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The importance of choosing an NAEA agent

16 November 2015

For many, a home is their most valuable asset, so making sure they choose the right estate agent when selling their property is of high importance. The National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA), the UK’s leading professional body for estate agency, ensures that the buying and selling of homes is safe and fair for everyone. Its key role is to provide help and guidance for property professionals, with its members, including Beresfords, practicing to an extremely high standard across all aspects of property.

Denise Morris, Chairman of the Essex Branch of the NAEA and Beresfords’ Ingatestone Branch Manager, has worked for the company for 14 s and is therefore well qualified to explain the importance of choosing the right estate agent.

Denise, why should homeowners use an agent with a NAEA license when selling their property? Does it really make a difference?

If you were looking to get your boiler fixed, would you use a ‘Gas Safe’ engineer? If you were booking a holiday abroad, would you use a company that is ABTA registered? Or when choosing a surveyor, would you use someone who is a member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors? Of course you would, so why would homeowners be less concerned with the quality of their estate agent especially when it is the most valuable asset any of us are likely to own?

NAEA members know their local area and the local market, which is key to selling and buying property.

But what is the difference between an agent who has a NAEA licence and one without?

Currently there is nothing to stop someone with no or very little experience in property from setting up and practicing as an estate agent. This means that the quality of the service provided will differ greatly. In effect it puts the emphasis on the client to check the credibility, knowledge, experience and professionalism of an estate agent before using them but realistically, will people do that?

By choosing an NAEA member, homeowners can rest easy knowing that their house is in the hands of an agent who voluntarily follows the code of practice and rules of conduct laid down by their governing body. They are completely dedicated to providing professional and trustworthy advice that will ensure those that are looking to buy or sell a property are getting the best possible service.

In addition, you can only be a licensed estate agent if the people that own the business are also members of the NAEA ensuring that professionalism is driven from the top.

The NAEA was founded in 1962, how can homeowners be assured that the advice licenced agents are giving them is up to date?

Indeed, the NAEA may go back many years but its outlook and advice is as up to date as you might expect of any modern organisation. To ensure that the NAEA continues to maintain its key goal of upholding good practice and high professional standards in the UK estate agency, we hold regular meetings throughout the year to help educate agents on the latest regulation changes and property matters which affect how estate agents work. 

But what happens if agents do not attend the meetings?

These meetings along with training courses, educational seminars etc are part of the NAEA’s continuing professional development programme which is compulsory for members to complete each year. This required participation ensures that all agents are equipped with a thorough knowledge of the current legislation and professional codes of practice and are able to provide clients with the best service possible. 

What happens if the estate agent ends up losing me money? Am I protected?

Unlike unlicensed estate agents, it is a mandatory requirement that all NAEA members belong to an independent redress scheme, such as The Property Ombudsman (TPOS). This means that all Beresfords clients have an extra level of protection available to them, with TPOS awarding payments up to £25,000 if the agent has caused them financial loss or distress.

With over 6,500 NAEA members, a professional and trustworthy estate agent is never too far away, so if you are looking to buy or sell a property, make sure to look out for the NAEA logo.

But if you do nothing else, there’s one other question you should always ask an estate agent: are you a member of the NAEA? If the answer is no, you may want to ask ‘Why not?’