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Will New Government Measures Improve Property Sales?

  20 May 2018

With so many people bemoaning the condition of the UK property market, it is easy to see why there are calls for Government intervention to help people buy homes. There will always be arguments as to what influence Governments should have on markets like the property market, so you are never going to have full approval or agreement. However, it is hoped that new Government measures will improve property sales.

The latest measures, which were announced by Sajid Javid, the Housing Secretary, focus on estate agents. Professionals working in this sector will be required to obtain a professional qualification. There is also a call for estate agents to disclose any payments when they refer customers to other organisations or professionals like surveyors, mortgage brokers and solicitors. Anything which encourages transparency in a market should be a positive step, and if consumers feel they are dealing with qualified professionals, they will feel more confident.

What impact do rogue estate agents have on the market?

These measures suggest that there is doubt over the legitimacy over some estate agents, and the Government would back this feeling. A lot of the new measures are aimed at “rogue estate agents” with the aim of removing these people from the market.

There are clearly many definitions of rogue agents. One act that the Government is looking to remove or at least minimise is the act of gazumping. This is where a higher offer is accepted, even though a deal for another offer has already been put in place. While gazumping can be hugely dispiriting for buyers who lose out because of it, it is entirely legal. In fact, under the Estate Agents Act 1979, estate agents have a legal obligation to pass on every offer that has been received in writing.

It will be interesting to see how the matter of gazumping is dealt with, but it may be that other rogue elements within the industry require more attention. When customers receive a poor standard of service, they likely form an impression of the entire industry, not just the individual estate agent, and therefore, it is good to see steps being taken to improve the market.

There are many reasons why the property market is sluggish

While any measures introduced to improve the property market are welcome, it is natural that many people will question if these measures will improve property sales. Of all the reasons cited for sluggish property sales and a static market, the service provided by estate agents are not commonly stated.

Issues such as a lack of houses supplied to the market, the uncertainty over Brexit and the challenges some buyers face in obtaining a mortgage are more pressing issues with respect to sales being damaged or impacted on.

It is positive that the Government is keen to assist buyers in the market, and strengthening the estate agency sector is of benefit, but there will be some people questioning if this involvement is where the Government can have the strongest impact.

If you are looking for guidance and advice about your next move or the property market in general, come and speak with Jezzards today, in confidence on 03330 433 633. We are qualified, local estate agent specialists and we look forward to helping you soon.


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