MPs launch inquiry on improving the home buying and selling process

The Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (LUHC) Committee yesterday launched an inquiry on improving the home buying and selling process in England.

The cross-party inquiry will examine the transaction process, the information available to buyers, and the role of conveyancers and estate agents.

Clive Betts, chair of the Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Committee, said: “The process of buying and selling a home in England is often stressful for those involved. Indeed, despite there being around two million households who successfully buy or sell their home each year, consumers often find the process is not as efficient, effective, or as consumer-friendly as it could be.

“As part of this inquiry, we will look at the chief obstacles to improving the process of buying and selling a home. We will be keen to examine issues such as the time taken to complete a transaction and challenges in finding the right information. Topics such as a lack of transparency around conveyancing services, the payment of ‘referral fees’, and the weak regulation of estate agents will also be on our agenda in this inquiry”.

The key questions for the Committee inquiry are included in the full terms of reference (which are listed further below).

Evidence sessions for this short inquiry are likely to begin in late April 2024. The Committee are likely to question consumer, professional and industry bodies, and to conclude with questions to the Department for Levelling Up, Communities, and Housing Minister.

Terms of reference

The committee will welcome written evidence on the terms of reference outlined below.

The closing date for submissions is Thursday 18 April ahead of an expected evidence session in April.

+ How efficient or effective is the existing process for buying and selling homes? How could this be improved?

+ How could the consumer experience be improved during the process for buying and selling homes?

+ Is the reliance on voluntary initiatives adequate to improve the buying and selling process, or should improvements be made mandatory through legislation?

The Transaction Process:

+ What is the impact of issues in the transaction process, such as gazumping or gazundering, and how could they be remedied?

+ Would greater use of reservation agreements improve the transaction process?

+ What prevents reservation agreements being more widely used? Why has a short, standardised reservation agreement not been developed, as promised by the then Government in 2018?

Information Provision:

+ Do buyers have the right information available at the right time during transactions?

+ What effect would it have on the transaction process if sellers were required to provided set information about a property when it was marketed?

+ How much data associated with housing transactions still needs to be digitised and how can the digitisation process be accelerated or prioritised?

+ What challenges are there to digitisation or providing information at listing?


+ Do consumers have sufficient information to determine which conveyancer to use? How could information provision on conveyancing be improved?

+ What effect would a mandatory professional qualification for estate agents have?

+ Should there be a single, legally enforceable Code of Practice for property agents?

What impact does the practice of referral fees have, and how would a review, standardisation of practice, or ban affect transactions and consumers?



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  1. MrManyUnits

    Bit late now Chaps, you’ll be out getting into your new consultancy jobs by the end of the year.

    1. Shaun Adams

      cross-party inquiry

      1. AcornsRNuts

        If MP committees did anything useful, they would be abolished.

  2. revilo

    Here we go again! Consult and ignore.

  3. Sachinjain

    Thank you sellxpert


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