Adopt the Oz model to speed up UK property sales, says Reapit

Firm's Steve Richmond says properties in Australia take 30 to 40 days on average to be sold compared to 25 weeks from listing to exchange in the UK.

Steve Richmond, Reapit

Tech provider Reapit reckons the home buying and selling process could be improved straight away if the government adopted Australia’s model where properties take just 30 to 40 days to sell rather than the 25 weeks it takes in the UK.

In a recent submission to an enquiry by the Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Committee Commons Select Committee into improving the home buying and selling process Reapit highlighted several ways that could improve the home buying and selling process in England.


Ideas included sellers being pre-qualified with finance and due-diligence details to be shared digitally with agents and conveyancers by mortgage lender; mortgage lenders to guarantee offers for six months and searches and surveys completed when a property comes to market.

The flag of Australia is shown in a 3D style image.Reapit also believes licensing estate agents would also be a boon as well as introducing a cooling-off period to sales contracts allowing buyers to take the property off the market sooner while compensating the vendor if they subsequently withdraw an offer.

The policies are already in place in some states in Australia and have resulted in agents making more sales in less time. Properties in Australia are on the market for 30 to 40 days on average before being sold. Latest figures from Zoopla say it takes 25 weeks from listing to exchange in the UK.


Steve Richmond (main picture), General Manager UK&I at Reapit, says: “There is a lot of duplication in the house buying process at the moment, with the National Trading Standards Estate and Letting Agency Team mandating agents to provide material information parts A, B & C when a property is listed. Together, the material information required covers a lot of the details included in searches and surveys.

“Rather than sellers undertaking searches and surveys to help agents satisfy material information needs, and buyers performing similar searches and surveys when they put in an offer, it would be easier for all if those documents were provided upfront to prospective buyers.”


And he adds: “Similarly, estate agencies and mortgage lenders both undertake know-your-customer checks (KYC) on buyers, which is a duplication. Instead, we should encourage buyers to become pre-qualified and have financing in place. Agents should then be able to rely on the KYC done to approve that loan.

“We’ve also seen the positive impact of licensing and qualifications across different states in Australia.

“We feel it is something agents should embrace given the high compliance burdens they face. According to Propertymark, some 150 laws, 300 regulations, and decisions made by seven government departments impact the property sector.”

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