HomeOwners Alliance launches new attack on ‘untruthful’ estate agents

The HomeOwners Alliance has launched a new attack on estate agents – although reluctantly concluding that they are necessary because of their local knowledge and ability to hold the hands of first-time buyers.

The Alliance’s latest onslaught starts by accusing agents of having “a scant acquaintance with truth” and ensnaring people in “dodgy contracts”.

It goes on to accuse them of charging “blood-boiling prices for doing little” and continues: “At the HomeOwners Alliance, we have long campaigned for reform of High Street estate agents, urging them to have fair contracts and transparent fees, and more recently we have equipped home buyers to make estate agents compete on service and performance through our EstateAgent4Me tool.”

The tool is said to be used to grow conveyancing business for ULS Technology, a firm which last year took out a one-third stake in the Alliance.

The Alliance’s latest blog goes on to say that high street agents will not disappear, but that “the inexorable march of the online agents will shake up the market, gobbling up market share.

“The high street estate agents that survive – and thrive – won’t be the ones who continue their old shady ways, but the ones who adapt to the new competition by being more focused on the customer and more flexible.”

The blog says that agents should pitch themselves as independent property experts, “the solution to the home owner’s problems rather than as they all too often are at the moment, the problem itself”.

The Alliance, which sets out its stall as a consumers’ champion and has credibility in government circles – for example, last year taking part in a consultation on the 3% Stamp Duty surcharge – says that its “biggest cause” of membership is disputes with estate agents.

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  1. Chris Wood

    The”consumers champion” has on its’ panel of ‘experts’, an unqualified agent who has been censured by the ASA for misleading the public more times in the past year than most agents have in their entire career.

  2. AgentV

    Interesting timing of this article by the HOA. Wonder if they’ve been influenced by other parties interested in putting down estate agents?

  3. fluter

    “have a scant acquaintance with truth”. A bit like the misleading and inaccurate tosh they churn out on their agent comparison guide then? Perhaps they should get their own house in order first.

  4. danny

    Just had a look at what the reoccuring membership at £45 a year gets you …  ” Members get one free telephone call per year and any further phone calls only cost £30 per call. Calls can usually be set up within 24 hours.”

    Assuming the phone call can be concluded in under half a hour thats £1 per minute….

  5. Property Peep

    Please Ros, stop giving these people anymore column inches for advertising their estate agency comparison tool / conveyancing selling tool.

    A comment piece, fine as you can then give your opinion, but articles / advertorials , please no more.

    Just waiting for the next Russell Quirk / EMoov advertorial to pop up.



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