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Agents 'must advise on property decisions - not just sell homes'

A prominent housing expert says estate agents must not merely sell homes but should become “lifelong consumer property advisors.”

Kate Faulkner - creator of Propertychecklists, a consultant to Belvoir and adviser to consumer organisation Which? - says in her latest Designs On Property newsletter that current housing market conditions show even more local variations than usual, meaning those agents who understand their patches in great detail are most likely to succeed. 

She then goes on to say: “It’s also vital that agents realise the need to encourage clients to take independent advice when it comes to property, checking they are on the right mortgage rate, and making sure, especially if they are a landlord, they are getting good financial advice on things like tax and inheritance.”

In a section labelled ‘The Future of Estate Agents’ she writes: “The days of just selling or letting homes has gone; a local agent should be as important to people’s property decisions as a financial advisor is to people’s overall wealth – and one of the biggest opportunities for agents to establish themselves as lifelong consumer property advisors is by working to help first-time buyers onto the ladder.”

She says that a more mature approach exists in the public domain when it comes to house price movements. “Culturally, we do seem to be developing a more sensible approach to house prices, realising that growth isn’t always good and that a slowdown can be healthy for everyone, as long as it doesn’t lead to panic buying or selling.”

  • Simon shinerock

    Coming from a financial services background, I agree with much of this, provided it doesn't lead to strangulation by regulation that us. History has taught businesses to avoid the term 'advisor' because of the culpability it implies but perhaps the time has come to grasp the nettle

  • icon

    What a load of tosh - unless an agent is also qualified and continues to be updated and regulated by the FCA then on no account whatsoever should any ''advice'' or ''guidance'' or anything else be offered.

    To suggest property sales agents should now become involved in the fast changing and highly complex financial services industry and personal tax matters is as barmy as it goes.

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    That's not what's being suggested.

    Ms Faulkner just makes the point that agents should take a more active role in encouraging clients to seek independent advice with regard to mortgage rates, inheritance & tax issues.

    She is not saying agents should be the ones to provide the advice on these matter.

    That's how I'm reading it anyway.

  • icon

    Pithy articles like this are often spotted for being exactly that!

  • Owen Nato

    Rob D is clearly in financial services and has worked very hard to get there.

  • Owen Nato

    FYI many senior agents i know including myself are qualified financial advisors and have every right to offer advice if and when required.

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