My Basket0

Digital Property Data is Coming

Publication date:

25 March 2024

Last updated:

17 April 2024


Liz Syms, CEO, Connect for Intermediaries

As mortgage advisers, it's essential to understand developments in the property landscape that could significantly impact your customers' home-buying journeys. National Trading Standards recently released comprehensive guidance for estate and letting agents, mandating the disclosure of detailed property information before the property is marketed. This initiative aims to ensure transparency and assist purchasers in making well-informed decisions.

Under the new guidelines, estate and letting agents must gather and make available, a thorough breakdown of property details, categorised into three parts. Part A includes universally critical information, such as council tax, asking price, and tenure. Part B expands on this, requiring details on the property's type, construction, room specifics, utilities, and connectivity features - including broadband and mobile signal strength. Part C addresses conditional factors like building safety and flood risks, contingent on the property's circumstances.

This shift towards full disclosure is a game changer. Previously, information - particularly regarding utilities and digital connectivity - wasn't readily available to buyers or renters. Companies such as Moverly are worth exploring as they have created services to help your clients obtain the required information to pass to the agents digitally, quickly and at minimal cost.

For mortgage advisers, access to the data could avoid surprises that potentially affect mortgage options. For example, some lenders may have specific criteria concerning property features, so mortgage advisers who are equipped with comprehensive property information early on can help prevent unexpected hurdles for their clients.

Under Maria Harris's leadership, the Open Property Data Association (OPDA) is at the forefront of standardising and digitising property data. OPDA’s work means information can be shared digitally between all the parties in the chain instantly and in a format each party can work with. This initiative is set to revolutionise the home-buying process by enabling faster, more transparent transactions. For mortgage advisers, having instant access to a digital property pack in our CRMs means we can more efficiently assess mortgage suitability and streamline our service to our customers.

The potential for savings in the time it takes for a house purchase to complete is immense as data is received by everyone in the chain upfront. This can include the customer paying for searches up front, and in recent trials, a house purchase went from offer to exchange in just 15 days.

Other Government initiatives, like the recent data bill and funding allocations for open data standards, underscore the ongoing commitment to this digital transformation.

Your role as an adviser can extend beyond sourcing mortgage options. It's about ensuring you are well-informed and prepared for a property market that's rapidly evolving with technology. Understanding these new standards and leveraging the available digital resources can profoundly influence the value you can offer your clients.