How to become an Estate Agent

  • Price: £5.99
  • Published: June 2016
  • Type: Business Opportunity Profile
  • Format: PDF
  • What qualifications and skills are required?
  • What are the key market issues and trends?
  • Trading, commercial and legal issues
  • Legislation
  • Further information

Estate agents value, market and manage the sale of residential property on behalf of sellers, often referred to as 'vendors'. Their role includes valuing properties before placing them on the market, commissioning energy performance certificates, arranging viewings, negotiating sale prices and monitoring sales progress where there is a chain of properties. Estate agents also provide property-finding services to prospective buyers. This typically involves recommending suitable properties already available and informing them when suitable properties come on the market. Most agents provide property-finding services free of charge and many offer free valuations to potential vendors.

Estate agents' offices are traditionally located in town and city centres. However, an increasing number of estate agents have started up and are trading entirely online.

Estate agents are regulated by the National Trading Standards Estate Agency Team, which is run by Powys County Council on behalf of the National Trading Standards Board, and by HMRC in relation to money laundering and financial crime. Members of the National Association of Estate Agents are also subject to regulation by the regulatory arm of the National Federation of Property Professionals.

Many estate agents provide property management and letting services to residential landlords, and some deal with the sale and purchase of land and commercial property; however, this profile describes the activities of an estate agent dealing solely with residential property in the UK. For information about providing residential letting services, see BOP 291, Residential Letting Agency, and for information about selling or letting commercial property, see BOP 515, Commercial Property Agent.

This profile provides information about starting up and operating as an estate agent. It describes the skills required, the training available, the current market trends and some of the key trading issues. It also explains the legislation that must be complied with and provides sources of further information and support.

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