Government release consumer how to buy and sell guides
Official guidance for homeowners and prospective homeowners has been released covering ‘How to Buy’ and ‘How to Sell’ properties in England and Wales.
Both guides include a glossary of terms as a jargon buster for consumers and lay out the process for buyers and sellers in clear steps covering mainly freehold properties. Both guides have many mirrored topics and helpful hints on moving preparations and post-move. Other topics include:
- Leasehold or freehold
- Instructing a legal representative
- Exchange and deposit
All estate agents should make use of these guides to make consumers aware. Official Government guidance is an extremely good resource to fall back on. These are a positive outcome to a Propertymark consultation response on Improving the Home Buying and Selling Process where we called for additional ‘How to’ guides to make consumers aware of the purchasing or selling process, which organisations can help and where to go for further information.
Mark Hayward, Chief Executive, NAEA Propertymark comments on the publication of the Government’s Help to Buy/How to Sell guides:
“These guides will be a very helpful source of information to consumers in understanding the house-buying and selling process. Arming consumers with the right sorts of questions to ask will make them much more informed and the process easier in the longer term.”
Referral Fees Transparency
Both guides outline referral fees, and all agents need to be transparent with regards to these. The industry is in a period of review regarding referral fees, with the announcement on 28 February that new guidance on the transparency of fees would be released, and subsequent communication from The National Trading Standards Estate Agency Team (NTSEAT) to make previously hidden fees open and transparent to consumers. Heather Wheeler, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government made it clear that the Government would consider banning fees if the industry could not achieve the transparency.
With the threat of money laundering and fraud, all estate agents, lawyers and mortgage lenders are required by law to check identities. Consumers need to be aware that this may happen during several stages of the property buying or selling process.
Propertymark Passport, a Propertymark member benefit, enables members to verify customers’ identities and support compliance with HMRC Regulations and anti-money laundering.
The new ‘How to’ guides link to other steps in the Government’s measures to improve the house buying and selling process, namely leasehold reform – How to Lease Guide. Propertymark produced its own research and importantly the understanding leasehold guide for estate agents. All positives in educating the consumer and making them informed as possible.
Consumer advice and guides
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Membership of NAEA Propertymark gives individuals, the credibility of being part of a respected association along with a whole host of other benefits. NAEA Propertymark believes estate agents should be regulated, both to protect the consumer and to encourage and maintain the highest standards within the property sector.
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