Daniel Attia, co-founder of online estate agent YOPA, has told the financial Press that the time is right to make changes to the property selling market. Attia told City A.M that estate agents are not trusted by the general public, and the reasons for these negative feelings should be examined, and changes made.
A lot of the mistrust, Attia claimed, is because the whole house-selling process is not sufficiently transparent. Questions posed by the YOPA chief in the interview include: why does it take so long to buy a property, why do agents not always get back to vendors quickly and what services do they really provide in return for their fee?
Attia believes it is currently too easy to become an estate agent in the UK and emphasised there are very few regulations, while no licence required.
He added that some customers are left wondering whose side are the agents on with blurred lines around the issue of whether they are acting for the buyer, seller or for themselves. The City A.M article carried the claim that sixty percent of customers had a problem of some sort with their estate agents, according to the National Association of Estate Agents, which Attia felt was unacceptably high.
As founder of YOPA, Attia stated that the popularity of online estate agents is rising and he believes that 50% of all house sales will soon be carried out via this new generation of company.
It is not only because they save sellers thousands of pounds, he said, but also because they “put the customer in charge”. Offering clarity and allowing customers to understand what is happening will help restore trust to the industry, claimed Attia, adding that the process must be more transparent, barriers removed and transactions should be completed much more quickly.