The Home Buying and Selling Group has (HBSG) published a industry pledge to support home movers across England and Wales.
Since lockdown, the HBSG has been working with the home moving industry to help ensure the home moving market operates as well as it can during Covid-19 and beyond.
The group produced pan-industry guidance on the day the moving market opened on 13 May 2020. Now the group is launching an industry wide pledge to begin to introduce transparency, not just for the industry but for consumers buying and selling a home.
The pledge lays out what each profession, within the housing industry needs to do and when. This is designed to help to ensure as much information is provided as soon as possible in the buying and selling process. For example, the HBSG is recommending the industry to advise consumers to appoint a property lawyer on the day a property is marketed. This is already something that happens for auctions, in Northern Ireland and in Scotland. Some agents have introduced ‘sale ready’ properties so we know this can make a big difference to a home move.
It is also recommending buyers to secure their decision in principle early and instruct a property lawyer before making an offer so their ID can be verified and money laundering checks carried out quickly.
While none of this advice is new, what is different is the industry has pledged to work together to offer consistent advice to all consumers, helping to ensure they play their part and the emphasis on securing information, which could affect a sale or purchase, sooner rather than later in the process.
The pledge can be seen here: https://homebuyingandsellinggroup.co.uk/
The relevant organisations and groups involved in the home buying and selling process from agents, legal entities, surveying, removals and consumer organisations have agreed to this pledge. These include, among others, NAEA Propertymark, The Law Society, Conveyancing Association, CILEx, Society of Licensed Conveyancers, RICS, RPSA, BAR and organisations such as The NTS Estate & Letting Agency Team, The Property Ombudsman and the PRS.
Joe Arnold, managing director of Arnold & Baldwin Chartered Surveyors, said: “Delays in the home moving process are obviously a hot topic at the moment as the surge in transactions to make the Stamp Duty holiday window is putting pressure on capacity at every stage. But this pledge from the Home Buying and Selling Group (HBSG) isn’t just a temporary fix for a current problem, it forms the basis for a more efficient and effective market.
“The HBSG has taken input from professionals across the homebuying process, including Arnold & Baldwin, and the pledge includes some really important suggestions and nuggets of advice that will help transactions progress more easily. If all documents are available up front, it sets everyone up for ultimate success.”
The housing minister, Christopher Pincher, added: “This government is committed to ensuring the housing market works for everyone, and our work with the industry has helped to restart the market in a way that is safe.
“I welcome this pledge from the industry and look forward to seeing it deliver a smoother and more efficient experience for all those looking to buy or sell their home.”