Inside The Home Buying and Selling Group

Joe Arnold

December 20, 2019

Joe Arnold (pictured), managing director, Arnold & Baldwin

The Home Buying and Selling Group (HBSG) is a fantastic example of different industries coming together for the greater good of the consumer.

It was set up shortly after the government’s Call for Evidence in 2017, which sought views on how to make the process of home buying and selling cheaper, faster and less stressful.

The idea of the group was to help the industry and government work closely together to achieve these aims and improve the home buying and selling process for consumers.

The HBSG is attended by the Ministry for Housing Communities and Local Government as well as businesses from the many different sectors that are required by individuals to buy and sell a home, including finance, insurance, agents, property lawyers, searches, surveying, proptech and removal organisations.

It’s an informal mix of people from consumer groups, property portals, regulators, redress schemes, trade and representative bodies and companies that help people to move on a daily basis, and is chaired by Kate Faulkner, one of the UK’s property experts.

To date, the HBSG has inputted into the government’s new ‘how to’ guides and the leasehold consultation.

It has helped with The Property Ombudsman’s review of its sales (and lettings) Code of Practice and the recent Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors new Home Survey Standard.

HBSG working groups have also agreed standard wording for a Reservation Agreement between buyers and sellers and created a new upfront online information questionnaire for sellers.

These present a fantastic opportunity to reduce the number of aborted sales through improved upfront information and to put an end to practices like gazumping.

In addition, there is work taking place on cross-industry data provision, education and more collaborative ways of working together.

It’s a privilege to be able to participate in a group that could make such a significant positive difference to people’s lives.

Look out for the announcement of more exciting concepts in 2020.

These will all have the purpose of making the home buying and selling process easier and more efficient and could have a significant impact on everybody who is involved with this process.

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