Buying or selling a home is often claimed to be among the most stressful of life experiences. The process can be lengthy, uncertain and carry unexpected costs.
The Government’s Communities Secretary, Sajid Javid, has launched a call for evidence on making improvements to the home buying process as a whole, with a hope of eliminating the unnecessary expense, lengthy delays and fall throughs and ultimately stress for all involved!
As part of the governments continued drive to make the housing market work better, the government want to hear from everyone that has an interest in home buying, including estate agents, solicitors and lenders.
The government wants to get a wide sector view on the following issues that arise within the house buying process:
- Gazumping – Gazumping can cause a buyer great stress! Gazumping is when a seller seller suddenly demands a higher price on the property, after previously accepting a lower offer. The government will look at ways this could be tackled.
- Building trust & confidence – Mistrust between parties is one of the biggest reported issues. The Government want to look at schemes including ‘lock-in agreements’. Although 1 million homes are bought and sold in England each year, around a quarter of sales fall through and hundreds of millions of pounds are wasted, and the government wants to increase confidence in the housing chain and ultimately reduce the number of house sales that fall through before completion.
- Informing customers – How to provide better guidance for buyers and sellers, by encouraging them to gather more information in advance so homes are ‘sale ready’
- Innovation – You can now search for a home online, but the buying process is too slow, costing time and money so we’re looking for innovative digital solutions including making more data available online
The Government want to ensure that they address issues across the whole sector, from ways to tackle gazumping and reduce time wasting to increase commitment to a sale.
Speaking of the call for evidence, Communities Secretary Sajid Javid said;
We want to help everyone have a good quality home they can afford, and improving the process of buying and selling is part of delivering that. Buying a home is one of life’s largest investments, so if it goes wrong it can be costly. That’s why we’re determined to take action to make the process cheaper, faster and less stressful.
This can help save people money and time so they can focus on what matters – finding their dream home. I want to hear from the industry on what more we can do to tackle this issue.
Today’s (22 Oct 2017) announcement will build on recent proposals to cut out abuses of leasehold, protections for renters and a crackdown on unfair managing agents, now we are looking at modernising the home buying process.
The Housing White Paper set out plans to fix the broken housing market, getting the right homes built in the right places and measures to improve affordability and protections for renters and home purchasers.
This exercise isn’t about adding extra work for buyers and sellers or seeing a return to Home Information Packs, this call for evidence will look at how we can further improve the home buying experience.
The government manifesto committed to reforming and modernising the home buying process so it is more efficient and lost costly. This is important as research published today sampling more than 2,000 people who have bought or sold a home recently shows that some of the key issues are:
- of those that experienced delays, 69% of sellers and 62% of buyers reported stress and worry as a result of the delay
- 46% of sellers had concerns about a buyer changing their mind after making an offer
- 24% of sellers would use a different estate agent if they were to go through the process again; and
- 32% of sellers and 28% of buyers were dissatisfied with the other party’s solicitor