5 reasons to pick an RICS qualified agent

The wider market may not be aware of this, yet,  on 1 November 2016 the RICS launched the UK Commercial Real Estate Agency Professional Statement.  This statement increases the requirements that an RICS member, undertaking commercial estate agency instructions, must adhere to.  In the past there was merely a guidance note which advised members on what they should be doing.  Now if a member fails to follow the practice statement, without good cause, they can be considered negligent and so the clients now have added  levels of protection and recourse. 

So what does this mean for you and why should you chose an RICS member to sell your business?

1.       Members must act with integrity, providing an honest and realistic assessment of the likely selling price, or rent.  Whilst clients may not always like to hear where the market is in terms of price, giving this advice at the outset ensures that clients understand market conditions and do not enter into an agreement with a false hope of what their business is worth.   There may be a disagreement about this value as between client and advisor, and within reason RICS agents are still able to take instructions to sell at any price set by the client whether or not the agent actually agrees that the price is realistic.

2.       The Agent must ensure that all work is carried out with due skill, care and diligence and that all staff have the necessary skills to carry out their tasks.  It is not just that the agent has a professional qualification but also that Clients should be comforted that RICS firms employ skilled staff who will react promptly, accurately and ensure that responses are dealt with in a timely manner.  Potential purchasers will not be left waiting for days for information or answers to their questions which creates doubt, frustration and causes unnecessary delays to a transaction.

3.       All RICS firms must have adequate professional indemnity insurance in place that complies with the RICS Rules of Conduct.  This should give clients comfort that in the worst case, where negligence or wrongdoing can be proven, their agents have protection to give them financial compensation for any act which diminishes their position.

4.       All terms and conditions must comply with current legislation and be fair and reasonable. This includes a complaint handling process.  All terms of engagement should be agreed in writing and clients should be given the chance to negotiate all terms.  Details of all costs and expenses must be provided in advance allowing a client time to consider them before they are liable for any expense.

5.       Finally clients should be comforted that the firm they have selected is regulated and that the work will be overseen by the world’s largest and best known professional regulator.  The RICS will ensure that their members behave as outlined above as well and ensuring they adhere to the Code of Conduct, Rules of Conduct for Members, including the RICS Ethical Principals. 

What this means in real terms, is that your agent will act always in your best interest, with integrity, offering you the highest level of service, in a way in which promotes trust and will take responsibility.

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