Proposals to change estate agency laws will level the playing field

  • 12 years ago
  • Uncategorized

House sellers could save a
combined £2.9 billion every year thanks to government plans to change the
regulation that governs estate agents. 
That’s the view of the Office of Fair Trading who, for years, has been
keen to ensure that home buyers and sellers get a good deal.

While the plans have been
condemned by traditional high street estate agents, many property experts have
welcomed the proposals and expect them to lead to more competition and a better
deal for homeowners.  Keep reading
to learn how the proposals could end up saving you thousands in estate agency

Plans will lead to a better deal for consumers

In a 2010 report, the Office of Fair
Trading found that ‘innovation in this sector, in particular through online
services, could have a dramatic impact on the cost of buying and selling a

According to OFT Chief Executive John
Fingleton, “In the present economic climate it is more important than ever that
people get a good deal when buying or selling a home.  Encouraging new business models, online
estate agents and private seller platforms could put useful competitive
pressure on traditional models and lead to better value for buyers and

The consultation, which has been carried
out by Vince Cable’s Department for Business Innovation and Skills, proposes to
amend estate agency legislation to ‘allow new business models to emerge’.  This would result in more online estate
agents and new entrants to the industry.

Nick Marr, director of private house
sales website The Little House Company welcomed the proposals.  He said: “It’s no surprise that
traditional estate agents oppose these plans as they have most to lose.  Online estate agents and new entrants
to the market could offer superior service at a lower price which is clearly to
the benefit of consumers.”

According to John Tighe – a former lawyer
and founder of an online estate agency – online estate agents are regulated by
exactly the same legislation as high street agents. This rebuffs claims made by
the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors who believe that changes to the law
will lead to unregulated agents working ‘outside the law’.

Mr Marr added: “Many of the negative
comment about Vince Cable’s proposed changes have been made by estate agents
desperate to maintain high fees & the status quo. 
The truth is that increased competition can only be good for consumers
and we fully support the plans.”

Private House Sale Organisation Launched

Meanwhile a new trade body which aims
to  represent the private house
sale sector was launched this week at
the National Private
House Sales Association see

Compare listings