England and Wales are known to have the lengthiest process in Europe when it comes to buying and selling a home. It is also estimated that almost one out of four transactions fails to be completed, even after an offer has been accepted.
Among the Governmentís efforts to decrease delays in the property buying/selling process, is the enforcement of the Sellerís Information Pack in England and Wales, during the coming year. The cost of the sellerís pack is expected to be approximately 500 GBP.
Bristol was used as a pilot city for the sellerís pack in 2000 and the program was a success according to the Governmentís claims. However, it has not yet gained a general acceptance and the feelings among the estate agents remain mixed.
But what exactly is the Sellerís Pack?
According to the Governmentís proposal the pack would include the following documents (for freehold properties; some variation will exist for leasehold properties):
- Ownership Documents
- Local Authority searches
- Details of any relevant planning or listed building regulations
- Details of warranties and guarantees
- A draft sale contract
- A survey report
The purpose of the Sellerís Information Pack is to make the whole process of buying a house faster and diminish the risk of gazumping. The pack, which will be compulsory in 2004, should be at hand when the buyer visits a property, so it would need to be completed by the seller from the beginning of the selling process.
Some estate agents have already adopted this kind of service for their customers and include the cost of the pack in their fee or postpone this fee until the final agreement.