5th November 2008

At the turn of the year it will no longer be legal to put a home on the market on the first day an owner makes their decision to proceed, and there could be a 200 a day fine if they do.


"The current situation is bad enough" says Trevor Kent, former president of the National Association of Estate Agents, " presently, an owner must pay 350 for a Home Information Pack (HIP), but once ordered and paid for, at least marketing can begin.  Come 2nd January an intending seller will not only have to buy the useless HIP, but also wait up to 14 days (until part of the HIP report is actually back with the seller) before a single flyer can be printed, advert booked or a board erected".  This is the case whether an agent is used or the owner is trying to sell privately.  


Estate agents are just beginning to consider how they will deal with desperate sellers in January, especially those with leasehold homes and/or unregistered titles where long delays are inevitable.  Signatories to a No 10 Downing Street  petition have increased by 59% in the last two days as an end to 'First Day Marketing'  moves inexorably closer.


"Can you imagine the pressure that will be exerted by a seller upon their estate agent demanding they market the home immediately they've measured-up?" asks Trevor Kent, himself a practicing agent in South Bucks, "we will be intimidated by the threat of withdrawal of our instructions and forced to have to consider breaking the law in order to stay in business".


The irony is that if estate agents capitulate to their clients demands and start marketing on the first day in order to stay in business, the Government have legislated that the Office of Fair Trading will then close them down for marketing before HIPs arrive. " Heads we lose, tails we lose" concludes Trevor Kent, "but the public will lose too as they begin to realise in the New Year what a draconian world we now live in, where governments even stop you marketing your home when you want to".




TREVOR KENT is former president of the

National Association of Estate Agents and a

regular broadcast property commentator based

in Gerrards Cross, South Bucks.


01753 885522

ISDN by appointment


Trevor Kent Estate Agency Website Email Trevor Kent

Trevor Kent