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Potential changes to the buying and selling process

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government have been researching with the aid of working group called the Home Buying and Selling Group which is chaired by a research firm and includes solicitors and estate agents. They have been considering ideas for the last 11 months of how to improve the process of buying and selling property in the UK.

Key Stats from research so far


12-14 weeks offer to completion

Leasehold adds at least a week to this timescale

Failed Transactions

25-33% of all transactions fall through

Costing £270m per year


People move every 19 years

Most people will only move 1 or 2 more times after first move


Rapid changes in finding a new home to purchase but limited progress elsewhere such as the process itself.

One million homes bought and sold each year.

Challenges for the government are:

Market is not broken enough to need an immediate fix

Lack of consumer experience

Emotional purchase especially once found dream home

Dis aggregated market: 4100+ conveyancing firms and biggest has 2% market share

Need for chains

Lack of digitization – Land Registry/local authority searches

Solutions they are considering

Tackling uncertainty with the use of Reservation/binding agreements

70% of buyers and 66% of sellers worried that the sale would not make it to completion after they had accepted an offer.

50% of buyers and 70% of sellers would have been prepared to enter into a legal commitment after offer. – Reservation/binding agreements to be tested.

Recently announced a field trial of this type of agreement which will start later this year.

The ideas is that if every party has some ‘skin in the game’ (financial commitment) then less likelihood of the purchase/sale falling through.

Would love to hear your thoughts on this so please comment below.

Would this have helped you in a recent purchase or sale?

So that concludes this episode of Ask the Estate Agent Podcast. You can contact us anytime using the links below:





Please don’t forget to contact us with any subjects you would like us to cover or questions you would like answering in the coming episodes and until next time I would like to thank you for listening and goodbye for now.

About the author, David Thomas

David Thomas is an Entrepreneur and passionate Estate Agent who loves helping others on their property journey.

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