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The best news to happen within the property industry for decades…

Estate agents to face mandatory qualifications and referral fee transparency.

In April 2018, at the time Housing Secretary, Sajid Javid, vowed to tackle "stressful" delays faced by buyers and sellers.

Moreover, all estate agents will be required to hold a professional qualification under new government rules to crack down on "rogue" operators.

Estate Agents, specifically the corporate Estate Agents, such as Countrywide and the Spicer- Hart group with other departments, will also be forced to reveal the fees they receive for referrals to solicitors, surveyors and mortgage brokers to make the system more transparent to the consumer.

The government also vowed to tackle "gazumping", where a seller pulls out of a sale to take a higher offer from another buyer.

Instead buyers and sellers would be encouraged to sign lock-in agreements and face losing money if they backed out of a deal without justification.

It said delayed decisions currently contributed to more than 250,000 house sales falling through annually.

Mr Javid said: "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."

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government also said it would:

  • Require estate agents and freeholders to provide up-to-date lease information for a set fee and to an agreed timetable, which will end the current situation where leaseholders are "at the mercy" of freeholders and their agents
  • Strengthen Trading Standards so it can carry out more enforcement activity, including banning agents
  • Produce guides on "How to Buy" and "How to Sell" to ensure customers are better informed about the process and know what questions they should be asking

Paula Higgins, boss of campaign group the Homeowners Alliance, said: "These reforms - which the HOA called for - will go a long way to bring more certainty for homeowners and help stop sales falling through.

"In an industry tarnished by Wild West attitudes, these reforms will send the cowboys packing."

Mark Hayward, head estate agents body NAEA Propertymark, said he welcomed the commitment to further regulation.

"We have long argued that estate agents should be recognised as professionals. This is an important step towards achieving this and we look forward to working with the government."

The best news is…we’re already qualified!

Also, we provide guides on how to buy and how to sell. We never promote gazumping and we never, ever take money for a referral. We will only ever refer our Clients to responsible and proactive local companies with whom we have an excellent rapport, which will help make the buying and selling process more efficient.

We are proud to show our Trading Standards approved Guild Associates cards, following our exams via the Guild of Property Professionals

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