In May, the National Trading Standards Estate and Letting Agency Team (NTSELAT) deemed that the use of POA or “price on application” on listings is unlawful. This ruling is news that is welcomed by property buyers nationwide and is certainly a step in the right direction.
For years, there has been an element of ‘smoke and mirrors’ when marketing certain types of properties. On many occasions, this term is used when a property is difficult to value or is on the market for £1m+. However, for buyers this change will give some much-needed clarity on what the seller’s expectations are. This should reduce any risk of consumers wasting time or money expressing interest in a property which is not in their price range in the first instance. Not only does this have a positive impact on the buyer, but it also benefits the estate agents who will save time dealing with inquiries from buyers who aren’t looking within the property’s price range.
As auctioneers, we have adopted similar clarity with the aid of the ASA surrounding definitions and parameters of ‘guide price’ and ‘reserve price’. As a business, we are firm believers that more could be done with this in the future where consumers are under no illusion what the seller would accept by way of an offer and if this figure is submitted, the property is sold to that buyer. This would have a better outcome than the current uncertainty that comes along with buying or selling a property.
With the proposal of soon introducing Property Information Forms for all residential properties and the need to advertise lease details and council tax bands for new listings, this recent ruling is another step forward to creating a much more transparent property market which will be welcomed by everyone involved in the profession.