Online agency Settled is introducing a deposit scheme which it claims will assist sellers and buyers reach completion faster - and requires them to instruct the firm’s conveyancing partner “helping to speed up the legal stage of the sale by up to 50 per cent.”
The agency has this year claimed that it is cutting the time it takes to sell a home in half and reducing fall-throughs from 33 per cent to just seven per cent, as well as achieving 98 per cent of the asking price.
Settled charges £499 - up-front or deferred for a month - and has now launched what it calls ‘Strengthen & Secure.
This is an optional scheme for both buyers and sellers which protects the agreement of an offer and speeds up the legal stage.
On its website the agency says: “Strengthen & Secure can be opted into at the point an offer is made by a buyer and received by a seller.
“By opting in, both can agree to: Secure the agreed offer with a refundable £500 deposit, which protects both parties from the effects of gazumping, gazundering and gazanging; Instruct Settled’s conveyancing partner, helping to speed up the legal stage of the sale by up to 50%
“Either party can opt into the scheme on an individual basis, but the benefits truly come into effect when the pair enter together, selecting both options.”
It goes on to claim that by opting into the scheme, sellers “show buyers they’re serious about seeing their sale through” and “buyers similarly demonstrate to sellers that their offer is solid.”
It claims that sellers are more likely to accept an offer that has a higher strength rating, and likewise, buyers are more likely to trust the acceptance of their offer.
“The commitment feels great, and it helps to progress the sale much quicker than would otherwise be the case. In fact, we’ve seen so far that when both a buyer and seller opt into Strengthen & Secure, completion rates rise to 100%.”
In a statement announcing the launch of the scheme, the agency also said it “protects both parties from the effects of gazumping, gazundering and gazanging” - the latter being when a vendor pulls out of a sale having previously accepted an offer.