Minister takes aim at house sales process
The government wants to speed up the house-buying and selling process, hoping to make it “cheaper, faster and less stressful”.
This week it launched a call for evidence, a consultation which is open until 17 December. After this date the responses will be used to develop a programme of action that will be tested with the sector and the public.
DCLG Secretary of State Sajid Javid is keen to hear a wide range of views, but specifies “estate agents, solicitors, surveyors and mortgage lenders” as well as buyers and sellers themselves.
We will prepare a full response to this consultation and would welcome input from chartered surveyors across the country.
The government has asked for views on:
- Better regulation of estate agents
- Frustration around conveyancing
- The potential of digital technology
- The slowness of mortgage applications
- Educating buyers
- Better information at point of sale
We welcome any review that makes home buying a simpler, more streamlined process and minimises the possibility of gazumping. We firmly believe that all estate agents should be signed up to a professional regulatory scheme, which will ensure buyers receive the best possible advice in an accessible way that maximises value for money.
In Scotland, we have seen the value of the home report, which includes a survey of the property, an energy report and a property questionnaire, for both buyers and sellers and we would hope this review explores the benefits of introducing the home report across the UK. Certainly, we will be reinforcing these views when responding to the government’s call for evidence.
In the meantime, buyers and sellers should make sure they sign up with an estate agency that is governed by a professional body like ourselves which holds chartered surveyors to the highest standards. Our professionals are well trained, fully understand the existing process and are able to advise customers in the best possible way.
The call for evidence follows up on a 2017 Conservative Manifesto commitment to reform and modernise the home-buying process so it is more efficient and less costly.
It comes after a week in which the government announced its intention to introduce regulation for lettings agents and managing agents.
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