NTSEAT launches agent survey into use of referral fees

National Standards Estate Agency Team (NTSEAT), with the support of The Property Ombudsman and the Property Redress Scheme, have today launched a survey to assess the use of referral fees among estate agents.

Following the published response to the Government’s Call for Evidence on home buying and selling (8th April 2018), Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government (MHCLG) have set up a working group to look in greater detail at the issue of estate agents and referral fees.

James Munro, Head of NTSEAT, explains: “The consultation responses to whether government should take further action to enforce current transparency regulations regarding the disclosure of referral fees were overwhelmingly supportive. However, at the inaugural meeting, it was decided that more information was required from agents about the nature of fees they currently received. The results of this survey will feed into the working group discussions.”

Addressing delegates at The Property Ombudsman Conference on 13th June, Katrine Sporle, Property Ombudsman, told agents that the case for a complete ban on referral fees remains under review and that greater transparency is required.

In reference to the survey, she comments We are not asking for agents to incriminate themselves, but government is concerned about transparency and wants consumers to be able to make informed choices. The results of the survey will help provide evidence of how agents currently approach referral fees and allow the working group to discuss how the industry can work together to adopt a standardised approach of up-front disclosure.”

Sean Hooker, head of redress at PRS, added “I very much urge agents to take part in the brief survey, so that a complete as possible picture of what happens on the ground is available to the policy makers.

By building a comprehensive profile of referral fees, it will enable the working group to make constructive proposals to the Government that reflect what fees are received, regional differences and how consumers are informed.”

The NTSEAT survey on referral fees will be available for agents to complete until 2nd July 2018.

Please CLICK HERE to participate.