Sales market on brink of digital revolution, reveals BASPI group
The property sales market is on the brink of a digital revolution as both official and industry stakeholders urge agents to embrace the next steps for the HSBG’s BASPI initiative, a meeting of key figures has been told. BASPI stands for Buyer’s and Seller’s Property Information.
Chaired by Glynis Frew (pictured) from Hunters, it revealed what agents can expect to see next from the Buying and Selling Property Information initiative or BASPI initiative.
Its chief aim is to persuade all the players in the property sales game to provide more information up-front and for vendors to instruct their conveyancer ‘on day one’.
Some commentators have criticised BASPI for being a glorified PDF document and that it puts some vendors off from instructing.
But Frew told the meeting that the next stage would see it become entirely tech-enabled and that Scotland’s version, which is already up and running, had not caused problems for agents.
“This is all about using technology as an accelerator,” she said.
“No longer have we got the situation where the estate agent appoints the conveyancer and then sends a form – instead there will be a link sent to the vendor that both agent and conveyancer has access to.”
Beth Rudolph (pictured) from the Conveyancing Association said informal discussions with BEIS and DLUHC suggested officials are keen on this ‘next stage’ because it fits in with Boris Johnson’s current focus on ‘levelling up’ the home buying process.
The meeting also heard from mortgage expert Maria Harris, chair of the HSBG’s Technology Group, who revealed that she successfully used the sale of her own property as the evidence point for the first technical proof of concept.
She also said that the hard work to standardise the property information shared during sales progression was paying off and that soon estate agents, government departments, lenders and conveyancers would be aligned digitally.
Frew said that if BASPI’s ‘three rules’ were applied, then property transactions were, on average, reduced from 22 weeks to 12-14 weeks.
These rules are instructing a conveyancer on day one; mandating the use of a digital property pack; and using a single property reference number.
The biggest changes for consumer will be that portals will soon carry much more information on properties and that the initiative will deliver much more than the basic data (such as council tax band) currently required by Trading Standards.
This is expected to include some Title information and latest local search information.
“Getting people to use it will be partly carrot – vendors need to understand that the quicker they do it, the quick they will sell their home, and stick – possibly including fines for stakeholders who drag their feet,” says Rudolph.
She concluded, saying that “BASPI will change selling homes for the good”.
“HIPs made a difference – during its two years in existence we saw a 90-day sales period compared to 140 now, while Scotland’s version has seen a 60% reduction in fall throughs,” she said.