With no statutory regulation currently in place to ensure sales agents are suitably qualified to sell property, and with public confidence at such a low level, understandably, the overwhelming majority (91%) believe that buyers would be better protected if compulsory regulation were introduced.
While all sales agents are legally bound to offer a customer redress scheme, those who are not members of a professional body are not obliged to meet minimum competency standards or subject to the scrutiny of regulatory monitoring. This means that consumers are potentially dealing with an agent who, while technically abiding by existing legislation, could be providing inaccurate Continue reading
To date around 7000 estate agents and 6000 consumer credit lenders have registered with the OFT under AML regulations.
David Fisher, OFT Director of Anti Money Laundering, said: "The changes to the Regulations will help to deter, detect and disrupt financial crime by reducing businesses’ vulnerability to being used for money laundering or the financing of terrorism."
Have your say on this story using the comment section below
Lettings Director Spencer Lawrence organised the jump so the business could raise money for worthy causes, and has found that group fundraising efforts and a joint fear of heights has brought the team closer together.
‘I approach this weekend with trepidation as I suffer from a fear of heights, but I hope this fear coupled with the notion of jumping out of a plane will be enough to secure donations for this very worthy cause’.
Estate agent Oliver Lewis explains that ‘homelessness is a huge problem, and I want to raise as much money as possible to ensure those that are homeless get Continue reading
The TPO Codes of Practice, both for Sales and Lettings Agents, require the maintenance of clear and full written records of transactions for a period of six years. However, Mr Hamer points out that he still see many disputes where claims are made by either the agent or the consumer that a certain conversation took place but with neither party able to substantiate their claim as they are unable to provide any contemporaneous records.
‘Enquiries received by my office in the first four months of 2012 were 19 per cent higher than the same period last year. This is reflected in my Continue reading
Successive governments have danced around regulatory reform with piecemeal initiatives which have been of some benefit to the consumer, but cumulatively, have only served to add to the confused situation. The range of sector licensing schemes, awareness groups, and ombudsmen present a complicated picture to consumers who want and deserve more effective and transparent regulation.
Many High Street estate and lettings agents operating in the sector are not subject to the same high professional and ethical standards as RICS members, it said.
RICS agents are part of an effective, rigorous, and tried and tested regulatory regime based on the Continue reading
‘There were many expressions of interest in the UK model and the concept. I explained that by following the standards laid down in the Codes of Practice, by giving feedback to agents on the issues that arise, and generally through promoting best practice the TPO had contributed towards an improvement in estate agency standards,’ says Mr. Hamer in his second interim report for 2011.
‘I hope I was able to show how the estate agency sector in the UK, through supporting the TPO, is well advanced in taking customer service seriously and in adhering to standards of business operation. Now we have Continue reading
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
• Continue reading
Forty years ago, it was seen as an honourable profession but, in the intervening years, some larger firms have focused on pushing mortgage and insurance products, rather than the real needs of homebuyers and sellers.
Fortunately, there are still many excellent independent estate agency businesses that are passionate about quality and service, and provide an excellent long-term career prospect for young people. Starting as a trainee, the options are to become a negotiator or valuer and then progress to senior negotiator, assistant manager, and then manager.
So, would estate agency suit you? To answer that, candidates need to be able to say ‘yes’ Continue reading
Organised into bite size tips, the book’s opening chapter quickly cuts to the chase entitled No one likes us… so why are we here? Giving an indication of Pollock’s no nonsense and realistic approach to the property market. Covering moot points such as what really sells your home, cutting the emotional strings and asking the right questions to get honest answers, the book provides more than a glimpse into an estate agent’s psyche.
Home first, investment second
However, Pollock believes the first priority for buying a home should be whether or not it suits your lifestyle and feels like home, not how much Continue reading
The scheme has enabled LSL Staff to save between £10 and £250 per month for the past three year and then use these savings to buy LSL shares at a discounted price of £1.15 – set at the start of the scheme – as opposed to their current market value of £2.82.
It means those who invested the maximum £250 per month, £9,000 in total, will now walk away with more than £22,000, with all scheme members seeing their savings into the scheme more than double in value. Not only is the news seen to be good for scheme members – many Continue reading