Nearly two-thirds of recent buyers and sellers have had problems with their estate agent – including, almost certainly, NAEA members.
In London, the proportion of buyers and sellers who have had problems with agents in the last five years rises to 83%.
The disclosure comes this morning from the NAEA itself.
It said that one in four buyers and sellers had not considered whether “agents were regulated” but suggested they might have avoided problems had they done so.
The NAEA’s press release advises consumers: “Make sure you look for the logo, and find a NAEA Licenced [sic] Agent.”
However, when Eye asked if there was a breakdown of problems experienced with NAEA and non-NAEA agents, we were told: “The research is not broken down so we cannot say if they were NAEA members or not.
“The main point of the research is to show that a fair amount of consumers did not check if they were going with a licensed agent, and obviously we’d rather encourage consumers to look for licensed estate agents to minimise any problems.
“Whilst problems can and do arise during the process of buying or selling a home, using a NAEA licensed agent will help put consumers’ minds at ease that any issues can be dealt with in a professional and safe manner.”
According to the NAEA’s press release this morning, almost half (47%) of consumers did not check whether their agent was regulated or not, saying it had not crossed their minds.
A further 16% assumed that all agents were regulated.
The NAEA said its research showed that 60% of people who have bought or sold a property in the last five years had a problem with their agent.
“However, over a third of buyers (39%) did not consider whether their estate agent was regulated, meaning their agent may not have signed up to a code of conduct or have any regulatory body overseeing them.
“With 60% reporting to have had issues with their estate agents, over a third (37%) admitted that these could have been avoided if their agent was better regulated.”
The NAEA says that the biggest complaint against agents is bad communication skills (21% of complaints).
Another 13% claimed the agent had not told them about known faults in properties, and 11% said their agent made promises they did not keep.
Over-pricing was a problem for 9%, with 9% also complaining about their agent’s dishonesty. One in ten complainants said that the agent had exaggerated their description of the property.
The research was conducted by Opinium in August among 1,102 people who had rented a property in the last five years and 1,240 who bought or sold.
The top complaints were:
- Bad communication – agent either chased too much or didn’t call
- Buyer or seller felt agent didn’t care about them
- Agent not revealing known property faults
- Agent making promises they could not keep
- Being too pressuring
- Exaggerating property description
- Agent not having all information required, such as Council Tax or service charges
- Not being able to contact agent
- Agent forgetting who buyer or seller was
- Agent providing wrong information
* On the NAEA’s website, there are eight formal disciplinary cases dealt with this year, but the records stop at May.