The current housing market frenzy would be easier to deal with if upfront buyers’ packs were available, improving transparency and cutting the chance of fall-throughs.
That’s the view of digital reservation provider Gazeal, which argues that agents should educate buyers at first contact about the importance of them providing more upfront information regarding their position and seriousness.
“Sellers will want to know they are dealing with serious buyers from the off. In an ultra-competitive market, sellers won’t want to waste their time with buyers who aren’t 100 per cent ready to buy.” says Gazeal co-founder Bryan Mansell.
“The pandemic has in many ways helped to create a more streamlined system, with the lack of viewings focusing minds, cutting out timewasters and making sure that only buyers who are really ready to commit are making it through the door on an in-person viewing” he adds.
Mansell believes the information should include clarity on a buyer’s mortgage position - “at the very least should be an agreement or decision in principle” - as well as ID and other paperwork that can be dealt with at the earliest stages of a transaction.
He says this becomes particularly invaluable if it can be completed digitally and transferred instantly, after an offer has been made and agreed, to any conveyancer.
The Gazeal chief continues: “It’s been well-established that a better-informed buyer is both less likely to withdraw from a sale and more likely to be bold in putting forward their best offer – a win-win for all parties.
“The reputation of buyer packs is still stained by the experience with the short-lived Home Information Packs (HIPs), scrapped by the government more than a decade ago, but they are making a comeback as movers demand more upfront information.”
Calls have been made to introduce conveyancers into the process at an earlier stage; many experts also insist more should be done while the property is being marketed, including requesting searches and the collation and review of key documentation.
According to a recent buying and selling survey in The Times, 98 per cent of home movers want more information upfront, highlighting huge consumer demand for a better, more transparent, more efficient system.
Mansell concludes: “Everyone has the same goal here – to cut delays, improve fall-through rates and make the process of buying or selling a home much less onerous – but it seems an obvious, simple solution is staring us all in the face and not yet being acted upon.”