x
By using this website, you agree to our use of cookies to enhance your experience.

OTHER GUIDES & TIPS

 Rightmove: It's difficult for agents to provide material information

The task of obtaining material information is more difficult than it appears for estate agents, Rightmove has warned.

The portal revealed in its written submissions to the Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (LUHC) Committee's inquiry into improving the homebuying process that while providing upfront material information is a positive step, agents are dependent on vendors.

Rightmove, which has recently added extra data fields to comply with parts B and C, as well as the original part A of Trading Standards’ material information requirements, revealed that as of 5 April 2024, the tenure of the property being sold was available on 94% of property listings as almost all sellers know the tenure of their home. 

Advertisement

Similarly, most sellers know their council tax band as well as how much they pay in ground rent and service charges on a leasehold property.

This is reflected in the percentage of listings where this information is provided, 69% for council tax, 60% for service charges and 59% for ground rent.

In contrast, in the fields where the information is more specialist and usually dealt with by conveyancers, the percentage of property listings with the information completed drops dramatically. 

Only 6% of leasehold property listings currently contain data about ground rent changes such as how often they increase and by how much.

Rightmove said: “Until it is mandated that professionals are instructed prior to listing, it is unlikely we will see significant growth in the performance of these statistics because sellers simply do not know the answers to these complex questions or where to find them.”

The committee said it received 84 written submissions.

It held evidence sessions with industry executives this week.

Join the conversation

  • Michael Day

    Whilst asking sellers for information is important - agents should independently obtain what is largely readily available information.

    Many agents see this as a cost both in direct financial terms and time resources.

    Agents should however be seeing it as an enabler to improve performance - increasing success rates and reducing waste.



    Melfyn Williams

    Michael - nice concept, but not in touch with reality for the majority of agents. Property owners do not in the majority, know or have the information to hand beyond the basic information. Some of the information is readily available - regrettably, its not all accurate or reliable. Which ever way people spin this, it IS an additional cost up front and in some areas asking an agent to act beyond the scope of their current responsibilities. Lets get real and help the home moving process improve.

     
  • Shaun Adams

    Most agents are ignoring the law and not even trying. Most of the MI is simple to obtain for free. The agent needs to try and find the answers for free and be honest with them. Parts of section C may be tricky but A and B should be simpler. Rather than ignore it, just do your best with the free resources you have. I expect with time there will be changes.

  • Andrew Stanton PROPTECH-PR A Consultancy for Proptech Founders

    I fail to see as Rightmove is a publisher why it is skewing this topic, surely it also has a duty of care to list only property that complies with the November 2023 edict from NTSELAT on A,B & C on its site. Leaving gaps or 'Ask the agent' is not complying with what is now required, obviously on a commercial level there is a reason to list inventory with minimal intel as they get revenue, but should NTSELAT not be pulling them up for this lack of dilligence? In fact why with all the profit they earn do Rightmove not provide the service to make inventory compliant - as in you list - Rightmove says this listing is missing intel, we can source that for you estate agent client (even down to getting the vendor to state what they think the case is regarding their end - so a self stat dec that sits with the details).

    Shaun Adams

    I have heard that that could be rolled out. If Rightmove were told by Trading standards not to list props without MI, lazy arse agents would suddenly wake up.

     
  • icon

    In today’s digital age, prospective property buyers have a wealth of information readily available. A brief online search using Google and the local authority and .gov websites can reveal a property’s EPC rating, planning history, tenure, broadband speed, sale price history, local school catchment areas, crime statistics, and council tax band and amount. Tools like Google Streetview and satellite imagery further enrich our understanding of a property’s surroundings.

    The underlying assumption of recent legislation seems to be that buyers are not capable of conducting their own research. However, this overlooks the proficiency with which younger generations, in particular, can navigate digital resources to make informed decisions about their potential property investments.

    Matthew Fine

    David, yesterday I emailed a new instruction to buyers listed on our database. The email included the length of lease, a walk through tour and I attached a set of details with the lease, service charge, ground rent and floorplan including which floor the apartment was on. This morning I had a number of emails back, most asked what the length of lease was, how much the service charge is and what floor the flat was on. So I for one do not think todays buyers read what is sent to them let alone have the capacity to use the internet to research anything.

     
  • icon

    As pointed out by Shaun, a lot of the MI data is open source and therefore free but granted it will take effort and resources to provide all this information. Some of the data is harder to obtain but not impossible and would incur costs. However, if you purchased the HMLR title (£3) register and lease (£3) if leasehold, you can get the majority of the information.

    There are also plenty of services out there providing the vast majority of the MI at the click of a button. Yes they are chargeable but it’s easy to implement. So you have a couple of options, pay for a service which will use fewer resources or use your existing resources (humans) and get the data for less.
    Either way it’s not difficult and it’s about time agents and conveyancers worked together and seized this opportunity to provide a better service to the consumer, and dare I say it, increase your fees.

  • icon

    Matthew Fine, although I totally get your point, people are lazy, but it could also be in the way you delivered the message. Attaching documents means the consumer needs to open them to get the information. If you had a lease summary in the main body of the email, the consumer would have seen the key facts.

  • icon

  • Shaun Adams

    Matthew Fine you are correct but a big reason for MI is to stop buyers wasting £30 on fuel to view a property without essential facts. If they don’t read the MI before they view that’s down to them.

icon

Please login to comment

MovePal MovePal MovePal
sign up