Housing secretary Sajid Javid said: “Buying a home is one of the biggest and most important purchases someone will make in their life. But for far too long buyers and sellers have been trapped in a stressful system full of delays and uncertainty.
“So we’re going to put the consumers back in the driving seat. We will require estate agents to hold a qualification so that people are no longer at risk from a minority of ‘rogue agents’ and can trust the process when buying or selling their home.”
Russell Quirk, chief executive of online estate agency Emoov, said: “This is really great news. The industry and government have talked to a long time to clean up house buying. If you add both speed and certainty to the process, there will be fewer transactions falling through, less wasted money, and less stress for the consumer.”
It is unclear what kind of qualification the government will mandate, and it will hold another consultation to work out how estate agents can be brought up to standard like conveyancers, solicitors and surveyors.
Becky Fatemi, managing director of London estate agency Rokstone, stated: “Rogue agents are small in number, but sadly the unprofessional behaviour of ‘wide boys’ gives the industry a bad reputation.”
DealMakerz thinks the new measures are welcome, as it will bring estate agents in line with other professionals involved in the house buying process, such as financial advisers.
The regulations should result in fewer house purchases falling through and help to improve the industry’s reputation, which has been marred by an unscrupulous few.