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Agents’ views sought on property listings

Tuesday 20 April 2021

The National Trading Standards Estate and Letting Agency Team (NTSELAT) has today, 20 April, launched a consultation to gather information to develop guidance as to what should be considered material information on property listings and portals.

Agents are already required by the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 not to hide key material information from house hunters when listing property, however, NTSELAT says current practices around disclosure are not consistent across the industry.

By providing essential information on property listings and portals– the starting point for the vast majority of property searches and transactions – agents will be able to meet their legal requirements at the very beginning of the consumer journey.

Future guidance

The consultation, in the form of a survey, will run for four weeks until 17 May 2021 and covers a range of questions on what should be defined as ‘material information’, including information on building safety, utilities, and property tenure.

Guidance will then be produced to firmly outline the minimum material information agents must include when listing properties. 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.

Take the survey

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Having the right information at the right time is key for consumers to make informed decisions when looking to purchase a property and move home. Agents and portals play a key role in this, so the drive to improve guidance and provide greater consistency across the industry is welcome and we urge all our members to participate in the survey.

Mark Hayward

Mark Hayward
Propertymark Chief Policy Advisor

Consumer research

Alongside the survey, the NTSELAT has published research comprising data from people who have moved home in the last three years or are looking to move in the next three years, showing that:

  • 90 per cent of respondents who use property portals would prefer to find detailed or key information about a property when they’re searching for a property on a portal
  • 87 per cent of respondents agree that property portals should include all key information about a home in their property listing
  • More than half of respondents (55 per cent) said that they would be less likely to buy or rent a property where information was missing on the property listing
  • 40 per cent of respondents assume that missing information means something must be wrong with the property. 

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Buying or renting a home is one of the biggest purchasing decisions that a consumer will make in their lifetime. 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.

James Munro

James Munro
NTSELAT Senior Manager

View the NTSELAT announcement