London estate agents don’t usually enjoy a good reputation as an industry – fact. Sometimes for good reasons, sometimes not so. The bigger question would be; do they actually fulfil a role in the property market?
At Simply London, we think that they do. In fact, we only work with estate agents, not with private landlords. The reason? There are a lot more risks associated with handing over large sums of money (deposit, rent) to a private person, than a company, how unprofessional they might be in the daily conduct of their business (not all of them are like that anyway). They are also normally trained in the “rental process”, meaning they know what paperwork has to be produced, when, etc., and they will be using templates created by professionals.
Finally, recent regulations have made it a little bit tougher on estate agents, meaning they now have to be members of a property redress scheme, a deposit scheme, and they have to display their fees very clearly on their website and in branch.
Whilst it is still very easy to be an estate agent (anybody can), these regulations make sure that consumers can have minimum requirements towards these, and that they have a way to put a complaint forward.
In our next article, we will describe what differentiates a good estate agent from a bad one. Promising!