Buying a house could get a lot easier thanks to new plans to tackle ‘gazumping’, and other annoying estate agent practices.
Communities Secretary Sajid Javid announced plans to make buying and selling homes ‘cheaper, faster and less stressful’ by tackling rogue estate agents, and speeding things up using technology.
Gazumping – the bane of any house-buyer’s life – is where a seller accepts a higher offer from a new buyer.
Javid has called for evidence from estate agents, solicitors and mortgage lenders to ensure buyers and sellers can save time and money and focus more on finding their ‘dream home’.
He specifically wants their views on gazumping, trust-building, digital innovation, and information gathering.
‘We want to help everyone have a good quality home they can afford, and improving the process of buying and selling is part of delivering that,’ Javid said.
‘Buying a home is one of life’s largest investments, so if it goes wrong it can be costly. That’s why we’re determined to take action to make the process cheaper, faster and less stressful.
‘This can help save people money and time so they can focus on what matters – finding their dream home.
‘I want to hear from the industry on what more we can do to tackle this issue.’
The Government also published a survey of 2,000 people which showed 69% of sellers and 62% of buyers reported stress and worry as a result of delays.
Nearly half (46%) of sellers had concerns about buyers changing their minds after making an offer, and almost a quarter (24%) said they would use a different estate agent if they had to go through the process again.
Almost a third (32%) of sellers and 28% of buyers were dissatisfied with the other party’s solicitor, DCLG added.
The call for evidence will run for eight weeks from Sunday.