6 April 2022 by Tejal Amin

Will upfront information from estate agents be a game changer for the property industry?

Whilst estate agents play a vital role in property transactions, far too often deals collapse because buyers are not fully informed as to the true costs of a property, at the point of making an offer. Buyers hope that the conveyancing process won’t reveal anything that would cause them to change their minds – and the potential for wasted time and money has been a flaw in the system for some time now.

The latest change in the industry will be the first step towards addressing this and means that estate agents will need to ‘get things in order’ prior to the marketing of a property, to provide greater transparency to potential buyers.

As of May 2022, the Government and National Trading Standards will place an obligation on estate agents to provide more material information to potential buyers upfront, to include:

  • the council tax band;
  • the tenure (leasehold or freehold); and
  • if the property is leasehold, further information regarding the lease must be included such as the remaining lease length, ground rent and service charge.

The above is ‘stage one’ of a three-stage process, which will be phased in over time and should assist buyers in being able to make an informed decision when they embark on a property search and before they make an offer.

What are our thoughts on this?  Firstly, we embrace any change which will improve the client experience and here is why:

Fewer fall-throughs

If estate agents can implement stage one correctly, then the industry should see fewer fall throughs. Despite advances in technology, pipelines are taking longer than ever to progress, and this initiative should also assist the speed at which a transaction is completed.

No wasted time

Time will be saved through a reduction in speculative interest from buyers that may not be a good fit for the property. Buyers should have a better experience by having more knowledge at the beginning and being able to make an informed decision.

Cost saving

Far too often when buying and selling properties​, deals fall through, costing thousands of pounds in wasted expense. By providing all the necessary information up front, this can be avoided, and it will make the process of buying a home more cost-effective.

Trust and confidence

Greater trust and confidence in property professionals from the very outset. This should reduce the number of buyers changing their minds later down the line and improve the relationship between buyers, sellers, and estate agents – which is not always harmonious!

Being fully informed is at the heart of the service we provide at Bolt Burdon and this change is something that we welcome with open arms. If you’re selling a property, our lawyers are here to assist, before you go to market, enabling the agents to have all the information available for marketing, ensuring that any issues can be addressed sooner rather than later.

We also believe that it’s incumbent on us to check our contract packs, prepared on behalf of sellers, before sending them to buyer’s solicitors – by examining the pack we can identify issues and find solutions to them.  This reduces the number of enquiries raised, shortens the overall time taken and delivers a more streamlined and stress-free process.

For further information please contact Tejal Amin or another member of our Residential Real Estate team.

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