In the UK, moves to change the Estate Agents Act to allow more entrants into the market have been welcomed by a private sales site.
Nick Marr, CEO of the Little House Company, said that he had made a ‘significant’ contribution to the consultation process by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.
In marked contrast, most traditional agents seem to have been in ignorance about the Government’s move to change the legislation and the consultation which ends today.
Marr said: “I would like to add to the debate from a different perspective.
“The Little House Company (operated by Marr International) is a private house sales site that site has made significant contribution to the consultation process in which it demonstrated that the Estate Agents Act has severely reduced the ability for consumers to carry out a DIY sale.
“We showed that several business models that we launched were potentially in breach of the law. Services such as offering to sell by social media, matching buyers and sellers, and erecting a For Sale board all breached the Act.
“We called for a relaxation of the laws which were designed to protect consumers from unscrupulous estate agents. The Act was keeping the status quo and not allowing innovation and creativity within the industry.
“We would like to see that private sellers are given the right to sell their own homes using services like ours in agent’s contracts. We would also like to see that OFT examine the restrictive practices that are stifling the growth of private sales websites.
“We evidenced restrictive practices by many UK property portals, citing the Property Misdescriptions Act as the main reason why they would not allow private seller advertising.
“Again like the Estate Agents Act, this law was designed to protect the consumer and now was being used to reduce the ability of home sellers to advertise their homes online effectively.
“The Little House Company is not anti agent and we intend to employ professionals to help our private sellers with certain aspects of a sale. We believe in greater consumer choice and think the proposed changes will give a more level playing field.”