Europe embraces estate agent code

People looking to buy and sell property overseas are set to see the transaction process improved thanks to a new code of practice covering more than 40,000 estate agents across Europe.

The International Code of Practice was introduced in the UK in May last year, gradually building up support across the EU throughout the year. It has now been adopted by all members of the European Confederation of Estate Agents (CEI).

The code covers areas such as confidentiality, attention to detail and integrity and should mean that fewer people hoping to find property abroad are disappointed by their estate agent experience.

As well as countries such as Ireland, France, Italy, Germany, Spain and Greece, the code also extends to countries that joined the EU in recent waves of eastwards expansion, including Slovenia.

Moreover, Ian Tonge, general secretary in the European division of the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA), said there are “applications to join from four new countries”.

“Many countries which have recently joined the EU or are doing so shortly want to join the CEI, as they see themselves increasingly as part of Europe,” he added.

Pauline Gallagher, chief executive of FOPDAC, which worked with the NAEA to develop the code, said: “Overseas property sales have snowballed in recent years.

She said the absence of exploitation had created “a market ripe for exploitation” and the NAEA “should be congratulated”.

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