Auction is proof that upfront information is the key to speed and security

The industry has shared mixed feelings about the changes to Material Information, with Parts B & C expected to come into play from the autumn. Some are behind it and see the opportunity it brings, but some are dubious about the impact that it could have on transactions, and what it means for them from an admin point of view.

For the last 14 years with auction, I’ve seen first-hand the impact that upfront information has when it comes to speeding up completion timeframes and reducing fall through rates. I believe it’s the key to bringing more speed and security to all transactions, which the industry has been calling out for.

Upfront information is what helps to make the 56-day completion timeframe of the Modern Method of Auction (MMoA) possible. This is less than half of the average transaction timeframe of Private Treaty, which can take over 120 days to complete. With shorter timescales, agents can get paid faster and increase their pipeline turn – big wins, especially in more challenging markets like we’re currently in.

Since 2009 we’ve captured all information upfront for our auction properties, and anyone interested in a property can see its details within an Auction Pack. It means they can understand everything they need to know to help them make an informed decision, before placing a bid. It’s tried and tested and supports fall through rates for auction being as low as 2%, compared with Private Treaty rates of around 30%.

Auction Packs help to get the transaction prepared ahead as well, by collecting key documents and information sooner, which ultimately speeds up the conveyancing process. The documents include the likes of Local Authority Searches, Property Information Questionnaires and Title Plans/Registers.

Agents and consumers have come to rely on auction for its speed and security, knowing that sales will be faster and more efficient and they’ll have a more secure and transparent experience. More information upfront has the potential to be transformational for the industry, in improving the Private Treaty process too.

It could also go some way towards driving a new standard of industry best practice, with more consistency around what information is required and when. This is something we’ve driven for auction transactions, developing a Best Practice Guide which helps agents and suppliers adhere to industry best practice standards.

Although the full requirements of Material Information Parts B & C are still to be confirmed I do expect to see some synergy, and it really doesn’t have to be another admin burden for agents. There’s technology out there that will be able to gather a lot of the information for them.

We’ve used our experience to ensure that our Private Treaty end to end onboarding solution, iamproperty movebutler, puts upfront Material Information at its heart, helping agents to stay compliant without giving them more to do. Agents tell us that movebutler is the helping hand they need when it comes to keeping on top of the admin parts of the job and regulation, without eating into their time.

My view? Ultimately, more information upfront has the power to increase pipeline turn, reduce time spent on sales progression and reduce fall through. I see it as something the industry should embrace and get behind. The benefits speak for themselves.

iamproperty partners with more than 6,000 Estate Agency branches and offers an ecosystem of solutions, including the UK’s largest residential auction service, iamsold, which has supported agents in selling over 5,000 properties so far this year.

Written by Jamie Cooke, Co-Founder of iamproperty

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