“Qualified” agents and an end to gazumping?

In a bid to end gazumping and collapsing chains, Housing Secretary Sajid Javid yesterday announced measures to “professionalise” estate agency and drive up standards. They include:

  • a required professional qualification to practise

  • transparency when receiving fees for referring clients to solicitors, surveyors and mortgage brokers

  • an encouragement to use voluntary reservation agreements (deposits) to end gazumping

  • more powers for the National Trading Standards Estate Agency Team, including to ban

Read the full Government press release here.

Presumably, it is within the powers of the Government to make voluntary reservation agreements a required part of the process, but they appear to be stopping short of actually banning gazumping. Estate agents aren’t the only part of the process under the spotlight. Local authorities will be required to return searches in a maximum of ten days. And managing agents and freeholders will be required to give up-to-date lease information for a set free and within an agreed timetable.

Most entertaining feedback so far? This – where an estate agent argues… think a professional qualification will make us more pleasant to deal with? Look at solicitors!