Protecting buyers from the risk of a house purchase not completing is the aim of a new product from the Mortgage Advice Bureau (MAB).
The Mover Protection package, launched at the end of October and provided by Lifetime Legal, allows MAB advisers and authorised representatives to offer protection to mortgage clients should their housing transaction fall through.
Up to £1,850 in compensation is available for legal, survey and mortgage arrangement costs if the seller withdraws or accepts another offer, or if the survey reveals something that means the sale cannot complete. Up to £720 is available if external events stop the sale going through.
To access the protection, buyers must become ‘members’ – which will also allow them telephone legal advice, a digital document vault and a standard will – for £1 for the first three months, rising to £60 per annum.
The MAB said the launch is designed to remove ‘what ifs’ from house purchasing.
This product is only available through MAB advisers, which total around 500, so it is fairly limited in terms of distribution.
What is most interesting is that a product of this type has been designed at all. Buying a house can be extremely stressful and, as the MAB said, is full of ‘what ifs’ – what if the survey shows something awful? What if the seller pulls out? What if someone tops your offer?
The amounts on offer are at reasonable levels but, depending on the complexity of the purchase, might not cover all of the fees that have been lost.
A £1 initial fee is negligible, really, for the first three months. House purchases tend to go through within six to eight weeks, if all is straightforward. But for drawn-out house purchases, buyers might start to become unsettled and, if more complexities arise, a £60 annual fee might start looking fairly small for peace of mind.