RICS calls for home buying and selling improvements

RICS has made calls for improvements in the home buying and selling process at the governmental inquiry in the last week.

The opportunity to buy a home should be one of the most exciting moments in a person’s life, yet the reality, even without the significant financial costs associated, is that it can often be one of the most stressful periods. RICS recently engaged with the UK Parliament’s Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Committee in their inquiry into improving the home buying and selling process.

In 2023, it was estimated that one in three house sales fell through in England, bringing economic and emotional pressure to consumers and impacting the wider UK economy and revenue for vital public services through the loss of stamp duty.

This inquiry builds on the continuation of RICS work looking at the delivery of material information following the updated guidance last year to ensure consumers have well-informed, professional advice before making a purchase. It also supports our commitment to expanding professionalism and regulation of the residential property sector, with RICS recently speaking in the House of Lords on the Regulation of Property Agents.

RICS member insight has helped shape the development of our recommendations to MPs and the government on improving the buying and selling process, helping to increase consumer satisfaction, and ensuring surveyors continue to deliver a vital service to the housing market.

RICS recommendations:
    • The government must work with RICS to explore the role of professional surveys earlier in the home buying and selling process, to help consumers make well-informed decisions and reduce the risk of sales falling through.
    • A greater focus should be given to the professionalisation of valuations using Registered Valuers to provide evidence-driven market values, supported by professional judgement.
    • If any reservation agreement system were introduced, it should be underpinned by upfront information provided by an appropriate professional to ensure that consumers have the information they need ahead of their decision.
    • Mandate the government’s ‘How to Buy Guide’ which is not compulsory for prospective buyers to see.
    • Any upfront, material information, must be developed transparently and with an understanding of the different roles and expertise of those involved in the home buying and selling process. Such information must be provided by suitably qualified professionals and communicated with consumers clearly and impartially.
Justin Young, RICS CEO, commented:

“It is essential that we improve the home buying and selling process by creating a modern, joined-up housing market, for the benefit of homeowners, and the wider UK economy.

“RICS is glad the government and MPs recognise that change is needed and that surveyors must be at the heart of a home-buying journey.

“We will continue to work with members, industry and policymakers to embed the importance of RICS home surveys and valuations for consumer well-being, and call on the government to expand professionalism, regulation and standards to create a vibrant housing market.”


Kindly shared by The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS)