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CPRs; the opportunity

29 August 2018 1890 Views

CPRs; the opportunity

In our previous 2 blogs we have covered the definitions of the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations (CPRs) and what the practical implementation of compliance involves.

Missed our first 2 blogs? Catch up here

Our final blog looks at the opportunity CPRs present to estate and lettings agents to differentiate their business, justify their fees and reduce their fall through rate.

The vast majority of vendors will be entirely unaware of the application of CPRs in the property sector or the implications. Agents looking to ways to differentiate themselves can educate their clients on the regulations, impressing on them the importance and value of providing more information up front and reassuring vendors of their expertise.

And recent activity in the property sector would suggest that more agents should be factoring CPRs into their businesses:

  1. The government are looking at ways to improve the home-buying process, which has remained largely unchanged for 150 years! In response to its call for evidence it devotes an entire section to “Better Information at the point of Sale”

  2. The conveyancing community cites the lost opportunity to better prepare vendors during the window between listing and accepting an offer; an ideal time to be preparing Property Information Forms and Fixtures & Fittings forms, instructing a solicitor on a no-sale-no-fee basis and preparing a draft contract pack.

  3. The Property Ombudsman’s 2017 Annual Report identifies 4 key areas of non-compliance for which the average award is £532. Judgements frequently cite the failure of the agent to provide material information, up front as a key component in their decisions.

    1. Communications and record keeping

    2. Marketing and advertising

    3. Instructions, terms of business, commission and termination

    4. In-house complaints handling

  4. The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) have stepped to deal with a number of advertising complaints, from misleading listings information, to questionable sales and fee statistics.

It’s like the old adage; fail to prepare, prepare to fail.

Better preparation, improved communications, and greater transparency in the transaction is exactly what the sector is calling for; and exactly what CPRs calls for. The property market would improve for all concerned.

More information means better informed buyers, higher quality viewings and ultimately fewer fall throughs. A win-win-win for the client who sells their property faster, the agent who gets paid faster, and the buyer who experiences a smoother customer journey.

Compliance in a Box from Landmark is the simple pay-as-you-go compliance toolkit.

Make sure you are asking the right questions of your clients and documenting their response. Compliance Packs help agents fulfil their obligations under CPRs and AML. From one account source:

  • Electronic property information questionnaire & fixtures & fittings form for CPRs

  • Electronic client verification for AML inc PEPs, Sanctions & Checks

  • Land Registry ownership & boundary confirmation

  • Foreign national checks... and more

with a complete time and date stamped audit trail of all compliance activity.

For more information about reducing your risk please contact Compliance in a Box on 01524 220013 / sam.peacock@landmark.co.uk

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