Transaction times have been creeping up over recent months, with the average time from listing to completion at 207 days in March 2023, up from 185 days in March 2022, according to data from TwentyEA Insight.
Delays and limited communication with regards to transaction progress can result in both uncertainty and a lack of confidence among buyers and sellers. This can cause clients vendors to reconsider their options and buyers to seek alternative properties, which in around a third of cases can lead to a withdrawal from their sale or purchase.
Delayed transactions and particularly fall throughs can have a negative impact on sales commissions and the timeline to securing fees for services. Re-listing and re-marketing of properties related to fall throughs can also result in increased workloads for estate agents, which can be both costly and time consuming.
As a result, anything which can be done to help achieve greater certainty and to reduce the time from Sold STC to completion will be a welcome development for all key stakeholders.
Findings from across the property industry
During a property industry roundtable hosted by ViewMyChain in autumn last year, we discussed ‘How to Reduce the Time Between Sale Agreed and Exchange of Contracts’.
Participants included, Peter Ambrose, Managing Director from The Partnership, Jon Cooke, CEO of nurtur.group, Jan Hytch, Partner at Arnolds Keys LLP, and Beth Rudolph, Co-chair of the Home Buying and Selling Group.
During the roundtable, difficulty keeping track of progress up and down the chain was raised as a key challenge by all participants, and a major contributor to the delays. This was further exacerbated by the need to chase the various parties for updates, leading to a duplication of effort, with everyone seeking the same information.
Hytch commented; “It’s absolutely mind-numbing to have to call your vendors week after week to say I’m afraid there’s no more news. I’m afraid the solicitors still haven’t got back to us. It makes you feel that you’re ineffectual in some cases, because you’re not able to extract the information.”
Greater transparency and visibility of the chain was raised as a way of overcoming this challenge.
“We need to deliver certainty and transparency, and chain view is really important to that” recommended Rudolph.
“Chain view is really critical, and that’s a clever bit of tech” advised Ambrose.
Access to the same information by all parties, plus clarity of progress for each property within a chain and knowledge of any potential issues was also raised.
“If we could wind the clock forward a couple of years’ time and see the basis of a grid of information that’s shared between all parties, that we can log into and have a look, so that you can see the chain, you can see the progress… You can see we’ve got a problem three sales down the line… we will be in a lot better shape” added Hytch.
“If everyone were able to work in one platform, that would take days if not weeks off the process… That gives the opportunity for better communication for everybody, all the way through the process” advised Cooke.
This oversight would also enable the estate agent or conveyancer, for example to engage with the home buyer or seller to help manage expectations and where necessary provide timely updates or advice to help manage the risk of a sale falling through and secure the smooth completion of the transaction.
Helping to Speed Up Transaction Times
ViewMyChain provides a single source of truth as to the overall status of the property transaction, providing clear visibility of progress for each property within a chain, including which milestones are complete or in progress.
It provides access to useful insights, including when searches have been ordered and mortgages applied for, plus the dates on which these are expected to be returned, for example.
Using ViewMyChain, estate agents can reduce their time spent on sales progression admin tasks, such as chasing for updates by up to 40%, allowing them to focus their time where it is needed most. This can help to reduce transaction times by 2 weeks on average, whilst also reducing fall throughs as communication and engagement is vastly improved.
Collaboration between stakeholders is also improved, as everyone works towards the same target date for completion. Plus, the ability to share specific updates ensures all parties are kept up to date with developments.
To find out more about ViewMyChain and the benefits which it can deliver for your business, either via the online portal or via CRM integration, please book a demo with one of our team at https://viewmychain.com/request-demo/ or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 0208 152 4208.
The full recording of the property industry roundtable is also available to view here: https://vimeo.com/775891598