The Communities Secretary Sajid Javid has announced plans to make the process for buying a home'cheaper, faster and less stressful'. This includes looking at new measures to tackle gazumping where a seller accepts a higher offer from a new buyer after already accepting an offer for less money.
The government will also examine ways of increasing confidence in the housing chain and look to significantly reduce the number of sales that fall through. There will also be moves to modernise the home buying process by making greater use of digital technologies as well as ensuring that homes are 'sale ready'.
The government has made a commitment to reform the house buying process and this announcement builds on other measures that have recently been announced to help stop various abusive practices in the home buying process such as abuses of leasehold properties.
A 'call for evidence' document has been published by the Department for Communities and Local Government. The document reveals that more than 1 million homes are bought and sold in the UK every year. Comments on the eight-week review can be made until 17 December 2017. These comments from those involved in the sector as well as members of the public will be used to help shape a programme of action going forward.
Communities Secretary Sajid Javid said:
'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. 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.'
These changes could help usher in significant changes by speeding up the buying and selling process whilst at the same time reducing the problems of broken chains and gazumping. As usual the devil will be in the detail and we will have to wait and see what measures are announced following this consultation.