A new YouGov online survey of UK-based homeowners, which has been commissioned by land, property and environmental data experts Landmark Information Group, has identified that 42% felt their experience of the legal conveyancing process was too complicated and slow.
In fact, only 4% of the homeowners interviewed felt the process was quick, compared to almost a quarter (23%) who felt it was in need of modernising.
With homebuyers becoming more aware of environmental risks that could affect properties following high-profile flooding events, the emergence of sinkholes and other such land-based risks, more than a third (37%) agreed that the home-buying process would be improved if all environmental search information was provided online, instead of through the post.
To add to this, over a fifth of UK homeowners (22%) said they were confused and relied on the guidance provided by the solicitor when receiving the environmental search reports, in order to summarise the key findings and interpret the risks.
When asked whether enough environmental information is provided as part of the home-buying process, 785 people from the total 1,314 respondents provided an answer, of which 26% felt that not enough information was provided to them by their solicitor.
Talking through the findings, Angela Gordon-Lennox, product manager (legal) of Landmark Information Group, said: “With everything being ‘digital’ in today’s world, people are used to carrying out transactions with speed and immediacy.
“It is therefore clear that with only 4% of homeowners saying that the legal conveyancing process is quick and 3% believing it is modern, changes need to happen in order to meet people’s evolving needs and expectations. A fifth of homeowners surveyed (22%) want easy-to-read information, while 37% agreed or strongly agreed that the home-buying process would be improved if all environmental information from a conveyancing solicitor was provided via the Web instead of through the post.”
The findings follow the initial introduction of a new ‘all-in-one’ Environmental Report for the conveyancing industry – RiskView Residential – which also provides interactive links to an online portal, enabling homeowners to instantly visualise environmental risks on a digital map. Landmark is currently in the market-testing phase of RiskView Residential with a small number of UK-based search companies.
The aim of the new RiskView Residential service is to collectively present the findings previously provided in four separate legal reports in one order – this includes Flood Risk, Contaminated Land, Ground Hazards, and Energy & Infrastructure.
The combined analysis is delivered in an easy-to-read lightweight PDF report, which includes interactive web-links enabling conveyancers and their clients to click-through and instantly view the data within an interactive online map, providing a ‘next generation’ service.
Gordon Lennox added: “Landmark is currently market-testing RiskView Residential to a small-number of UK-based search companies in order to receive feedback on the digital service. So far, the feedback received is that not only does RiskView Residential help simplify the process, but it is the first radical step in taking conveyancing due-diligence into a fully digital age.”