Estate agent, lawyers, mortgage brokers, surveyors, removal firms and consumer groups have all signed up to a new property industry pledge that aims to introduce transparency to the industry and consumers.
Co-ordinated by the Home Buying and Selling Group (HBSG), its Home Buying and Selling Pledge outlines what each group needs to do and when, to give as much information as soon as possible in the buying and selling process in England and Wales. Consumers will be targeted with details in early October, including what they need to do to help make it work.
It includes a pledge from property industry bodies to encourage sellers to appoint a property lawyer on the day a property is marketed – something that already happens for auctions in Northern Ireland and in Scotland.
It’s also recommending buyers secure their decision in principle early and instruct a property lawyer before making an offer so their ID can be verified and money laundering checks carried out quickly.
A spokesman says: “None of this advice is ‘new’. What is different is the industry has pledged to work together to offer consistent advice to all consumers, helping to ensure they play their part and the emphasis on securing information, which could affect a sale or purchase, sooner rather than later in the process.”
The Property Redress Scheme is backing the pledge, which head of redress Sean Hooker says looks to the future, and to making the buying and selling of homes less stressful.
“The emphasis on communication, disclosure and documentation will enhance the experience of the consumer and, along with the promises from the other property professionals, will hopefully lead to quicker sales and less transactions falling through,” says Hooker. “As a redress scheme, we believe this will lead to less complainants and enhanced professionalism in the sector”
NAEA Propertymark, The Law Society and Conveyancing Association are among those to have already signed the pledge; more groups and companies are being encouraged to join them.