Following a productive meeting with Minister for Housing, Heather Wheeler MP, Dame Janet Paraskeva, Chair of the Council for Licensed Conveyancers, said:
“It was very positive to confirm how closely the government’s agenda for improving the home buying and selling process aligns with the CLC’s own objectives. It is clear that the Minister and her department are totally committed to reform for the benefit of consumers and that this week’s change of Secretary of State at the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government has not affected that in the slightest.
“The Minister was highly enthusiastic about the role that technology and fostering innovation can play in improving the customer experience. We look forward to being able to update her soon on innovations that are being tested within the CLC licensed community. We encourage any innovators – whether conveyancing firms, established software providers or tech start-ups – to get in touch with us to help shape and test new ideas within a safe environment.
“The Minister was keen that industry gets on with identifying the changes they can make and deliver solutions for consumers. We believe it will be in improvements to the customer experience where licensed conveyancers can make most progress in supporting the government’s agenda. As our initial response to the government made clear we want consumers to be able to choose their conveyancer based on quality. We reiterated our view that consumers should be encouraged to make greater use of review sites and we are currently exploring how information on the features and quality of each firm’s service can best be provided to consumers to guide their decisions.
“We agree with the Minister that estate agents should be transparent about any referral fees rather than leaving disclosure to the conveyancer, by which time the client will be unlikely to wish to start shopping around.
“While it is for all of us across the property sector to bring forward better ways of selling and buying homes, we welcome the Minister’s commitment that she and her department will play a central role in ensuring delivery on this ambitious agenda.”