Property industry urges sellers to instruct lawyers from the start

Pincher: Welcome pledge

Conveyancers, estate agents, surveyors and others have signed up to an ‘industry pledge’ that urges sellers to instruct a lawyer before, or at the same time as, they put their property on the market

The pledge – which will be publicised to consumers next month – represents a push to ensure as much information is provided as soon as possible in the buying process by parties and their professionals so that problems can be addressed early on.

There are recommendations for agents, lawyers, brokers, surveyors and valuers, as well as buyers and sellers themselves.

They include that buyers should secure their decision in principle early and instruct a lawyer before making an offer so their ID can be verified and money laundering checks carried out quickly.

It was created by the Home Buying and Selling Group (HBSG), a stakeholder body of around 120 organisations advising the government.

The pledge has moved on significantly from the original draft ‘memorandum for the smooth operation of the residential property market in the UK’ that we reported on in July.

The HSBG said that, while none of the advice in the pledge was new, “what is different is the industry has pledged to work together to offer consistent advice to all consumers, helping to ensure they play their part and the emphasis on securing information, which could affect a sale or purchase, sooner rather than later in the process”.

Among those to sign the pledge are: the Law Society, Conveyancing Association, Chartered Institute of Legal Executives, Society of Licensed Conveyancers, NAEA Propertymark, Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, Residential Property Surveyors Association, British Association of Removers and organisations such as National Trading Standards, the Property Ombudsman and the Property Redress Scheme.

Housing minister Christopher Pincher said: “I welcome this pledge from the industry and look forward to seeing it deliver a smoother and more efficient experience for all those looking to buy or sell their home.”

Other organisations and companies that want to sign up to the pledge should email:

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