The home buying and selling process in England and Wales is fundamentally flawed and has come under great scrutiny in the last year, however, this spotlight offers an unparalleled window of opportunity to radically improve the process.
Ownership of land has its roots in the Anglo-Saxon system transformed by William the Conqueror after 1066, and many home buyers and sellers today may still feel that the process is still languishing in the Dark Ages.
The key issues that we hear from both buyers and sellers of residential property and indeed estate agents, mortgage brokers and other property professionals, come down to the fact that more than 300,000 property transactions in England and Wales break down each year, costing sellers on average almost £3,000.
Why does this occur?
A key issue is that of “gazundering” – the tactic used by unscrupulous buyers to lower their offer just before exchange of contracts. This is a major factor that undermines home sales and forces the property chain to break down.
“Gazumping” is another reason for transactions failing, whereby a seller agrees to accept an offer from a buyer, but then changes their mind and accepts a higher offer from an alternative buyer.
It’s such a serious issue that in late 2017, the Government issued a ‘Call for Evidence’ from experts within the property industry to seek out suggestions on how to resolve this and other serious issues. I’m delighted to say that our company, Gazeal, was among the first to respond and has since been heavily involved in both the investigation and now the working group to create and push through improvements to the system, with other forward-thinking industry experts.
What can be done?
Data shows that the longer it takes for buyer and seller to reach exchange of contracts, the more likely it is for the deal to fall through. Over 30% of transactions will fall through historically, but in 2018, the latest figures show that closer to 40% of home movers, first-time buyers or indeed buy-to-let investors, will fail to complete.
Gazeal Xpress is one solution that has been endorsed by experts across the UK and has hastened the timeframe by, on average, 50%, to reach exchange of contracts. Our company is instructed once a property is listed for sale and we prepare a legal pack including personal searches, the contract and Law Society protocol forms that are completed online by the seller.
When a serious buyer views the property and is ready to make an offer, they are given an opportunity to review the entire pack free of charge, allowing them to make a fully informed offer. They then select a conveyancer from our national panel and the entire pack is sent immediately, digitally, which this saves many weeks or even months.
If the two parties wish to take further steps to secure the property transaction, they are offered an opportunity to ‘Gazeal The Deal’.
Gazeal Seal is the gold standard reservation agreement, which enables the buyer and seller to enter into a legally binding agreement at an agreed price, subject only to Lenders Valuation and confirmation of Good Title, therefore giving all parties complete protection and full transparency.
We have regularly had housing transactions reach a legally binding position within three days of an offer being made and accepted, subject to a mandatory cooling-off period.
Home movers are forecast to lose more than £400m each year due to deals falling through and the team at Gazeal are delighted to be at the forefront of proptech, providing a solution to the broken property market.
Steve Dawkins is the sales & digital marketing director for Gazeal, winner of PropertyWire’s PropTech Company Of The Year award.
Gazeal is a new system for UK property sales which speeds up the conveyancing process and can also bind both parties in a residential property deal.