Property experts have joined forces to call for faster and more secure transactions.
The PropTech and conveyancing voices have united in warning that the rush to complete deals ahead of the end of the stamp duty holiday in late September may now provoke unexpected problems for some buyers who took short cuts to meet the deadline.
In a joint statement, conveyancing expert Beth Rudolf says: “With the SDLT [deadline] pressure, the formerly non-negotiables which often cause a buyer to pull out, may have been accepted in case the buyer could not find another property before the deadline.
“Buyers deserve to be able to have the full picture to make informed decisions and conveyancers work extremely hard to create that picture, it’s the process that lets everyone down and causes huge delays. More emphasis needs to be placed on the collection of material facts from the start, so that buyers are able to make an informed decision about whether to proceed and agents are able to find the right buyer for that property.”
And Ben Ridgway, managing director at iamproperty - which has iamsold and iamproperty move butler in its stable - adds: “Combating high fall-through rates should always be high on the agenda, and whilst the SDLT holiday gave the property sector a much needed boost, I wonder at what cost for buyers who were delayed in the process and pushing through sales in the last run.
“When under pressure, it’s hard to make informed decisions. As an industry there has been a growing issue with the collation of material facts and creating a full and informed picture for the buyer has not been as easy as it should be. Add on top of that a strict deadline and low stock, and buyers could have made decisions without enough consideration."
Meanwhile another PropTech voice, Phil Natusch - managing director at mio - comments: “The high volume of sales that we’ve seen over this last year have amplified some of the key fragilities within the sector. Yes, the sector moved quickly, house prices increased, and agents enjoyed a strong performance period, but completion times rose to 17.6 weeks in September alone, which creates a really drawn out and frustrating process for the buyer and seller.
“The infrastructure that supports the conveyancing sector created a bottle neck and delays with the collection of material information exposed antiquated processes. Seeing more adoption of PropTech and agency digital transformation is really encouraging, but we need to go further to keep innovating, streamlining, and simplifying the processes.”