Aug 2011: Estate Agency changes
If you're looking to sell a property and plan to use an agent, this will be of interest. The Code of Practice only applies to members of The Property Ombudsman, so do check the credentials of your agent. Please also note that this information has been primarily supplied for sales agents and therefore includes their industry terminology!
Thanks to The Property Ombudsman, we're counting down to 1st August 2011 when changes to their Code of Practice will kick in, literally! As an agency that works with a number of reputable residential agents, we're welcoming this. These significant changes also affect how agents can approach vendors and are mostly considered best practice.
4 of the key changes are;
1) Retention of comparable property information
Agents can no longer provide a valuation without comparable evidence. These should reduce the number of agents giving overinflated market prices to secure the instruction. Obviously, that never happens!
2) Cancellation of contracts
There must be provision for adequate notice before the end of the term, rather than at the end.
3) Energy Performance Certificates
Properties cannot be marketed without the EPC in place.*
4) How to approach vendors
Inappropriate canvassing practices now include door knocking or cold calling, continuous unsolicited calls/emails/junk mail, and using a compliments slip that has a statement such as 'contact me urgently' If you're an agent looking for new marketing techniques, please talk to us!
The following Ombudsman links provide further guidance.
* If you'd like an introduction to the company we recommend for EPCs etc, please contact us!