In the wake of the Communities Secretary, Sajid Javid’s call for evidence from mortgage lenders, solicitors, estate agents and property industry experts to streamline the process of buying a property, views have been invited on four key topics of: gazumping, innovation, information and confidence.

The government aims to demystify the entire process of buying and selling a home

Duncan Samuel, managing director of Gazeal, PropTech Company of the Year, comments: “Our data proves that gazumping is on the rise and that the UK residential property fall-through rate is actually closer to 28 per cent, a little higher than the survey that the Government published on Sunday’’.

“Gazeal offers a solution to most, if not all of the industry issues raised by Mr Javid and we are delighted that serious questions are being raised about the current homebuying process in England and Wales.” One aspect that the call will look into will be providing better guidance for buyers and sellers to make them ‘sale ready’.

Steve Dawkins, digital marketing and sales director of Gazeal, states: “The Gazeal Xpress service enables the agent to list the property for sale with a full Contract Pack including personal searches and an online property information questionnaire, when the property is put on the market. Gazeal then instantly delivers the pack to the buyers’ conveyancer when an offer is accepted, saving weeks or months.”

Another key point of investigation are lock-in agreements, to stop vendors or purchasers pulling out and therefore causing the transaction to fall through.

Duncan Samuel, commented: “Gazeal Seal enables the parties to enter into a legally binding agreement to sell on the terms agreed that neither party can walk away from, subject only to Lenders Valuation and confirmation of Good Title, thus giving both parties certainty with appropriate protections. We regularly have transactions reach a legally binding position within three days of an offer being made and accepted.”

The Government survey of 2,000 people also showed 69 per cent of vendors and 62 per cent of purchasers report stress and worry as a result of delay. Almost a third (32 per cent) of vendors and 28 per cent of buyers were unhappy with the other party’s solicitor, the Department for Communities and Local Government said.

Raise standards

Reema Battu, deputy practice group head of residential conveyancing for Edwards Hands and Lewis, comments: “With the Gazeal system a lot of transactions that I have worked on have gone through in almost less than half the time than they normally do.”

Professional training for traditional estate agents, hybrid agents and online agents is also being considered to raise standards across the industry, and which would bring the UK in line with markets such as the US, where the standards of training and regulation are much higher and the home-buying process is much more efficient with a fall through rate of less than 3 per cent .

According to John Halpin, commercial director of Gazeal: “In 2016, the World Bank went on record of quoting that the UK ranks 47th place on ease of purchasing and registering a property, below Armenia and Azerbaijan. Any attempt by the Government to improve the process should be applauded and we welcome the opportunity to contribute to the debate.”

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