Marking a new chapter at Gloucestershire-based WSP Solicitors, its innovative new app, launching this September 2023, promises to speed up the process of buying a house, making it faster and easier than ever before.
SoGlos chats to WSP conveyancer, Gemma Francis-Taylor, about the new app, what's fresh in the property market and why there's a growing a post-pandemic passion for the countryside.
Meet the expert – Gemma Francis-Taylor, conveyancer, at WSP Solicitors
Conveyancer, Gemma Francis-Taylor, is a legal practitioner within the residential property team. She joined WSP in January 2013 as an administration assistant, before moving into the conveyancing team in October 2014.
She qualified in paralegal practice in residential conveyancing in 2017.
WSP has a new app coming
out soon. Can you tell us a
bit about it and when it’s going live?
Our app will be going live in early September 2023. This app has been designed to assist a seller or purchaser with their transaction whilst on the move.
There will be no more large packs of paper adorning the doorstep each time you want to buy or sell property. Instead, the interactive app will allow you to complete identity checks, complete initial forms and receive updates directly to your phone or tablet.
There is a handy progress tool which will show which stage you are at through the process. You can send and receive messages directly to and from your fee earner, with the ability to attach documents.
What's happening in the Gloucestershire property market at the moment? Have you noticed any emerging trends?
Since Covid-19, many people have been buying properties in the outer villages, rather than in town or city centres.
The ability to work from home has made it easier for people to take a step back from their busy lives and enjoy country village life instead.
Tell us about some of your recent transactions. Have you encountered any unusual or unique transactions?
WSP has assisted in a range of different transactions from lovely little park homes, with very little legal work involved, to extravagant million pound properties in the hills — I definitely enjoy looking at the brochures of those and imagining what I would do with it.
There was one transaction where we thought we were purchasing a simple freehold property on behalf of a client. This turned out to be wrong. We were in fact purchasing shares in a freehold management company. With assistance from many colleagues, everything turned out well in the end and the grey matter was suitably expanded!
What’s the most satisfying part of helping someone buy a home?
The moment you give your client a call to let them know they can collect the keys to their new home.
Hearing the excitement in their voice makes any difficulties you have faced throughout worth it.
What are some common hurdles to buying a house and how do you overcome them?
The main hurdle is waiting on third parties in a chain. Sometimes delays are caused, for example, when dealing with a leasehold property and third parties are asked to provide additional information about the property.
The only way to overcome a hurdle like this is to remain patient but be proactive and chase periodically.
If someone could help themselves before heading to you, what would you recommend they do?
For sellers, retain all documentation regarding any aspect of your property such as guarantees, warranties or installation documents.
Having these to hand at the start of a sale transaction can reduce the number of enquiries raised and could potentially help the process run more quickly and smoothly.
If you are buying, get together all your evidence of funding at the start. This way there is plenty of time for the conveyancer to review and ask for further information.
We don’t want to be almost ready to exchange only to find we have no information!
How can WSP help house hunters in Gloucestershire?
At WSP, we have a wealth of experience and knowledge between our conveyancers and a fantastic support team of paralegals and assistants.
Being a close-knit team means that someone is always available to assist, whether you are a client or colleague.
As many of our conveyancers are local, they have an abundance of knowledge about the local area, which always comes in handy, too.