Buyers are happy and ready to pay for more upfront material information when it comes to purchasing a property.
It comes as agents prepare to comply with new rules from next month that all property listings must include the council tax band or rate (for lettings and sales), as well as the property price and tenure information (for sales).
Later phases led by the National Trading Standards Estate and Letting Agent Team will mean agents will have to add further ‘material information’ - for example, restrictive covenants, flood risk and other specific factors that may impact certain properties.
Research by the Conveyancing Association found 98% of consumers thought upfront information was a good idea.
Of these respondents, 96% were property-owning sellers who were prepared to pay for more information upfront.
Beth Rudolf, director of delivery at the Conveyancing Association, says: “What was especially interesting was the response from people who were part way through a transaction.
“They were even more likely to think paying for better information was a good idea. I think that tells us everything we need to know - the consumer is absolutely behind it.”
He says: “At the very least, fall-through rates should reduce.
“An industry average that has over 30% of properties falling through - it’s just crazy to think about all the wasted time and resource.
“Upfront information has the potential to boost property pipelines significantly, which goes straight to the bottom line for estate agents.”
With the benefits clear to all parties, and consumers confirming their willingness to cover the costs, Ridgway sees just one final barrier to the smooth adoption of upfront material information.
He adds: “I think everyone sees that it’s a good idea, but they’re probably a little bit concerned about how they’re going to pull the information together, and how long it’s going to take. Are they going to put all the extra work in to compile this information or are they going to look for technology solutions?”
“The key thing is it’s not one size fits all. I’m a massive advocate of collaboration, sharing information and instructing solicitors earlier in the process, and lots of agents will probably choose to partner with a local solicitor.
“Or you can use technology to join all of these parts together; there’s lots of solutions out there that make life easier.”