The government has rounded on making estate agents more professional after a recent crackdown on letting agents.
Housing secretary Sajid Javid wants to raise standards in the property sector.
He claims home buyers and sellers are subjected to unnecessary delays and costs leading to uncertainty that triggers a quarter of the 1 million home sales in England falling through every year.
Government research reveals 60% of buyers and sellers report suffering from stress during the transaction, while one in four would go through a different agent if they were to repeat the process.
To make estate agents more professional, Javid will:
- Make estate agents complete more training and hold a professional qualification
- Tell customers about fees they receive from referrals to solicitors, surveyors and mortgage brokers
- Use more voluntary reservations to try and stop sales falling through
- Get local authority searches in no more than 10 days
- Demand clear cost information from managing agents and freeholders to stop rogue agents charging sky-high fees to leaseholders
Estate agents breaking the rules will face fines or even a ban.
“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,” said Javid.
“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.”
The crackdown will impact around 20,000 estate agents in England
Currently, anyone can set up an estate agency business, but this will stop when new rules about holding a professional qualification start – although no date was set for the measure to begin.