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Almost 60% experience problems with estate agent

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Written by: Vicky Hartley
10/10/2014
Nearly two thirds of people that have bought or sold a property in the last five years experienced a problem with their estate agent, according to research from the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA).

However, over a third of buyers and sellers did not consider whether their estate agent was regulated, meaning their agent may not have been signed up to a code of conduct or be overseen by any regulatory body.

Bad communication skills were the biggest complaint from buyers and sellers, from either not calling back to chasing too much. A further one in seven felt their agent did not care about them.

Other problems cited include non-disclosure of property faults or making promises he or she didn’t keep or finding the agent had overpriced the property. Buyers or sellers also complained their agent was just dishonest or exaggerated the property description.

Mark Hayward, managing director at NAEA said: “Buying a property is the biggest purchase and financial commitment of your life, and can be an overwhelming experience. It takes a lot of hard work and research to ensure you are ticking all the right boxes, and no doubt people come across many challenges along the way. An estate agent should really be there to help this process, not hinder, and therefore the choice of which agent to go with is an important one.

“With the extensive administrative tasks and processes involved in buying or selling a home, communication between agents and homeowners is essential. It’s the estate agents’ role to make these processes seem as pain-free and seamless as possible, which regulated agents endeavour to do.”

Londoners are most likely to experience a problem with an astonishing 83% claiming to have had an issue.

Those in Scotland have had the easiest run, with only 35% claiming to have had a problem with their estate agent in the last five years.

The study also revealed that almost half (47%) of those who didn’t check whether their agent was regulated or not, said it didn’t even cross their minds.

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