AO Silver Member
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Orpington, Kent
The Scottish system isn't perfect, but once an offer is accepted then it's binding, and there are usually penalties in the contract for anyone who backs out.
Some while back I was involved in a project to find a different way for the housing market to work. The idea was that a company (we set one up, a subsidiary of a building society) would act rather like a car dealer, buying and selling houses, often taking one in part exchange. The similarity with car dealers ran to sprucing them up if they needed it.
When it worked it was really good, giving the punter certainty and speeding things up no end.
The problem was that with the conventional market dominating, people would sell us their houses, but wanted to shop around at every estate agent to buy. I still think it would be a better way for the market to work, but we sort of proved one firm can't change the world by itself.