Midlands agent David Brevitt is calling for other agents to put pressure on industry bodies including Propertymark NAEA to insist that online firms display a ‘wealth’ warning to consumers.
Brevitt said that high street firms have to display warnings to sellers that they may end up having to pay two sets of commission if they switch to another agent.
He said that sellers thinking of using firms that charge up-front regardless of whether they sell the property or not should be warned that they could lose their fee.
Brevitt, of My Personal Estate Agent in Birmingham, said: “It is about time the associations demand greater consumer transparency for those vendors who do not understand that they pay the same fee whether they complete or not.”
Brevitt said that bodies such as the NAEA, the Property Ombudsman scheme, industry regulator NTSEAT and the Advertising Standards Authority, plus Rightmove and Zoopla, should all be put under pressure to insist that online firms display wealth warnings in all their advertising, including TV.
He said: “Traditional estate agents now ought to rally themselves via their paid for networks and insist that Rightmove and Zoopla change their rules for ‘pay day’ agents who should now equally promote a fee, viewing cost and wealth warning on all their marketing.
“I also question if the Advertising Standards Authority, Property Ombudsman and National Trading Standards need to intervene, as protecting consumers is their main mandate.”
Brevitt wants agents to support an ‘independence day’ on July 4, when he suggests a mass emailing campaign to Rightmove and Zoopla, plus the industry bodies.
He said: “July 4 could be the day the independent sector finally defends its position with the help of their paid-for associations.
“The question now is which associations other than The Experts in Property will wish to support the vast majority of their members and initiate this consumer safeguard?”