There has been a lot of talk in the press recently about the how the process of buying and selling a property could be improved; and this got me thinking. As an industry our job is to ensure a home seller sells their property for the price they would like, as quickly and seamlessly as possible; and a buyer purchases the property they want, having satisfied all of their queries and questions, for a price they can afford/want to pay.
Now if we start looking at all of this together, I believe there is one thing which could be done today to improve the process of buying and selling houses – and that would be to fill in the Sales Memo correctly.
Buying a house is an individual transaction – each and every one is different and goes beyond just the number of bedrooms. There is in fact a huge list of variables which make up a property – leasehold, freehold, new build, shared ownership, Right to Buy, Help to Buy, cash purchase, mortgage, gifted deposit etc. It is the combination of these elements which makes up the fabric of a house purchase.
At the beginning of every house sale there exists a Sales Memo which needs to be completed. This piece of paper provides the opportunity for all the variables which make up the property to be captured and when filled in correctly and completely it has the power to ensure client’s expectations are managed, met and in some cases exceeded.
This little document instantly tells the conveyancer who should act on the case, which searches needs to be ordered, whether a landlord or management company will need to be contacted and, if it’s a Help to Buy case, what additional paperwork is involved. Like any good brief, it provides all the information to start work quickly and efficiently.
Just imagine if you’ve placed an order for a new car – you might assume all cars are batch made, ready and waiting on a factory forecourt to be allocated to the new owner. But no, this isn’t the case. They are custom made with the right trim, engine spec and colour. So if you’d ordered a black BMW with a leather interior but instead you were sent a red Mini with fabric seats because the Salesperson hadn’t filled in the order form correctly, you’d be upset and rightly so.
It is the same when buying a house. The lack of attention to detail, right at the beginning of a case can make it or break it. If as an industry we pulled together to get the basics right, then really the home buying process would instantly be improved for all concerned.