Choosing an accredited, professional estate agent ‘is a must’

Wed 14 Feb 2018

People have been reminded of choosing the right estate agent after new research showed more than half of those who bought, sold or rented a home in the last five years had problems with their agent.

The report by the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) and the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) found the majority failed to check whether their chosen agent was a member of a professional body, which may have contributed to the issues they subsequently faced.

Allison Thompson, managing director at sales and lettings specialist Leaders, says: “The majority of people have faced issues with an estate or letting agent, but with 37 per cent of buyers and sellers and 43 per cent per cent of tenants opting not to check the credentials of a company before using its services this is perhaps unsurprising.

“All buyers, sellers, landlords and tenants should avoid rogue agents and use only reputable, professional and trustworthy firms. The best way to do this is by only considering those agents with membership of either NAEA or ARLA to their name.

“As a member of both NAEA and ARLA, Leaders adheres to their strict codes of conduct, regulations and client money protection schemes. We encourage people to use only those agents that offer this level of security.”

Some 54 per cent of buyers and sellers said they had encountered trouble with an agent, with 19 per cent pointing to poor communication, 12 per cent saying they did not think their agent cared and 10 per cent admitting to feeling pressured.

In addition, 38 per cent of tenants later waited a long time for a property issue to be fixed, 20 per cent struggled to get items replaced and 12 per cent were not given their full deposit back without an explanation.

Allison adds: “Buying, selling or renting is a significant financial commitment and people deserve great service from an agent they can trust. A good estate or letting agent will detail their fees and service upfront before guiding you through the process as smoothly as possible.”

For more information on selling or letting a property contact your local Leaders branch.