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Trading Standards ‘right’ to warn industry over POA ads, says leading agent

Jan Hytch of Arnold Keys also says she supports NTSELAT's plans to tackle practice of putting 'OITRO' or 'guide price' in property ads.

Nigel Lewis

poa jan hytch

A leading regional estate agent has called on the industry to heed the recently-revealed warning from Trading Standards not to use the ‘ruse’ of using Price on Application or POA in property ads.

Jan Hytch, who is Residential and Operations Partner for Norwich firm Arnolds Keys, says she also expects the National Trading Standards Sales and Lettings Agency Team’s guidance to be updated soon to include stop agents using ‘Offer in the Region Of’ and ‘Guide Price’ as well.

Writing in the Eastern Daily Press, she says: “Responsible estate agents – and that is the majority – will join consumers in welcoming this kind of crackdown on incomplete information.

“A market where agents are open and upfront about everything the buyer needs to know is a market which will operate more efficiently, more fairly, and ultimately more beneficially for all involved.”

Can of beans

But she has also reminded buyers and vendors that prices used to market properties are not meant to be a fixed price as if they were a ’can of beans in a supermarket’.

“Legally, the asking price of a property for sale is what is known as an ‘invitation to treat’, which means it constitutes no more than a basis for discussion and negotiation,” she says.

“The vast majority of house buyers are not property professionals, and therefore cannot reasonably be expected to guess the value of a home.

“So withholding the price is simply trying to pull the wool over the consumer’s eyes; it’s about enticing them in unreasonably.”

Read more about NTSELAT’s POA warning.

June 6, 2022

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