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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Countrywide’s new Property MOT resembles old Home Information Pack

A property MOT being launched by Countrywide and described as “game changing” for the house buying process will include survey and mortgage information, it has been revealed.

Earlier this month Countrywide announced that it would be introducing a new property report called HomeFact, after a study involving 15,000 buyers which apparently identified gaps in their knowledge which led to fall-throughs and abortive costs.

Countrywide promised the report would be “packed with information specific to the property being offered for sale” although at the time the agency group gave few details.

Now it has been revealed there will be input from Santander mortgage company and Landmark Valuation Services into the report, which the latter company calls a “home condition report” - the name given to a part of the ill-fated Home Information Packs which received a hostile welcome from the agency industry when introduced 15 years ago.

Landmark will provide so-called “expertise in mobile surveying technology and geospatial data” which will allow Countrywide surveyors to add notes, phrases, ratings and photographs taken at the property. 

These will then be mapped directly into a HomeFact report template, and a PDF of each HomeFact report will be available to be previewed by the surveyor on a mobile device before it is signed-off and sent to the consumer.

Santander is also understood to be able to have automatic access to the report as it is in preparation, adding its mortgage input to HomeFact.

These reports are now expected to contain including on the property’s condition inside and out, any areas that need urgent attention, security risks and guidance on how best to maintain the property, plus links through to a portal for data about the location, including amenities, schools, crime rates, transport and broadband availability.

“HomeFact is an interactive report that combines all the expertise of our surveyors with other online information sources that we’ve gathered about a property and its surrounding area. It’s designed to fill a gap in the market for offering consumers an easy-to-understand report that is packed with information specific to the property being offered for sale” claims Paul Wareham, business-to-business managing director at Countrywide’s surveying division.

David House, head of residential valuation for Santander UK, says: “For our customers, going into the buying process fully informed, with a clear understanding of what areas of the property need attention will make a real difference - especially when it’s your first-time.”

A spokesman for Landmark describes the new report as “a unique proposition in the market.”

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    Just a way for countywide to finally generate some revenue, will chuck in professional pics floorplan and £500 upfront. The good thing for countrywide too is that you will then be tied to them for the sols and mortgage.

    One huge flaw, no one uses countrywide to sell a house, not since you had to stick the photos to the advert in the office after the morning meeting

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