Wednesday, July 19, 2006

The death of the Seller's Pack

I hesitate to believe that anybody in Government has a scintilla of nous, but the reversal of the most expensive part of the seller's pack may point that way. As I have argued before, the seller's pack is a waste of time and money. Clive Aslet mentions a few of the reasons for this, predominantly that the extra expense involved will affect supply, by putting off potential sellers. This argument is perhaps overdone. The real reason that they are a waste of time is that mortgage providers will require a proper survey done in addition to the now-dropped schedule of repair.

In other words, the packs propose an unnecessary and expensive duplication. Julian Glover defends the idea and blames mortgage providers and solicitors for refusing to play along. But it isn't a game. A survey is done just before a house is sold: days before. This is required for mortagees to feel secure about what is an enormous investment. It is also required for solicitors not to be worried about getting sued. Unless the home information was as up to date, it would not be adequate. If it was that up to date, it would have to be done every week - prohibitively expensive. It was a bad idea, poorly executed, and has now fortunately been dropped. Just like ID cards, police mergers, Prescott's building plans....

2 Comments:

Blogger The Pedant-General in Ordinary said...

Tim,

I disagree.

The fundamental principle here is not the timing at all. It is, err...., the fundamental principle of accepting at face value assurances from the seller.

As a buyer, I would have no relationship with the surveyor who conducted the survey. He does not answer to me. The interests of the person paying him are directly opposite to mine. There is no reason on God's earth why I would trust a seller's condition report.

For F**k's sake, the mortgage company doesn't even trust me as a buyer: they usually commission a valuation survey separately anyway.

The seller's pack would add a third survey to the two that are normally carried out (valuation and structural).

The problem with the English conveyancing system is not the passage of information - it is the fact that offers are not binding either on the hopeful buyer, or the seller once he has "accepted" it.

This, and the insistence on the "chain" where all the transactions have to exchange on the same day and complete on the same day. The seller's pack would do nothing to sort this out.

PG

10:02 am  
Blogger Tim J said...

This is of course also true: the seller owes no duty of care to the mortgagee and has no contractual relationship with him. The buyer has no contractual relationship with the seller's valuer and so could not claim against him in case of disaster. The entire principle, although it sounds nice, is worthless as it provides no legal surety for the buyer or the buyer's mortgagee.

As such it is a waste of time and money.

11:44 am  

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