Industry collaboration to improve the home-buying process

In the light of a changing property market, representatives from across the industry are working together to find ways to improve the process of buying and selling a home for consumers.

Motivated by a genuine desire to effect change, delegates from diverse sectors of the property industry have formed The Home Buying and Selling Group.

This informal group includes estate and letting agents, property lawyers, mortgage lenders and representatives of organisations such as Land Registry, British Association of Removers, the Law Society, the Society of Licensed Conveyancers, Conveyancing Association, Bold Legal Group, RPSA, Northwood, The Property Ombudsman, Rightmove, and the Building Societies Association.

At the first meeting, chaired by industry expert Kate Faulkner of and hosted by TwentyCi, the property data and marketing technology company, members shared their experiences of problems faced by consumers when buying a home, and put forward suggestions for easing the situation, with government help where necessary. Matt Prior, from the Ministry of Housing Communities & Local Government was at the meeting to hear first-hand the wide ranging debate.

Members are confident if solutions are developed involving all of the industry from the start, huge differences could be made to consumers’ buying and selling experience.

During a group discussion, it was no surprise to learn that one of the biggest issues facing home-buyers is the uncertainty, around both timescales and whether the sale will fall through, as 20-30% do. Research is now being carried out by the group into the feasibility of creating certainty through binding offers or reservations, as well as ways to provide consumers with better data to help their decision making process.

To facilitate change, smaller expert teams have been set up to investigate providing more information before sale, creating more certainty at offer stage, improving education, both of consumers and people within the property industry and ways to solve leasehold issues.