Industry warned to prepare for seller&#39s packs

Controversial government plans to introduce house seller&#39s packs must be accepted regardless of housing and mortgage industry misgivings.

Peter Birch, director at North of England-based broker Mortgage Talk, believes plans for seller&#39s packs will miss a great opportunity to reform the house-buying system and will not eliminate gazumping, as some sources have suggested.

Birch says: “Even if they succeed in reducing the length of time between a subject to contract offer being accepted and legal exchange of contracts, there will still be ample time for a vendor to accept a higher offer.

“What is worse is that there will be an increased cost to the seller simply to put their property on the market. Some commentators have naively suggested that the new system will be cost neutral, as most house sellers are also buying.

“This is not the case as although the seller will need to pay an estimated £500 to prepare the seller&#39s pack, most lenders will still want to instruct their own valuer to inspect a prospective borrower&#39s new home. In practice, this means that there will be two valuations or surveys required on each property being sold.”