The RICS gets it wrong on regulating the estate agency industry

Estate Agent Today reports today that the RICS says it would like to see all estate agents forced to sign up to a professional regulation scheme. It said this would provide better safeguards for buyers and sellers and be ‘clearer than the current regulatory regime which is unnecessarily complex’.

Peter Bolton King, RICS global residential director, said:

“Clearly, when people are making the biggest purchase of their lives, they want to know that they can trust their agent and the advice they’re given. People who are buying or selling a house should always check that their agent is a regulated member of a professional body, such as RICS, who abide by ethical codes. By using an unregulated estate agent, people are potentially dealing with someone who doesn’t understand their obligations to consumers. Although all estate agents must have a redress scheme, these only deal with complaints once something has gone wrong.”

This is self serving nonsence from Peter Bolton King.

The industry is very well regulated and problems only arise when people break those regulations. Being a member of RICS or NAoPP doesn’t stop someone acting against the rules. I have run BigBlackhen.com since 2005 after 16 years in the advertising industry and we take enormous pride in doing things by the book, following the Ombudsman guidelines and all the other regulations to the letter.

This often used argument that anyone can become an estate agent is specious – anyone can run an advertising agency or for that matter be Prime Minister too and that has got to be good news! Solicitors are members of professional bodies but does that stop the odd rogue? No.