NAEA: OFT fails to protect consumers
Commenting, he said: “We are very happy that the OFT’s study has shown the very high levels of consumer satisfaction with estate agents.
“However, once again the OFT has categorically failed to see that better regulation of the home buying and selling market is required. Buying a home is often the largest single transaction of a person’s life and it is disappointing that the OFT has not thought it appropriate to acknowledge that a robust and appropriate level of consumer protection is needed.
“This is in stark contrast to the views of the Department for Communities and Local Government who are proceeding with the full regulation of lettings agents. This inconsistency is very difficult to understand given that the same agents and firms often deal with both sales and lettings.
“The NAEA would like to see a greater level of regulation to ensure that professional, qualified estate agents are not confused with agents that, all too often, fail to meet the basic professional standards we would expect from our members.
“The need for consumer protection in the form of a more professional industry is the driving force behind our plans to introducing a licensing scheme for our members later this year.”
The OFT market study and accompanying research reports can be found at www.oft.gov.uk/homes