New guidance will help Estate Agents comply with the law

It follows the OFT’s Home Buying and Selling study which found that many estate agents said the industry needed more guidance on the law.

The guidance seeks to clarify how the regulations apply to estate agency work. It identifies examples of trading practices that could breach the regulations as well as practical steps that businesses can take to comply with the law when they:

• advertise for new business, including through flyers and newspaper adverts
• provide advice to new clients and take new instructions
• market properties, including when property details are put on internet portals
• negotiate and make sales
deal with complaints.

Cavendish Elithorn, Senior Director of the OFT’s Goods and Consumer Group, said:

‘Buying a property is one of the biggest purchases people make and can also be one of the most stressful. Unfair business practices can cause substantial consumer harm and this guidance has been designed to help estate agents and property developers understand what they need to do to comply with the law.’

The consultation closes on 9 December 2011.

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