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How to ensure you instruct a regulated estate agent

Over the last ten years, the regulation of estate agents has increased significantly. The days of a scribbled signature and hastily written descriptions accompanied by dubious photographs are gone. Agents with training and regulatory processes in place to support this changed environment are those that you should employ to sell what is, most likely, your largest asset:

The Consumer Protection Regulations Act 2008 (“CPR”)

This requires sellers to provide material information about the property that the purchaser needs to make an informed decision. A professional agent should undergo a Property Fact Find to catalogue the properties tenure, services, locality and legal ownership prior to the commencement of marketing.

Money Laundering Regulations 2007

What this means in practice is that an agent must have a written record which shows that they have confirmed the proof of residency and identity of the seller wishing to instruct its services. An estate agent with a training programme including annual examinationsis the best option for the sale of your home.

The Property Ombudsman

All estate agents must belong to this Office of Fair Trading-approved redress scheme.They have a Due Diligence system and regular auditing to ensure these rules and regulations are adhered to. You can check the schemes’ website to see if an estate agent is a member.

Whichever way you look at it, it is always a good idea to place your property on the market first to give you the best chance of making an offer when the right property comes up. Remember – you are always in control. If you are thinking of selling your home and would like a market appraisal or advice about the property market in your area, please contact your local Hamptons International branch.

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