Parts B and C of new Material Information requirements will give Estate Agents a chance to maximise opportunities from clients.
How can agents prepare ahead of Material Information Parts B & C?
With Parts B & C of Material Information moving closer to launch, we spoke with Beth Rudolf, Director of Delivery at The National Conveyancing Association about what will be expected of agents, the dangers of non-compliance and how technology can support in easing the transition.
What is included in Parts B & C of Material Information?
Parts B & C of Material Information are anticipated to come into force later this year and will set out new requirements for agents with regards to the information that should be provided up front to any potential buyers of a property.
Part B is expected to cover information that applies to every property, such as utilities and whether mains water is connect, the availability of parking at a property and any restrictions to broadband and mobile coverage.
Part C will include things that may or may not apply to a property such as any restrictions to use or rules around alterations. If the matter doesn’t directly impact the property this does not need to be included.
Agent compliance explained
To be compliant, agents need to make sure any Material Information that could impact the average consumer’s transactional decision is made available. This includes things such as the tenure of the property, any financial responsibilities that come with the property, shared amenities and any maintenance or service charges.
While there is likely to be a transitional period when the new elements of Material Information are first released, it is important to note that this will become the law and must be complied with. The repercussions of failing to comply can range from unlimited fines to prison sentences, depending on the severity of the offence.
The opportunities that Material Information brings
Providing all of the relevant information upfront ensures that you attract the right buyer for your property and minimises the risk of dis-instruction further down the line, should a buyer learn something about the property that causes them to lose interest. It also helps you to confirm that the proposed seller has the legal right to sell the property and that all of the upfront information required to sell the property is available.
Upfront Material Information has proven to decrease transaction times significantly, as demonstrated by its pilot, which showed a reduction in timelines from 22-weeks to as little as 6-weeks. In addition to his, the pilot saw a substantial reduction in the number of fall through, in contrast to Private Treaty.
Tech that keeps you in check
To best prepare for the introduction of Part’s B & C, it is important to identify the right technology to support you. Technology such as movebutler combines compliance, legal preparation and surveys, to help save you time and keep transactions moving.
Within movebutler the PIQ and forms are completed within an average of four days, with tech that nudges the seller to fill in the necessary forms and upon completion, notifies the Estate Agent that this information has been received. movebutler also helps to capture biometric and digital identification from the seller to verify that they are in fact the person with the rights to sell the property.
For any agents struggling to update their systems and practices in line with the new Material Information guidelines, there is a wealth of guidance available from National Trading Standards to help keep you in check. The Material Information Hub is also regularly updated with new content to keep you up to date with the latest guidance and regulations and on top of compliance.