Whenever selling or buying a property it will probably involve the work of an estate agent. Choosing an estate agent however can be difficult however, with a lengthy and often tiresome decision making process. At the top of your list of priorities however should be the accreditation possessed by the agency. In most cases it is advisable to use an agency that is a member of the National Association of Estate Agents or NAEA.
The NAEA was formed in 1962 and since this time has worked tirelessly to regulate an industry that has no real legislative demands placed upon it. In the UK there are almost ten thousand members of this body so for homeowners, finding an agent that is a member should not prove that troublesome. The body's continuing mission is to improve the services provided by agencies nationwide whilst also improving the reputation of agents in the media. While agents are not forced to join, the association strives to include as many agencies as possible to eliminate the numbers of 'rogue' operators out there.
If an estate agent is not a member of the association they are not protected by the codes of conduct that the body has put in place. These codes actively work towards improving the experience of consumers whilst actively trying to increase their protection. For an agent to become a member they must first take an examination whilst those who own an agency must also comply with certain accountancy regulations. Training and education hopes to eliminate instances of unscrupulous behaviour but they still occur. To cope with these instances however there is a disciplinary procedure that the association will put into effect. It is worth noting once again however that anybody can open an agency, this is why using one with membership is essential.
When looking for an estate agent it is worth finding one that is experienced and preferably an association member. When in consultation with them it is always worth asking what level of service you can expect to receive and the duties they will perform on your behalf. It is also important to ask how often they will contact you and how this contact will be communicated. As with many things in life, just because an agency quotes the lowest price, this does not necessarily mean it is a great deal; the level of service received is also extremely important.
Unfortunately the estate agent does not receive the best press in this country. The story is different in the United States where the real estate profession is in the top five of preferable lines of work. In the UK however most people see agents as shysters. The association is constantly working to improve this image and instead portray their members as hard working and dedicated operatives. While this may be the general rule across the industry, the work of the association is blighted by a few operators who consistently swindle homeowners.
As a homeowner it is important to avoid these unethical practitioners. By using an association member the chances of receiving a poor service is lessened although there is still a possibility. In general, estate agents work hard for their clients; as there earnings are closely tied to those of the homeowner it is always in their interest to sell property for the best price possible. As a consumer it is possible to find a great agent, interviewing a number of them can be advisable so you are able to gain an idea of their character and working methodology from the outset. By being cautious and meticulous in your planning the chance to find an effective, efficient and successful agent should be a very real and attainable possibility.
Property Thomas Pretty looks into the reasons and why your estate agent should be a member of the association.