A recent change made by the National Trading Standards and Letting Agency Team will mean more information about a property is required to be available for customers. What details will be required, the motives behind the changes and when do they come into force?
Earlier this year, an announcement that certain property information will now be required for all property listings by May hit the market. The National Trading Standards Estate and Letting Agency Team are behind this well-received change, seeking to help buyers make well-informed decisions on their property investments and home purchases. The new information required on the listing will be:
- the property’s council tax band or rate
- the price
- tenure information (for sales)
The initiative has come about in response to a request from estate and letting agents for more clarity on what information sellers must disclose when putting a property on the market. This initial step is phase one of three, looking at what must be included for all properties. Phases two and three are in development, but will include further information on covenants, flood risks, and other more specific factors that may impact a property’s price point.
How will this change how properties are marketed?
Once all stages have been completed, agents will be required to include all information about a property before listing it on their portals. If these details are omitted, the portal should flag this to their customers, alongside key advice on why the information is important and should be obtained ahead of making any further decisions. Portals will also be required to list how customers can access the information.
What are the benefits?
The benefits for brokers, estate agents, and letting agents mean that this amendment has received considerable support from the industry. With more information available from the start, better quality enquiries will come through to agents, meaning quicker and simpler sales, and a reduction in transaction fall-throughs.
More than 300 agents were surveyed by the National Trading Standards and industry partners last year, and the push for this type of change was overwhelming. 91% of agents asked agreed that a list of basic material information would improve clarity for the industry. A further 93% supported the enforcement of mandatory information in relation to property tenure.
Having this information available makes the whole process more transparent for buyers. Understanding the full extent of the property’s condition before entering into a contract will inevitably help people budget more accurately for their property purchase.
What are industry professionals saying about the changes?
Neil O’Brien, a minister in the Government’s Levelling Up department said, “A key part of levelling up is creating a fair and just housing system […] Far too often, […] deals fall through, costing young people thousands of pounds in wasted expense.” O’Brien goes on to comment that providing information upfront will avoid unnecessary costs for buyers, which benefits all areas of the market and improves the home-purchase process.
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