Guild Of Property Professionals Will Complete Regular Referral Fee Transparency Checks

Over the weekend the Government amended their ‘How to’ buy and sell guides to reflect the recent changes to referral fee transparency; a change the Guild of Property Professionals fully endorse.

The Guild released a statement reiterating the importance of ensuring all buyers and sellers are aware of the referrals process.

They have also committed to helping enforce the guidance by working with their members and completing regular checks to ensure compliance.

The Guild declared that they were pleased to be part of the project and will continue to work with the Government and help to educate the public and other key stakeholders on the importance of full transparency.

In March, the National Trading Standards Estate Agency team issued new guidance making fees involved in property sales more transparent.

In particular, the guidance addressed making referral fees more transparent in order to comply with the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations.

The new guidance laid out that complete transparency regarding: the parties involved, prices and retainer values should be disclosed to the buyer and seller.

Any property transaction in breach of this guidance could “render an estate agency liable for criminal prosecution”.

Iain McKenzie, Chief Executive Officer of The Guild, said:

“We are very pleased to be a part of this project and to be able to assist the Government in educating people about buying and selling property. Buying a home is a massive step, in fact, for most people, it will be the largest financial decision they will ever make. It is vital home movers are able to make informed, confident decisions, knowing what to expect from the process and their estate agents.

“As much as the guides are aimed at sellers and buyers, estate agents will need to ensure that they are acting in accordance to the guides and ensure they are fully compliant. For example, agents need to ensure that they adhere to the requirement to fully disclose referral fees.

“These referrals all form part of the ‘journey of the transaction’ and are aimed at helping support buyers and sellers through that process. It is important that the industry is able to demonstrate full transparency on any fees they may earn as part of this referral process, this then enables sellers and buyers to be aware of all the facts before they make a decision. These new guides now include this information for sellers and buyers.

“It is imperative that home movers are aware of their rights and understand whether the agent they are dealing with is compliant and acting in accordance with the law. Guild Members have compliance tools at their disposal and we regularly present them with the updated information on the latest legalisation requirements. Our in-house compliance officer, Paul Offley, is also at hand to help ensure Members are giving the quality and high standards our customers have come to expect.”

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