The cross-sector group looking at reforming the sales process has agreed a new pledge which it says introduces greater transparency for consumers as well as industry sectors.
The Home Buying and Selling Group - consisting of representatives from every activity within the transaction process - has been meeting for over two years to consider how greater upfront information can be supplied to potential buyers by sellers.
Now it has revealed an industry-wide pledge to begin to introduce transparency, specifying what each profession needs to do and when. The HSBG says this will help to ensure as much information is provided as soon as possible in the buying and selling process.
A statement from the group, released overnight, says: “For example, we are recommending the industry to advise consumers to appoint a property lawyer on the day a property is marketed. This is already something that happens for auctions, in Northern Ireland and in Scotland. Some agents have introduced ‘sale ready’ properties so we know this can make a big difference to a home move.”
The group is also recommending buyers to secure their decision in principle early and instruct a property lawyer before making an offer so their ID can be verified and money laundering checks carried out quickly.
The group admits that none of this advice is new, but insists that what is different now is that the individual players have pledged to work together to offer consistent advice to all consumers, “helping to ensure they play their part and the emphasis on securing information, which could affect a sale or purchase, sooner rather than later in the process.”
The participants in the group include NAEA Propertymark, The Law Society, Conveyancing Association, the Society of Licensed Conveyancers, RICS, RPSA, the British Association of Removers and organisations such as the National Trading Standards Estate & Letting Agency Team, The Property Ombudsman and the Property Redress Scheme.
Welcoming the pledge, housing minister Christopher Pincher says: “This government is committed to ensuring the housing market works for everyone, and our work with the industry has helped to restart the market in a way that is safe.
I welcome this pledge from the industry and look forward to seeing it deliver a smoother and more efficient experience for all those looking to buy or sell their home.”
You can see the new pledge on the HBSG website here.