Easier ways to end gazumping
The Government is reportedly exploring new legislation to stop gazumping. However, I, for one, believe that ministers shouldn’t meddle in market forces but should focus instead on making the whole transaction process easier and smoother.
At present, the average sale time is about 13 weeks. That’s three times what it should be, in my book. If the Government focused more on the things that hold up sales, which in turn enable other bidders to jump in with a better offer, we could almost eradicate the problem completely.
Why, for example, is there so much paperwork involved in the transaction process? Why can’t we have the electronic transfer of deeds as soon as the money is passed over or use electronic signatures to exchange contracts?
Why don’t we have one common trading platform to handle all matters including mortgage, survey and conveyancing, instead of the clunky systems we currently have? Why isn’t anyone co-ordinating an end-to-end solution, making it much better for everyone by speeding up the whole process?
Surely the Government should be investing in the Land Registry, not proposing to sell it off to a private company who will only be interested in making money from it? It’s such an important part of the selling process that the Government should not lose control of such an asset.
When a seller enters into a contract with an estate agent, we are paid to get the best possible price for their home. In order to do this, we must have a free market. To tie it up in legislation would be a recipe for disaster.
If you stop gazumping, it will be a charter for cheap estate agents who don’t have to try hard and will take the first offer. What incentive is there for high street or internet estate agents on fixed fees to work harder at getting the best deal? They just want their money so they can cut and run, keep their cashflow coming and move on to the next customer.
It’s all very well the Government consulting with industry bodies but they should consult with the whole of the estate agency market.
I say, let’s leave things as they are. Stop interfering. Let the market decide.
I’m for Brexit
Talking of markets, I’ve nailed my colours to the mast of the Leave campaign. I’ve listened intently to both sides of the argument and have no qualms about revealing my intent when it comes to voting in the EU referendum on June 23.
I’ve listened to the wide-ranging views of economists, politicians and leading business figures. There are those who say mortgage rates will rise, house prices will fall and the economy will crash. On the other hand, fewer immigrants will remove the pressure on housing and lead to a drop in both rental bills and the cost of buying a property for first-time buyers.
There is so much pent-up demand for property that to say the housing market will plummet is just crazy. Let’s stop the scaremongering and take a step forward into a brave new world – it’s time to head for the Brexit and I, for one, will be leading the charge.
Sell, sell, sell
The big corporates are awash with cash and are on the hunt for more branches to buy to widen their own property empires. Which is great if you’re in the market for selling.
But think long and hard about who you sell to. What are their motives? If they don’t share your own ethos, you can be sure your loyal staff will very quickly vote with their feet.
Most corporates put profit and shareholders first and will quickly replace your systems with their manuals of gobbledygook.
So look for an agent that puts people first and shares your family values. After all, don’t you want the best home for your best asset?
Congratulations to the OTM team
I want to end with my congratulations and thanks to the executive team at OnTheMarket for putting up with all the flack that they’ve experienced to date.
They’ve had to cope with constant criticism and adversarial conditions, bombarded with negative comments and challenged by corporate agents and their smaller disciples.
It’s a real shame that such a small percentage of people are constantly trying to weaken a brilliant idea instead of getting behind it. Everyone else will suffer financially as a result if the portals continue to strengthen their grip.