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Pioneering property company The Step could provide the inspiration for a revolutionary new approach to buying and selling homes across the UK.

The Step, which aims to complete transactions within 42 days – rather than the 153 days UK average, has offered to help the Government in its mission to speed up the whole house buying process.

Step founder Greg Heywood has written to Housing Minister Yvette Cooper suggesting how The Step’s methods could provide a new framework for buying and selling property nationwide.

A damning government report has called for a major shake up of the way property is bought and sold has described the buying and selling of homes as a “high risk activity”, blaming the length of time it takes to reach completion as the main cause of home sales collapsing.

“The government has made it clear that measures need to be taken to reduce the overall time in which things can go wrong,” said Mr Heywood. “And the longer a transaction takes the longer the period of risk.

“At The Step we currently average a completion timescale of 42 days which is significantly better than the 153 day UK average and we feel our success story could provide a valuable solution to all the problems highlighted in a government report.”

The Step was founded two years ago with the philosophy that buying a house should be as simple as buying a carton of milk from a supermarket.

The government report, Key Research on Home Buying and Selling, identified the number of different parties involved in each house sale as being a major cause of delays and hold ups.

“A lot of actual time between offer and completion is accounted for by someone waiting for someone else to do something,” it points out.

The Step overcomes this problem by offering all the services needed when buying or selling a home.

“Everything from obtaining a mortgage to legal services and surveys can all be provided by The Step,” Mr Heywood pointed out. “Meanwhile, owners can also sell their own property directly to The Step - cutting out all the stress and time involved in finding a buyer.

“It’s all fast and hassle free and we are confident that the success of our system could provide a prototype as a basis for future buying and selling in the UK.”

In its report the Government has also identified chain situations, whereby one transaction is reliant on the success of another, as being an added source of ‘risk’ and delays which cause misery and frustration for both buyers and sellers.

The Step overcomes this risk factor with its unique ‘Chainbreak’ scheme.

In conclusion, the Government report describes the housing transaction process as being “very inefficient” and “not designed with the interest of the consumer in mind.”

The report goes on: “If someone were to sit down and design the housing transaction process from scratch it is unlikely they would come up with the system we use in England and Wales today. We need to reduce the window of uncertainty and measures need to be introduced to reduce the overall time in which things can go wrong – in particular, the exchange period.”

Mr Heywood continued: “The Step is completely revolutionising buying and selling property in the UK and our methods are long overdue. We feel confident our success story will be of interest to the housing minister we are hoping a meeting can be arranged in the near future.”

To find out more about The Step’s methods of buying and selling homes visit www.the-step.co.uk

Ends…
For more details call Emily-Jane Clark at Planet PR on 0845 603 8082.


FACTFILE (information taken from the government report, Key Research on Home Buying and Selling)

• The system of house buying in England and Wales is one of the slowest in Europe, causing misery and frustration for many home buyers and sellers, according to Government statistics.
• Figures show that 40 per cent of homebuyers and sellers are dissatisfied with the process.
• Around 28 per cent of all transactions fail after an offer has been accepted.
• It normally takes an average of 153 days to buy a home from starting to look for a property to completing the transaction. Buying a leasehold property takes nearly three weeks longer, due almost entirely to the time taken to reach exchange of contracts.
• It takes an average of nearly 137 days to sell a home, including the period when the property is marketed. Sales in low activity areas take 11 weeks more than the typical sale with most of the additional time spent marketing the property.










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