NAEA Propertymark has moved to pre-empt the government’s mooted introduction of Reservation Agreements by publishing a ‘Sales Protocol’ pack for agents and vendors to use after an instruction has been received.
The three documents include a ‘declaration of offer’ form, a ‘memorandum of sale’ checklist and a property information questionnaire’ all of which should be filled in by agent and vendor.
But unlike the unpopular House Information Packs older agents will remember Labour trying to introduce during the 1990s, or the current government’s proposed reservation agreement, the NAEA documents are not legally binding.
The initiative was unveiled during yesterday’s NAEA Propertymark annual conference and exhibition in London during which Matt Prior of the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG), outlined progress so far towards introducing a legally-binding reservation agreement.
He said his department was consulting on several different forms of the agreement with consumer and industry groups, including Kate Faulkner’s Home Buying & Selling Group, and that MHCLG felt that £1,000 was the right level for both sides to pay in order to show their commitment to a sale.
Prior said once the ideal form of the agreement had been nailed down, it would be trialled in several regions later this year, and then a decision made by ministers, at the earliest, next year.
He said MHCLG was aware that a balance needed to be struck between the need to stop buyers and sellers pulling out of deals without good reason, and preserving the ability of ‘serious buyers and serious sellers’ to negotiate freely.
“Lauren Scott, President, NAEA Propertymark, says: “This is a long overdue change to the home buying and selling process.
“The new Sales Protocol will provide greater certainty and confidence to buyers and sellers, and ultimately provide them with a better consumer experience.”