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Selling Or Buying a Home? Find Out How to Get the Best Out of Your Estate Agent


Whether you want to make that first step onto the property ladder, desperate to move into your dream home or looking to sell up or down, you will need to face the fact that you will most likely have to manage an estate agent.

Despite conjuring up images of glorified Dixons sales assistants with shiny hair in shiny cars and even shinier suits, lots of estate agents can be relied on to deal with the greatest and most important transaction of several people's lives in a professional and efficient manner.

Nonetheless, working with estate agents could be a veritable minefield of dishonesty and hidden costs. And despite the property market seemingly stuck in recovery mode due to the economic downturn, complaints about estate agents are still being measured within their thousands.

In fact, the Property Ombudsman - an unbiased service that resolves disputes between consumers and sales and lettings agents - saw a 40% spike in cases in the first quarter of 2010 set alongside the same period in 2009.

But precisely how do estate agents unhappy buyers and sellers, and what can be carried out to stop such instances?

Most complaints about realtors materialise as a result of misleading information, bad advice, sneaky terms and conditions hidden in the little print and the usual unprofessionalism.

There are numerous things that could make a mistake so it's imperative that you keep your wits about you and do around you can to avoid engaging the services of a dodgy estate agent.

Should you wind up with a negative agent, you might find your dreams shattered and your bank account relieved of a large number of pounds with nothing to exhibit for this but weeks of stress and disappointment.
How to locate a reputable estate agent

The first thing to do before engaging the services of any estate agent is to ensure they're properly accredited.

The majority of estate agents are members of either The Property Ombudsman (TPO) or the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) and should be registered by the Office of Fair Trading-approved Estate Agents Redress Scheme.

With the right accreditation, you can be sure any complaint you make against your agent is likely to be reviewed properly in accordance with the relevant code of practice.

Also, do not forget to ask agents just how long they have been in the industry for and simply how much training they've had. Working with an experienced and experienced professional will definitely help your peace of mind.

If your estate agent isn't affiliated with any recognised bodies or is dangerously under-qualified, then they are simply not worth the trouble. Would you probably risk thousands of pounds of your cash and your biggest asset with someone you can't trust?

Another great reason for consternation amongst sellers is some estate agents'attempts to claim commission on a sale even when they certainly were not directly involved in the transaction on the basis which they introduced the buyer.

In a recent court case, the judge ruled that after an estate agent makes a claim for commission, they need to prove they certainly were the effective cause of the sale. Quite simply, they should have introduced the purchaser to the purchase, not merely introduce them to the property.

Furthermore, agents that are members of the TPO or NAEA haven't any right to commission in the event that you withdrew their instruction a lot more than half a year ahead of the sale.

Those people who are not part of these bodes, however, can claim around six years so be wary.

Some estate agent contracts include a clause which states when the agent finds a'ready, willing and able'purchaser, then they've directly to claim commission regardless of whether you sold your property compared to that purchaser or not.

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