The current climate in the property market, with prices sliding and the mortgage crisis deepening, has got a number of homebuyers understandably concerned about how they will be able to meet the costs.
However, it looks as if some help could be at hand in the shape of an initiative from online estate agents Homes Matter. It has asked members of the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) to join a scheme to help consumers save money when moving home and by reducing energy bills to cut carbon dioxide emissions.
The initiative will provide sellers with low fixed-cost estate agency and conveyancing services and help them improve the value and saleability of their homes at a time when prices are falling. Buyers will get a home condition report up front, along with implementation of energy efficiency measures that lower energy bills and carbon emissions, at no cost to themselves.
Nigel Farren, founder of Homes Matter, says: “There is an urgent need to improve the energy efficiency of homes, combat climate change and reform the home selling and buying process. No single organisation can deliver what is required, so we are bringing together organisations from related industries to address these challenges and drive forward change.”
Organisations involved in the initiative will collaborate to make the home selling and buying process quicker, cheaper and easier. To date, they include a large energy supplier, an estate agency, leading energy efficiency product installers and home inspection and domestic energy assessment groups. A “green” mortgage provider, leading retailers and other companies are expected to join in due course.
“The initiative brings organisations together to provide better value and choice to homeowners and address the associated challenges of reforming the home selling and buying process, improving the energy efficiency of homes, combating climate change and helping energy suppliers meet carbon emission reduction targets,” says Farren.
As well as help implementing energy efficiency measures, buyers will benefit from receiving a home condition report and “exchange ready” home information pack.
“We very much hope estate agents across the country will join the initiative to show they are prepared to share the pain with sellers and buyers in this increasingly difficult market,” says Farren. “We will provide agents with a new income stream without affecting their existing business and, as more join, the estate agency industry as a whole will have a great opportunity to improve its poor reputation.”
As homeowners grow increasingly concerned about the rising costs of moving in an increasingly challenging market, the initiative could provide some welcome relief at a critical time. “The initiative will provide better value and choice to homeowners and address the associated challenges of reforming the home selling and buying process, improving the energy efficiency of homes, combating climate change and helping energy suppliers meet carbon emission reduction targets,” says Farren.