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Recommendations to Safeguard Vendors Welcomed

One of Shropshire’s leading estate agents is throwing its weight behind calls to better regulate estate agents.

Head of sales at Balfours, Alistair Hilton, says that estate agents can currently operate without any qualifications or regulation: “The issue has recently been given a national profile through BBC radio 4s Money Box Live, where several  vendors relayed horror stories of being trapped by rogue agents, resulting in losing both time and significant property value.

Cleaning Up the Industry

In 2018, Lord Best was asked by the government to come up with proposals to help clean-up the industry, covering estate agents across the UK and lettings and management agents in England and Wales. His report made a series of recommendations. These included creating a new independent regulator, and making sure that all property agents (estate, lettings and management agents) are licensed, have passed qualifications and are signed up to a code of practice.

Alistair explains: “At Balfours training and qualifications are taken as read, yet at the moment anybody can set up shop and operate as an agent, which is very worrying when for most of us our home is our most valuable capital asset.

“We pride ourselves on providing a professional service, tailored to individual needs and circumstances, overlaid with a comprehensive knowledge of the market. We would urge prospective vendors to check that the agent is qualified and registered with a recognised body such as ‘NAEA Propertymark.’ Then to invite at least two agents to provide market appraisals, remembering if it is too good to be true, it usually is.

“They say moving house is one of the most stressful times, better industry regulations will be a step towards a better experience when selling a home.”


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