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Upfront information mandated in ‘roadmap’ proposed by Home Buying and Selling Group

By Monidipa Fouzder >>

(11 October 2023)

Sellers would instruct conveyancers before marketing their property, and upfront information to help buyers make an informed offer would be mandatory under a ‘home moving roadmap’ published by a stakeholder group advising the government.

According to the Home Buying and Selling Group’s discussion paper, the buying and selling process can take on average up to 210 days. A quarter of transactions fall through, one in five moves are delayed, and 30% of all transactions are affected by delays in keys being released to the new owner.

To improve the process in England, the Home Buying and Selling Group says property agents should be regulated to ensure all buyers and sellers are cared for by qualified agents who can be trusted with their money and home security details.

Property data should be digitised to help provide ‘one source of truth’ replied on by everyone in the home moving process. Information that potential buyers and stakeholders need to see in advance of making an informed offer should be mandated. The government should approve a single digital identity verification that all parties to a transaction can rely on. All new owners should receive the keys to their home by 1pm on completion day. Leasehold reforms recommended by the Law Commission and announced by the government should be made a priority.

Kate Faulkner, chair of the Home Buying and Selling Group, said: ‘We have worked hard to identify all the issues by working with trade and professional bodies, ombudsman, regulators, and redress schemes from all sectors involved in the home moving process, as well as government and importantly, practitioners, from small independent companies through to franchises and corporates.

‘It’s an incredibly difficult job to secure support and agree on the best way forward for such a diverse industry, but by putting the consumer front and centre, we think we have a roadmap that will work. What we need now is feedback and hopefully support, including testing and piloting new ways of moving home from those that haven’t been involved in the group’s work to date.’

(Courtesy: The Law Society Gazette)