Our estate agents debate was the big talking point this week, with comments from both house buyers and sellers, as well as estate agents themselves. Here’s a round up of what went down.
Anise thinks qualifications should be required:
‘What makes me laugh the most is that estate agents need no formal qualification in this country! In North America, they have to actually be qualified to sell homes and it shows in the level of quality and service you get.’
Chris, who runs an estate agent, agrees that qualifications are important:
‘At my firm, and many other professional firms, I insist that all of my team work towards their qualifications and, they are not allowed to value or advise customers until I am happy they meet a good standard of competence, skills and knowledge.’
Estate agent qualifications
There was a lot of talk of estate agent fees, with John Ward saying:
‘When I think of the care and expertise that the solicitor or conveyancer has to exercise compared with the efforts of many estate agents it is staggering that the agent might end up with four or five times the payment received by the legal representative.’
Malcolm R, who gets our Comment of the Week, doesn’t think fees should be linked to the value of the house:
‘They could offer packages based on what you want them to do – for example, extent of advertising, brochure type, whether you want accompanied viewings, whether they are part of a group that can promote more widely, advice on how to make your house more appealing – in other words for how much work you want them to do on your behalf.’
Nigel also doesn’t think fees should be commission based:
‘I run my own estate agency and I started it as I felt that a lot of practices in the industry needed shaking up. The commission system is one [practice] as it’s expensive, but also because it allows agents to charge as much as they think they can get away with – which is why we opted for fixed fees which are straightforward and upfront.’
What’s your experience of estate agents? Have you got any good examples to share with us?