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Comment: What happened to communication?

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The Government wants to speed up the homebuying process but that will not happen until solicitors talk to each other

How has your 2016 been so far? I have become more like Victor ‘I don’t believe it!’ Meldrew this year.

Time spent chasing things I should not have to be involved in plus outside interference in the mortgage market (yet again) have made me want just one thing for 2017: a clear year with no ‘magic plan’ from a chancellor.

As we approach silly season – the time when lenders realise they are wildly behind on their annual lending targets – it is important to plan as much as possible. That said, sometimes planning seems futile. You can plan your brokerage cashflow to a large degree and have a wonderful spreadsheet in front of you but it does not legislate for the conveyancing process.

This has really affected my blood pressure. How can so many solicitors be fantastic, yet others seem unable to give clients any type of prompt? What happened to communication?

I know I will receive some criticism for this comment but I do not think I am alone in thinking it: chains are taking far longer than they need to. This week, for example, a client of mine was quoted three months to arrange a buy-to-let remortgage, which was hastily changed to six weeks when local solicitors said they could do it in four.

We can stay silent on this and put up with it but we should not have to.

The Government wants to speed up the homebuying process but that will not happen until solicitors find a better way of communicating with each other. It is staggering that we can achieve a mortgage offer regularly within two to three weeks but the rest of the process can take two to three months. Speed it up.

And guess what? If we do, we can all get paid a lot more quickly and, more importantly, will have happier clients.

Stuart Gregory is managing director at Lentune Mortgage Consultancy

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