The importance of a regulated Estate Agent
Wed 18 Mar 2009
It was with a somewhat heavy heart that I clicked on the BBC news link entitled Estate Agent complaints persist yesterday. As part of an industry in which we constantly battle against a negative public perception, an article that appeared at first glance to be yet another general bashing of estate agents is the last thing to put a spring in my step as I leave for work....However, I was pleased to see that despite the negative headline, it was in fact, an article highlighting the importance of using professional, regulated and established estate agencies particularly when it comes to lettings.
The legislative knowledge and practical experience of lettings professionals is vastly underestimated. Indeed, as the article rightly points out ARLA qualified letting agents have studied over 100 different pieces of legislation in order to meet the required standards. And with many would-be sellers having chosen to let out their properties instead of selling over the past year, the importance of using a professional agency with a specialist lettings department has never been greater. Not only will a good agent make sure that you are ticking all the boxes in terms of meeting legislative requirements (and believe me, its hard to keep up with all the changes at the moment!), but even more importantly, a proactive and experienced agent can give you very practical advice on how to best present your property, as well as, of course ensuring it is marketed at the right price.
That one-man band that has just opened up around the corner may be offering cheap fees, but as with so many things in life, with a lettings service you usually get what you pay for discount fees usually mean a discount service. For tenants, using a regulated, established agency is equally important there have been a huge number of reports of tenants losing vast sums of money to people posing as landlords in scams on private ad websites as well as small, unregulated agencies going bust taking their tenants security deposits with them.
In an industry plagued by poor service standards and fly-by-night agencies ranging from the incompetent to the down-right unscrupulous, its understandable why estate agents have such a bad reputation. However, it really is worth both landlords and tenants remembering that some of us actually want to deliver a good, reliable and proactive service of which we can be proud.
On a further note, the BBC has today announced that there has been an increase in estate agents joining The Ombudsman Scheme, which is great news for the industry. Marsh & Parsons is however, proud of the fact that they joined at the very start of the scheme nearly four years ago. View Article from the BBC.