Government eyes gazumping ban in homebuying review

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The Government is set to ban gazumping as part of plans to improve the homebuying process unveiled today.

The Department for Communities and Local Government says it wants to make this process cheaper, faster and less stressful.

This will include looking at ways to ban gazumping and reduce ‘time wasting’ in the process by encouraging lock-in agreements.

The DCLG says a quarter of housing transactions fall through, wasting time and money.

The department also says it wants to hear ways to encourage innovation in house-buying.

A DCLG statement says: “You can now search for a home online, but the buying process is too slow, costing time and money, so we’re looking for innovative digital solutions including making more data available online.”

Finally, the Government also wants to encourage more information gathering by buyers and sellers ahead of a house sale to smooth the process.

Communities secretary Sajid Javid says: “Buying a home is one of life’s largest investments, so if it goes wrong it can be costly. That’s why we’re determined to take action to make the process cheaper, faster and less stressful.”

The Government has launched a call for evidence on the issue and is encouraging responses from the property and mortgage markets.

The DCLG has ruled out a return to Home Information Packs as part of the process.

A gazumping ban was mooted last May by the Department for Business Innovation and Skills.

Council for Licensed Conveyancers Stephen Ward says: “This is a very positive and encouraging step by the Government.

“The key areas they have identified for improvement in the home buying process, are areas that the CLC has been exploring with conveyancers, law-tech providers and other stakeholders for a while now, so we are pleased to see that the baton is now being picked up more widely.”

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  • Chris Hulme 23rd October 2017 at 11:33 am

    It will be interesting to see how this ban will be written and policed. If it is based on commitment from a seller once an offer is accepted, I can see formal acceptance of offers being withheld until much further down the line…. What rights should a seller also have if there are undue delays from a buyer? Loving the theory but worried about the practicality…