91% of agents say upfront information “must be mandated” – conveyancers share their views

A recent survey taken by PropTech platform Gazeal suggests that an overwhelming number of estate agents want the government to mandate the provision of upfront property information. 

The survey, conducted during a recent webinar attended by hundreds of estate agents, revealed that 91% of respondents said the government should mandate upfront property information.

Another survey conducted during the Gazeal webinar revealed that a landslide 92% of agents agreed that the government’s official “How to Sell guide” should feature as part of an agent’s listing process.

Other polls taken included one on how long agents believed a typical house move would take, to which 57% responded three months, 29% answered four months, and 13% said six months.

Gazeal co-founder Bryan Mansell commented:

The numbers suggest that most sellers, therefore, expect a fairly quick sale, with a turnaround of only three months. And the speed of a sale can 100 per cent be improved by the provision of upfront information as standard, to move things along much swifter.

 The poll results above show the industry is willing to change, and is ahead of the government in terms of upfront information, which is a no-brainer for so many.”

Today’s Conveyancer asked the conveyancing community what they thought of the proposals.

David Pett, Director, MJP Conveyancing said:

There seems to be a disproportionate amount of time and energy expended on bringing about change so as to encourage a seller to provide more upfront information when selling.  

I acknowledge that this will help to reduce the number of  transactions that fall through, and may make some difference to transaction time.  

My worry however is that without Government mandating its difficult to see how this will gain sufficient traction to deliver in full its worthy objective. I know Government is watching these efforts closely, however its clear from past experience that this Government has little  appetite for ‘red tape’.  

Greater resource needs to be focused on other areas of possible improvement such as how to deal with the chronic shortage of experienced conveyancers, improving competency levels and the better use of technology to facilitate an open and transparent conveyancing  process.”

Managing Director of Convey Law, Lloyd Davies said the provision of upfront property information at the point of marketing a property was “a no brainer in terms of speeding up transaction timelines by up to three to four weeks”.

He commented:

The seller’s conveyancer also needs to be more vigilant in identifying and chasing outstanding documentation when reviewing and preparing the contract pack and this needs to be mandatory and enforced by conveyancing regulators so that obvious outstanding information and documentation is collated early, avoiding stress and delays prior to exchange of contracts.

With the upfront provision of legal documentation and a more proactive conveyancing protocol, we should be able to exchange of contracts within 4 to 6 weeks of sale agreed for the majority of straightforward transactions, negating the debate for reservation agreements. Let’s do it now!!

Beth Rudolf, who is Director of Delivery at the Conveyancing Association, said:

There is a groundswell of support for the provision of upfront information in the process because the benefits are there to be seen. It can reduce timescales and importantly, cut the large number of fall throughs that happen every single year, and cost consumers and the industry millions of pounds in lost revenue, not forgetting the time and resource that is put into an aborted transaction.

In jurisdictions where they supply this level of upfront information, such as Australia, Norway, Denmark, etc, we see transaction times down to weeks, and sales falling through down to as low as 2%. If we were get down to similar levels, we have the potential to increase the pipeline of agents, conveyancers, etc, considerably meaning they would get paid on more cases because of a combination of increased speed and less fall throughs.

Also, let’s consider the fact that we don’t have things like deed packets anymore – which we used to answer additional enquiries and PVQs – so it seems even more important that we collate all the upfront information in a property pack, especially as we now have to deal with issues such as onerous lease terms, short leases, cladding, estate rentcharges, and the like, all of which need to be known and dealt with at an early date.

 

One Response

  1. Alongside disclosure there is a need for standardisation and a taxonomy with leases and other free-form documents being reduced to a national common form in plain English with the assistance of AI. Like the JCT construction documents

    This will not only allow buyers to see from the start what has been written down but what has not.

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