I remember my dad helping me buy my first car and sharing his pearls of wisdom on what to look for and where to tap for signs of rust.
I was more interested in the Fiesta Supersport’s leather sports steering wheel, flared arches and alloy wheels, whereas his first area of attention was looking through the paperwork.
So fast forward and the latest initiatives to help improve the home buying and selling process centre around more upfront information – not dissimilar to my car purchase but which has since matured to digital information.
When I bought my car, there was more information available during the viewing than when I purchased my first house and yet the value and financial importance of the two cannot be compared.
So why can’t upfront information help the homebuying and selling process?
I, along with many other people across the industry, believe it can and it’s not hard to see why.
Yes, there will always be the naysayers. But we can’t keep moaning about a broken, archaic process that takes far too long and at great cost, to then reject positive steps to improve things for everyone involved.
If you’re nervous or perhaps sceptical about the future, try not to be, because change is gathering momentum and the upfront information agenda has not been rushed and isn’t going away; tmgroup and mio have been part of different working groups within the Home Buying and Selling Group (HBSG) for several years now and progress has been well thought through with lots of consultation.
It’s not dissimilar when I look back 20 years; there was an initial reluctance from conveyancers to move away from cheque requisitions to online searches and now it’s become the norm because of the associated benefits that it delivers to the home moving process.
HBSG has recently published version 3 of its BASPI form (Buyers and Sellers Property Information Form) which is split in to 2 parts. Part A getting “Market Ready” and Part B getting “Sale Ready”.
Looking at the form, why wouldn’t a prospective buyer want to know this information? An informed buyer, making informed choices with fewer chances of any hidden surprises that could derail the purchase later, will inevitably lead to fewer fall throughs.
Whether it will speed up overall transaction times is harder to answer, but Simon Wilkinson from Wilkinson Partnership has been road testing the BASPI for some time now and has witnessed the benefits first-hand.
“We have been providing upfront information over the last 3 years, for well over 1,000 properties. Without question it has added transparency, flagged up any issues very early on and then had them resolved. Thus, it has speeded up sales and made the firm and my staff more professional.”
This resonates with the findings from mio’s Home Movers Survey 2021 where 68% said that “trust in the agents’ ability to manage their sale” was ranked highest when choosing an agent.
Simon’s first-hand experience is refreshing to hear because speaking to numerous agents, both large and small, pipeline turnover is a real concern right now.
Traditionally agents I’ve spoken with have turned their pipeline between four to five times annually, but current market conditions, with fewer properties coming to market impeded by slow transaction times, means those same agents are now predicting turnover closer to two or three, which has a big financial impact.
So “market ready” could and should be seen as a positive step to building consumer confidence and taking more control of the pipeline at an earlier stage, to help drive sales through to completion, whilst also building bridges and improving relationships with conveyancers.
Read more about upfront information.