Since the start of the year, there have been more than 50,000 fall-throughs, and Gazeal is calling on the government and Trading Standards to go further and faster with full material disclosure to help lower the volume of property deals collapsing.
Bryan Mansell, CEO of Gazeal, which focuses on offering more upfront information for agents, says it is ‘ridiculous’ that fall-throughs remain so stubbornly high when there are alternatives out there.
He firmly believes that more upfront information is needed now, not later, to help address the issue.
He argues that, while the first changes to upfront information are happening, it is not until full material disclosure that the housing industry is likely to see any impact on lowering fall-throughs.
His concern is that change is still many months away and, in the meantime, sales are continuing to fall through at an alarming rate.
Mansell said: “The recent announcement by National Trading Standards is very welcome and has been a long time coming, but the housing market, and all of those who operate within, are still suffering from high numbers of deals collapsing.
“There are solutions for this exact problem right here, right now, and the industry needs to get better at offering these solutions to the public to prevent or significantly lower the risks with private treaty sales.”
He added: “This continuing issue has a serious impact on agents, conveyancers and other suppliers in the property industry, and just causes unnecessary hold-ups in the process.”
Mansell points out that so far this year (up to March 17 2022), there have been an astonishing 53,856 sales collapsing, in less than three months of 2022.
According to property data consultancy TwentyEA, there has been a sale collapsing to the equivalent of every two minutes this year.
“This is just ridiculous when you consider the alternative solutions out there, which help to lower the risk of fall-throughs from occurring,” Mansell argues.
“Not only is there a greater offering of upfront information, so buyers and sellers alike know where they stand and don’t face any nasty surprises further down the line, but also digital reservation agreements, modern and traditional auctions, and other schemes which can be transformative for a property transaction by helping to commit both buyer and seller to a deal.”
He continued: “We’re fully behind the recent announcements from NTSELAT and think the direction of travel is now the right one, but there is always much more that can be done to improve the home buying and selling process. Faster action is required if we don’t want to see the number of fall-throughs remaining stubbornly high,” he said. “It is better for professional estate agents to lead the change, after all, they are the experts in their markets.”
“If the trends continue as they are, we’d be seeing at least 100,000 transactions collapsing by the middle of the year and another year of 200,000 to 250,000 transactions falling through. This has kind of been accepted and shrugged off up till now, but it’s a huge amount of lost money, time and effort for all involved, and there is a better way.”
“I’ve said it plenty, but more upfront information is a win-win-win as far as I can see. We need to support all parts of the transaction if we truly want to improve the home buying and selling process, and make it faster, more robust and more transparent,” Mansell concluded.