Proposal for Reform to the Home Selling & Buying Process

A New and Innovative Proposal for Reform to the Home Selling and Buying Process. The HIP Reform Group, established in November 2009, and now boasting a membership of over 670 supporters, has this week released a ‘white paper’ containing a proposal for reform entitled – ‘New Year, New Start’.

The full report can be read here.

The proposal based on the growing view that the home information pack should be retained rather than ‘scrapped’, contains ideas on how a future government could introduce with little effort, and perhaps minimum resistance, progressive reform to the home buying and selling process.

According to the author of the Paper, Solicitor, David Pett, the proposal is aimed at all political parties, and as he explains ‘contains a proposition that could be introduced with very light touch regulation, and which is designed to bring practical and cost benefits to the consumer as well as the property professionals’.

Essentially the Group is proposing that a seller before offering a property for sale has to engage with an advisor and instruct that advisor to prepare all the information and documents that in the judgement of the advisor will ensure that once a buyer is found the parties will be able to move to exchange of contracts in a timely and cost effective way. This information would then have to be delivered together with a ‘consumer friendly’ summary to the buyer within 28 working days of the first day of marketing or if sooner 14 working days from the date of the offer. The only proviso to this is that the seller to comply with new European law will need to commission and have in place before marketing the energy performance certificate.

The Group envisage that the advisor will be either a lawyer or an existing home information pack facilitator with the responsibility for the preparation and delivery of the information and documents being shared with energy assessors. Mr Pett explains ‘There are many energy assessors scrambling around looking for work and opportunities to earn additional money. The proposal sees the assessor as a key member of the advisor’s team who would use the visit to the property for the energy inspection as an opportunity to engage with the seller and obtain information and documents that will help the advisor with delivery’.

The Benefits of the proposition according to Mr Pett are ‘numerous, and include the quickening of transaction time, the reduction of abortive sales and greater transparency. The HIP has received a lot of criticism for stalling the property market, adding extra cost to a transaction and placing an unnecessary burden on sellers and buyers. Though much of this is not well founded, the HIP Reform Group’s proposal has tried to address these concerns and in my view succeeded to come up with a proposal that offers a balanced proposition that we hope will be of interest to all political parties’

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