This time of the year tends to feel like new beginnings – even if your schooldays are long behind you it can almost feel like the year kicks off again in earnest following the summer holiday break.
While we are not quite at a place where August seems to be a ‘dead month’ – indeed our figures suggest we’re far from it – September does have that ‘new school year’ feel to it, especially if you have children for whom this is exactly the case.
With just four months left of the year – where did that time go? – it’s understandable that every mortgage market stakeholder wants to kick off this last third at a real pace. Already, we’re seeing a noticeable uptick in certain sectors albeit with the underlying foundations remaining the remortgage market, whether that be residential, buy-to-let or the product transfer variety.
Given that December can often seem like half a month, this period – as we move into Autumn – can be ultra-important to many businesses seeking to end the year on a high. Certainly, over the next few weeks it will be ‘do or die’ for those new buyers or homeowners who want to get into new properties before the Christmas tree needs to be up.
Average completion times for home purchasing tend to be in the 12-16 week mark so many clients will already be up against it in terms of making that Christmas deadline. Which is not to say it can’t be done, but as advisers you’ll be only too aware of which lenders/providers/conveyancers give your clients the very best chance of meeting these timescales.
We’ve talked about the FCA’s Mortgages Market Study Interim Report a lot this year – and it is a real shame that the regulator is not prepared to provide an update at the FSE London show this year – but much of the criticism of that document centred on why it was so price-focused, suggesting too many borrowers were not getting the very cheapest deal.
It’s at this time of the year that advisers should be only too willing to press the case for the defence when it comes to the recommendations they make, and why certain lenders, for example, would not be ‘go to’ players regardless of whether they’re the cheapest. When you have a client with a deadline which numbers three months, there is little point in recommending any firm that is struggling with its service, or has not made such a deadline in the previous year or so.
This is why the industry was so vociferous in its push-back against the FCA’s report, and it’s not just with mortgage lenders where such decisions can make all the difference to the client getting what they want. The choice of the conveyancing firm in a transaction is just as important – perhaps even more so – and again there is little point the adviser recommending a firm not up to the job, or allowing the client to use their small family solicitor that may have one person carrying out the conveyancing work, if everyone is working to a tight deadline.
Those advisers who are recommending in the conveyancing space can given their clients the very best chance by opting for highly-resourced firms that carry out hundreds/thousands of cases every year, and are completely set up to deal with time-sensitive cases. By utilising a platform like Broker Conveyancing they can also earn significant income and place themselves at the very heart of the transaction, allowing them to chivvy along all those parties in order to get the right outcome.
If you’re not kicking off September by offering a myriad of services alongside the mortgage advice, then make sure you do. It could mean the world to clients and should certainly deliver a real boost to your business as we move towards the end of the year.
Harpal Singh is managing director of Broker Conveyancing