Most Buyers, Sellers and Renters assume all agents are regulated – but they’re not.
A recent study showed that 54% of people that bought, rented or sold properties in the last 5 years endured problems with their Estate Agent, yet over 37% of buyers and sellers, and 42% of renters didn’t check if their agent was regulated by a professional body. *
Problems renters faced included serious issues such as not getting their deposits back, and buyers and sellers reported poor communication, lack of care from their agent and feeling pressurised into important decisions.**
Protecting your largest asset.
For most individuals that own their own home or rent, their home is their biggest asset or largest expense. With that in mind it is so important to choose an agent that will protect your assets, whether it’s ensuring your rental property is in good order and your deposit protected, or ensuring you get the best price for your property. Regulated agents are subject to strict regulations and regular audits to ensure they are practising correctly and most importantly protecting their clients.
How to check?
It’s really easy! When looking for an Estate Agent just ask whether they belong to a regulatory body, and what it is.
If you would like to be sure or check in advance simply visit: Find An Expert to find the Propertymark Protected Experts in your area (HINT- we are one of them!).
Other important things to consider…
- CHECK- If you are choosing an agent to sell or rent your property always have a look at their website to see the quality of their photographs and property details. An agent that takes time to offer professional photographs and well-written descriptions evidently invests more time in their clients than agents that only use a couple of photos and a brief description. It’s our job as agents to market your property and attract buyers/renters, most of whom are searching online! Therefore always choose an agent that will make every effort with your properties online image.
- ASK what their fee includes. Lots of agents charge extra for things like floor plans, professional photos or Premium Listings on Rightmove. (Our fees include all marketing)
- ASK if there is a minimum term. Many agents will tie you into a minimum amount of time during which you will be unable to move agents or withdraw your property if unhappy with their service. (We have no minimum term).
- ASK if there is a withdrawal fee. Again, many agents will make money by charging you a fee even if they don’t sell your property! (We are no sale no fee).
- If you are a rental applicant, double check the conditions under which your fee is refundable, and ask where your deposit will be kept.
And finally, for sellers or landlords...
If you are selling, call your agent as a buyer. Likewise, if you are a Landlord put in an enquiry as a tenant. It will give you a great idea of how the Agent works to match buyers and rental applicants with properties and help you choose an agent you know will do a great job.
* source: http://www.propertymark.co.uk/advice-and-guides/renting/issues-with-rogue-agents.aspx
** source: http://www.propertymark.co.uk/advice-and-guides/renting/issues-with-rogue-agents.aspx