Estate agents are being asked to tell National Trading Standards what information should be ‘minimum basic’ when uploading property for sale and to rent onto portals.
Its property industry arm NTSEAT has launched its consultation on the basic ‘material information’ that agents should be uploading to Rightmove, Zoopla, OTM, Boomin and the many other challenger portals ahead of new guidance due to be issued later this year.
Agents are already required by the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 not to hide key material information from house hunters when uploading property details, but NTSEA says current practices around disclosure are not consistent across the industry.
The new guidance, once published, will for once and all settle what the minimum material information agents must include within the listings they upload to portals.
NTSEAT says this will have benefits for the industry including fewer sales fall-throughs and lower levels of complaints by members of the public about agents.
Estate agents wishing to have their say have until Monday 17th May to fill in the online survey, which asks them about their opinions on issues such as cladding, broadband speeds, and property tenure.
James Munro (pictured), Senior Manager of the NTSEA, says: “We want to make it easier for agents to provide basic material information to consumers by ensuring more of this information is published on property listings.
“By participating in the survey, agents will help us provide clarity to the industry and ensure consumers can access relevant, essential information when they start their property search.”
Rightmove’s Legal & Compliance Director David Cox (pictured) says: “The information that agents need to find out before marketing a property varies so much depending on the type of home, and so we support the drive to provide clear industry-wide guidance on basic material information.
“Unlike price and number of bedrooms which is already available on all listings, there are some features that aren’t displayed in every case, such as tenure, and so we’d like to hear from agents about what challenges they face in collecting this type of information.”
Organisations involved in the initiative, which is backed by 90% of consumers, include Propertymark, all three main portals, PropertyPal, TLIC, PRS, TPO, RICS and UKALA.