A new group of property market specialists is aiming to improve how we buy and sell our homes. The Home Buying and Selling Group wants to use its expertise to find solutions that make property buying and selling a less stressful and more positive experience.
Among the potential solutions are making offers on property binding on each party and providing more information on a property before a sale.
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The group consists of estate and letting agents, property lawyers, mortgage lenders, the property ombudsman and representatives from the Land Registry, Law Society and Conveyancing Association among others.
Reflecting the widespread interest in reform of the conveyancing process, an official from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government was also present.
Among the issues identified by participants at the first group meeting as important for reform were:
- The uncertainty on timescales and whether a sale will go through
- A lack of data to help customers make better decisions on buying and selling
- Leasehold issues
Between 20 and 30 percent of all house sales in England and Wales fall through, creating a huge amount of uncertainty in the market for both buyers and sellers. The new group is to carry out a feasibility study on creating greater certainty through binding offers or reservations.
There will also be research on how to give buyers more information and better education for both consumers and those who work within the property industry, as well as a look at the thorny problem of leasehold.