The Home Buying and Selling Group (HBSG) has launched an industry pledge to support home movers in England and Wales.

Since lockdown, the HBSG has been working with the home moving industry to help ensure the market operates as well as it can during COVID-19 and beyond.

The group produced pan-industry guidance on the day the moving market opened on 13 May 2020.

new homes

£30m government funding to unlock land for new homes

Now the group has launched an industry-wide pledge to begin to introduce transparency, not just for the industry but for consumers buying and selling a home.

The pledge lays out what each profession within the housing industry needs to do and when, aiming to ensure as much information is provided as soon as possible in the buying and selling process.

For example, HBSG has recommended that the industry advise consumers to appoint a property lawyer on the day a property is marketed; this is already something that happens for auctions in Northern Ireland and in Scotland.

It also recommended that buyers secure their decision in principle (DiP) early and instruct a property lawyer before making an offer so their ID can be verified and money laundering checks carried out quickly.

The pledge is focused on gathering information earlier in order to save time later and give the industry an opportunity to resolve any issues before they hold up the sale, hopefully reducing sales fall throughs and, for some, reducing the time it takes to buy and sell.

The relevant organisations and groups involved in the home buying and selling process from agents, legal entities, surveying, removals and consumer organisations have agreed to this pledge.

These include, among others: NAEA Propertymark; The Law Society; the Conveyancing Association (CA); CILEx; Society of Licensed Conveyancers; RICS; RPSA; BAR; and organisations such as The NTS Estate & Letting Agency Team, The Property Ombudsman and the PRS.

A communications are planned to ensure consumers are reminded of what they need to do when moving home to protect themselves and those in the property profession from the spread of COVID-19.

At the start of October, there will be specific consumer communication about the pledge and what consumers need to do to help make it work.

Housing Minister Christopher Pincher MP said: “This government is committed to ensuring the housing market works for everyone, and our work with the industry has helped to restart the market in a way that is safe.

​“I welcome this pledge from the industry and look forward to seeing it deliver a smoother and more efficient experience for all those looking to buy or sell their home.”