Monday, October 11, 1999 Published at 16:17 GMT 17:17 UK
Business: Your Money
More than half of all offers do not result in completed sales
Plans to speed up house-buying and to end predatory "gazumping" in England and Wales have been announced by the government.
This, says the government, will cut the time it takes to complete a sale and also help protect the buyer from gazumping where sellers pull out of a deal at a late stage after getting a second, better offer. Under the plans, the pack would include some form of structural survey of the property, any local authority searches, and copies of the title deeds. Collecting this sort of information has until now been the job of the buyers.
Buyers will be obliged to have a provisional mortgage offer before they bid for a property.
"That means earlier certainty and less anguish for both buyer and seller", said Mr Raynsford.
"It will reduce the time lag between offer acceptance and exchange of contracts, and thus narrow the window during which gazumping and other problems currently occur".
And it is thought some building societies may still insist on another survey and full valuation paid for by the purchaser.
A pilot scheme to study to some aspects of the seller's information pack is being set up in Bristol. The system could be introduced as early as next year.
Scotland will be largely unaffected by the proposals as it has a different system for buying and selling houses.
Your Money Contents