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Up-front access to clear information will improve home-buying process

20 December 2017

Making clear and concise information available at the right time could speed up the entire home buying process, the Law Society of England and Wales argued today in response to a consultation by the Department for Communities and Local Government.

“Buying a home is one of the biggest decisions people make, and it is important they have access to enough information to make an informed choice,” Law Society president Joe Egan said.

“Many people can get lost in the conveyancing maze. Estate agents, lenders and conveyancers all have a role to play in ensuring things proceed as smoothly as possible.

“Home buyers and sellers should be aware of their rights, as well as the responsibilities of all stakeholders in the transaction. This should include an overview of the process and the potential costs and fees involved.

“We are calling on the government to ensure consumers have access to this information at the beginning of transactions - this should limit the number of purchases that fall through.”

The Law Society also argued the need for robust and consistent consumer protections.

Joe Egan added: “Ensuring clients are able to make informed decisions is just the first step in protecting their interests.

“We are also calling for all stakeholders to be held to codes of conduct or protocols which will maintain the high standards expected by consumers.

“There need to be minimum standards which require all relevant information to be shared.

“Too often we hear stories about consumers being surprised at the eleventh hour or after a sale has gone through about extra costs involved in their purchase – this is unacceptable.

“We want to ensure consumers are well-informed and protected.

“This consultation is a good first step in improving this process and we hope the government takes action to address our concerns – and more particularly the concerns of consumers.”

Notes to editors

Law Society consultation response: Improving the home buying and selling process  

About the Law Society

The Law Society is the independent professional body that works globally to support and represent solicitors, promoting the highest professional standards, the public interest and the rule of law.

Press office contact: Harriet Beaumont | harriet.beaumont@lawsociety.org.uk | +44 (0)20 7320 5830