Working with your conveyancing search provider

Tips for a more efficient conveyancing process in 2021 

Conveyancers have been incredibly busy over the last few months and hats off to all of you for dealing with the added stress of the stamp duty deadline. Increased transaction levels have definitely put an increased focus on the speed of the conveyancing process and the turnaround time of conveyancing searches. While it might seem that there’s little you can do to improve this process, search providers only exist to support the smoother provision of conveyancer due diligence so, from the (nearly) 25 years of property experience we have, we thought it would be useful to look at how you can get the most from your search provider.

Turnaround times 
It’s probably fair to say that Local Authority searches have been the cause of most delays during the recent lockdowns. There are, however, a few things you can do to help search providers speed up the return of your conveyancing searches. Some of these are fairly simple so why not have a look at our quick checklist?

Personal (regulated) vs official searches 
There are personal and official versions of both local authority and drainage and water searches, but it’s fair to say that there are differences in terms of how risk is covered in the two different areas. The standard of local authority personal searches has risen substantially in recent years and there is little difference in the information provided in regulated and council searches. For CON29DW however, there are still some gaps in the provision of information in personal drainage and water searches, when compared to a CON29DW. Our full analysis provides further details on this.
This same principle applies to turnaround times. For Local Authority searches, there isn’t much variance in turnaround times between regulated and council searches. There can, however, be fairly big differences between personal drainage and water searches and a CON29DW, as shown below:

Product                                                    Turnaround times
Personal drainage and water search        6 – 10 days
Official CON29DW search average          Less than 2 days

A final point on Local Authority searches – if you are looking to standardise pricing for your clients, it’s much easier to achieve this through ordering a regulated Local Authority search. This is because the price is always the same, enabling us to give you a package price, no matter where in England and Wales the property is.

One integrated dashboard 
We’re aware that many of our Geodesys customers use other providers for their full range of conveyancing requirements and there are usually good, historical reasons why that is the case. With today’s technology advances, however, many search providers offer a fully-integrated service and Geodesys is no different. Through the Geodesys ecommerce dashboard you can quickly order AML searches upfront and submit your SDLT returns after the completion of the transaction, keeping everything in the same place and ensuring complete compliance. Please also note that all property information entered to order your conveyancing searches is recycled for relevant fields in our SDLT solution. This saves time for your team, eliminates human error and provides a compliant audit trail of activity for compliance purposes.  

Why not consolidate your search and compliance activity with one provider and order all your requirements simply as part of our seamless and user-friendly ordering process? Our account managers can set you up with a trial account so you can see for yourself just how intuitive and time-saving it can be.

Which conveyancing searches are most relevant?
As technology and availability of data improve, so do the many conveyancing searches that are on the market. It can be a challenge to stay on top of the updated product offerings, but this is another aspect of conveyancing where your search provider can offer expert advice.

For example, were you aware that:

  • There is a difference between a flood screening and full flood assessment – not all searches with flood risk data include a full assessment.
  • Combined risk reports are continually being developed to add new datasets and information. It may be worth considering one to ensure you have covered all risks, in one easy report.
  • You may need a different type of commercial conveyancing search if your client is planning change of use or development work.
  • There is a difference between a ‘point’ based search and a ‘polygon’ based search (we have a webinar about the differences coming up).

We would advise always speaking to your account manager about recent developments in the world of conveyancing searches and risk data as they will be able to recommend the best mix of searches for your practice and transaction types.

Conveyancing searches – pricing and packages
Geodesys offers a discount on a number of different search packages, which we have set up to make our customers’ lives easier. This means you may be able to save on the cost of searches, helping your practice to be more competitive. Most importantly, however, is that we can set up your team with your agreed search packages on our ecommerce system. Then it’s simply a matter of clicking on the relevant package of searches to cover the risks on a particular type of property or land. This saves time and money and ensures every member of staff is adhering to the levels of client care as advocated by the practice.

For a discussion on any of the above or to obtain a quote for our services, please contact our team of account managers