‘Agents must appoint conveyancer before or when listing’

The Open Property Data Association’s Maria Harris says sorting legals sooner will mean fewer nasty surprises, fewer fall throughs and fewer delays.


The Open Property Data Association (OPDA) is calling on all sellers and estate agents to appoint a conveyancer before or on listing so the material information including title can be expert checked and the searches ordered as early as possible.

Last week the National Trading Standards Estate and Letting Agency Team (NTSELA) published Material Information, parts B and C. Agents are already obliged under the Consumer Protection Regulations not to omit any material information on property listings.


But until now there hasn’t been a defined list of the basic information required, leaving agents vulnerable to enforcement action. The guidance is also set to achieve a better outcome for the consumer.

The new Part B is information that should be covered for all properties – such as the property type and construction.

Part C is information that only needs to be established if the property is affected by the issue – such as flood risk or accessibility issues. Part A was announced last year and includes council tax band or rate, and property price.

Maria Harris (main picture), chair of OPDA, says: “This new guidance will improve transparency and interoperability, creating a better customer and user experience. Brokers, lenders, valuers and the buyer’s conveyancer will have the information they need from verified sources at the beginning of the transaction. This will mean fewer nasty surprises too late in the process, fewer fall throughs and delays. The guidance should also mean better protection for the consumer.”


And Kieran Witt, Founder and Chief Executive of Kotini, an OPDA member, says: “Whilst some agents will see this as more work, many will see it as an opportunity.

Kieran Witt, Kotini
Kieran Witt, Kotini

“Being upfront with all the material information will mean agents are more likely to find the right buyer – and keep them.

“Avoiding surprises later in the transaction that might make the buyer think twice. And with all the new information for buyers to consider, the need for a trusted, experienced property professional has never been greater, excellent news for buying agents.

“Existing tech will make compliance with the new guidance easy. With the use of open property data, it can do much more than just keep agents compliant.”

Sián Hemming-Metcalfe, Operations Director of OPDA member Inventory Base, adds: “Since the release of Part A, there’s been hesitation to fully adopt the processes needed to not only speed up the collection of data but also to integrate it within everyday operations.

“Now we’re armed with the full picture, agents need to act now, embrace and start to leverage the right tech to help create, capture and share information.”


Nokkel, the house wealth and fintech platform, has joined the OPDA and will be at the forefront of efforts to develop a more open and connected property data ecosystem.

Roland Whyte, Founder and Chief Executive of Nokkel, says: “The rate at which technology improves is accelerating and the way we use data is changing.

“We want to empower consumers and financial institutions to make better financial decisions based on validated and consolidated property data and bring the worlds of property and financial solutions closer together.”

One Comment

  1. Appointing a solicitor at the same time as an estate agent make perfect sense, but it will be a sea change for sellers who can start marketing their homes with no commitment at all.

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