Letter: Ways to sell homes

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Sir: I am a retired chartered surveyor who is less than proud of my institution and its role in government proposals on the housing market. The only possible reason that the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors should "hail revolution in house buying" (report, 8 December) is that it sees the government proposals as an opportunity for surveyors to raise their profile and obtain more fees from unnecessary surveys which potential vendors would be forced to commission.

Any rational professional analysis must conclude that the proposals would deter many house-owners from putting properties on the market, thus increasing scarcity and forcing prices upwards with more, not less, opportunity for gazumping. The "seller's pack" could cost a vendor up to pounds 1,000 just to put the property on the market and both the survey and the legal search elements of the pack would be out of date in quite a short time. Any delay in finding a purchaser could therefore result in even more continuing expenditure for a vendor.

These proposals will disadvantage both the buyers and sellers. The Government should beware the partial advice of an institution representing a profession whose relevance continues its decline of recent years.

NICHOLAS HICKS

Maidstone, Kent

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