious from the survey results that a large number of these can be sidestepped with the greater use of upfront information at the point of marketing.

‘This is already on its way thanks to the National Trading Standards Estate and Letting Agent Team project to deliver material information. By having the correct details about a property at instruction, stakeholders can reduce their liability and the resources needed in dealing with the case which will improve the home moving process for all, especially the consumer.

‘The most common reason for a mortgage offer being withdrawn is because of title issues, and again if this was known at the outset, then it would be possible to mitigate against such an outcome.’

Rudolf welcomed the enthusiasm for qualified electronic signatures. The association is aware of 21 law firms signed up to a QES pilot with Land Registry, using three signature platforms.

(Courtesy: The Law Society Gazette)