The stress of buying and selling homes could be eased.

The government has vowed to make the housing market less painful by tackling some of the common headaches that people suffer.

It says it will look at gazumping – where a buyer loses out to a higher bid after a deal has been sealed.

Views will be taken on “lock-in agreements” amid news that about a quarter of sales fall through, wasting hundreds of millions of pounds in legal and solicitors’ fees.

The project will also attempt to speed up the buying and selling process, which in many cases can take more than three months.

Research has shown almost half of sellers worry about their deal collapsing and around two thirds of sellers and buyers suffer stress over delays dealing with red tape.

It is thought a Scottish style system may be brought in, which ties parties in legally earlier in the process than in England and Wales, where people can pull out right up to a few minutes before they are due to move in, causing repercussions all the way down a chain of sales.

The government said its plan was not about adding extra work for buyers and sellers or seeing a return to Home Information Packs – a requirement for sellers which were scrapped in 2010, just three years after they were launched.

Communities Secretary Sajid Javid said he wanted to hear from everyone with an interest in home buying, including estate agents, solicitors and mortgage lenders.

Sajid Javid

He said: “We want to help everyone have a good quality home they can afford, and improving the process of buying and selling is part of delivering that.

“Buying a home is one of life’s largest investments, so if it goes wrong it can be costly.

“That’s why we’re determined to take action to make the process cheaper, faster and less stressful.

“This can help save people money and time so they can focus on what matters – finding their dream home.

“I want to hear from the industry on what more we can do to tackle this issue.”

The call for evidence will run until December 17 at