Nearly one-third of first time buyers admit they do not have a good understanding of the purchase process when making the biggest purchase of their lives, according to a RICS survey.
Furthermore, almost 80% believe that compulsory regulation of estate agents would ensure consumer understanding improves.
29% claim they did not have a good understanding of the purchase process when buying their home, and 30% also claim that their agents failed to even advise them on their transaction.
RICS says that with no statutory regulation in place to ensure agents are suitably qualified to sell property, and with public understanding at such a low level, understandably, the majority of first time buyers (77%) believe that consumer understanding would improve if compulsory regulation were introduced.
The trade body wants more to be done to ensure agents understand what they are doing when it comes to the complex procedures involved in the selling process and advise their clients accordingly. RICS would like to see all estate agents required to sign up to a professional regulation scheme that ensures consumers are dealing with an agent who is suitably qualified to broker their sale and advise on the processes involved.
Peter Bolton King, RICS global residential director, said: “When making the biggest purchase of their lives, it’s important that buyers – and especially those who haven’t been through the purchase process before – understand precisely what is involved. This is particularly relevant now, with the market now seemingly over the very worst and more first time buyers a position to make a move.
“By using an unregulated estate agent, people are potentially dealing with someone who doesn’t understand the technicalities involved in buying a home or their obligations to consumers. I would recommend that anyone who is buying or selling a house checks that their agent is a regulated member of a professional body, such as RICS, who have met minimum standards of competency and understanding.”