Quote Ref: WS1

Government crackdown on ‘rogue’ estate agents announced

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With the recent British Government announcement that estate agents will be required to have professional qualifications, a new study has found that more than 8 out of 10 UK adults support the plans for industry regulation.

The study found that the majority of UK adults back the idea of a Government backed licence for estate agents as well as:

  • 80% saying they’d like to see homebuyers show proof of funds before being able to put in an offer to buy a property;
  • 75% supporting the idea of a reservation agreement where both buyers and sellers put down a non-refundable deposit to show their commitment earlier in the process.

Commenting on the Government proposals, Housing Secretary Sajid Javid said that: “Buying a home is one of the biggest and most important purchases someone will make in their life. But for far too long buyers and sellers have been trapped in a stressful system full of delays and uncertainty. 

“So we’re going to put the consumers back in the driving seat. We will require estate agents to hold a qualification so that people are no longer at risk from a minority of ‘rogue agents’ and can trust the process when buying or selling their home”.

Other measures announced by the Government to make the system easier, faster and more transparent include:

  • the use of voluntary reservation agreements to help prevent sales falling through and discourage gazumping;
  • estate agents being required to be transparent about the fees they receive for referring clients to solicitors, surveyors and mortgage brokers. 

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