Solicitors need to be instructed earlier

The survey, which was conducted among independent estate agents from Move with Us’ partner network, found that 84% of their customers instruct a solicitor once an offer has been accepted on a property rather than when they put their house on the market or when they first start looking to buy.

Sellers that are legally prepared much earlier on in the transaction, instructing a solicitor when they first list their property for sale, move on average up to 11 days faster.

Instructing a solicitor early also helps to lower the risk of the buyer or seller pulling out of the sale.

In addition to this, 85% of estate agents in the network estimate that the Help to Buy scheme will increase sales in their region by up to 30%.

Therefore, ensuring that transaction times are kept to a minimum is particularly pertinent in today’s improving property market as higher numbers of sales are already putting extra pressure on timescales which may be compounded by the Help to Buy scheme.

Commenting, Robin King, director at Move with Us, said: “The property market is quickly gathering pace and it is likely that there will be more buyers than sellers on the market this year.

“With such increased competition, being legally prepared early puts buyers in a good position by being able to stand out from the competition and demonstrate that they are a serious, motivated and reliable contender.

“There are lots of steps that homeowners can take to speed up their move and reduce the chances of their sale falling through. This is particularly important in the current market as larger volumes of files for solicitors to work on are naturally increasing transaction times as they try to keep up with demand.”