I recently came across a survey that was conducted by the National Association of Estate Agents. In that survey nearly 80% agreed that the home buying process was outdated. I imagine the majority of those agents work in the UK, which concerns me what they would think of the Jersey system.
Possibly prompted by this survey the UK Government stated it needs evidence before any legislative changes to the process can be made. Mark Hayward, the NAEA Propertymark Chief Executive described the current process as ‘prolonged’ and hoped to try and bring it in to the twenty first century.
The same could be said about how the house purchase process in fact probably warrants an even poorer assessment in Jersey. We follow the same format up until the end when you’re required to go to the Royal court. While in the UK there is an exchange of contracts which symbolises the purchase.
Having to wait until the property has gone through court seems more stressful in Jersey than it does in the UK. This could be due to the fact that the vendor can decide to change their mind about selling while standing on the steps of the Royal Court leaving everybody back to square one.
The Homeowners Alliance think they have found a solution to the problem. Their answer is putting in a standardised and legally binding reservation introduced at the point of agreeing the sale price, but before the buyer and seller commits substantial expenditure. The reservation figure they had in mind was £1,000 which is similar to the reservation scheme some developers use. The aim of this would be to make sure that buyers and sellers are more transaction ready when they come to the marketplace, hoping it would have a knock on effect with the number of failed attempts to buy and sell homes.
Overall it is unclear whether or not a scheme like that would work over here. However, what is clear is the fact that the process certainly needs updating to reduce not only the stress but, also the sheer number of properties which fall through.