The debate within estate agency on upfront information rumbles on and now there are calls for greater levels of transparency from buyers.
Agency sales listings will be required to show tenure and council tax information from the end of next month and there are plans to eventually make it compulsory to show other important documents such as restrictive covenants.
There has been much debate about who should pay for this upfront information and how easy it will be to obtain.
Bryan Mansell, chief executive of proptech firm Gazeal, which offers upfront information tools and reservation agreements to secure sales, has now entered the debate.
He suggests that buyers should also be compelled to provide similar levels of upfront information to sellers.
He said: “We’ve seen a lot of focus on sellers providing info, and understandably so, because this is vitally important.
“But we also feel that buyers should be obliged to do the same so it really is a two-way street.
“When it comes to upfront information, the more the better, and it needs to be from both sides to ensure the full picture is there for everyone involved before a transaction progresses any further.”
He suggests that buyers should state, sign and submit their offer in writing, outlining their position, the state of their finances, timescales and offer details.
Mansell added: “This not only provides a huge deal more information, it also protects agents from having to deal with tiresome he said/she said arguments later during the sale.”
He said there are too often issues with unserious or time-wasting buyers, which in turn slows the whole transaction process down.
Mansell added: “Of course, many buyers are committed and fully motivated, but by compelling buyers to put more effort in when it comes to submitting an offer, we hopefully manage to cut out those who aren’t really that interested in a property.
“Fortunately, providing this upfront information needn’t be labour-intensive or time-consuming with the right tech and processes in place.
“The necessity is absolutely there for sellers to improve the upfront information they provide, but this shouldn’t negate the need for buyers to do the same. The two aren’t mutually exclusive.
“For a better property market all round, and greater levels of transparency, more material information from buyers should be just as prioritised. We need to change the agent’s mindset, too, so that they get into the same space with buyers as they are with tenants in terms of gathering all that crucial information.”