Rightmove is to try to help potential buyers get their finances in order much earlier in the transaction process, to reduce fall-throughs and speed up deals.
Research among agents by Rightmove has found that buyers not knowing what they can borrow before they request viewings can be a significant source of wasted time and delays for both buyers and agents themselves.
The first stage will see Rightmove launch a huge education programme in 2022, explaining to buyers the importance of being financially prepared much earlier in the process.
The messages will explain why having a mortgage agreement in principle earlier in the process will put buyers in a much more powerful position when they find the property they want, and will show to an agent and seller that they are a serious and proceedable buyer.
The portal will continue to explain to buyers who also have a property to sell why being a 'power buyer' is key in today’s fast-moving market, and that by getting their own property on the market first before looking for somewhere to buy puts them in the best possible position.
Prospective buyers have been able to access an Affordability Calculator, Rate Tables and Decision in Principle journeys via Rightmove for over two years, and during 2022 Rightmove will be experimenting with more integration of these tools on its platform, so that prospective buyers can be better prepared and therefore better qualified for agents.
Rightmove says it will be working with agents at each stage of the plan to ensure that it helps them and the wider industry to improve the home-moving process.
Rightmove director Dave Cray says: “We know that many buyers currently consider their financial position quite late in their home move, and as a result a lot of time and energy can be wasted by both the buyer and the agent.
“We want to help all involved in the home-moving process by encouraging more buyers to consider their finances sooner, and as a result to gain more confidence about what they can really afford. We will inform, educate, and support buyers with relevant and valuable information that we hope will encourage early mortgage consideration, and ultimately lead to more mortgage agreements in principle earlier in the journey.
“As part of this initiative we’ll also be really emphasising to buyers who also have a property to sell the benefits of getting their property on the market early, to try and help alleviate the shortage of properties we’re currently seeing.”