Rightmove to allow agents to show fees

Rightmove is now allowing both sales and lettings agents to show fees.

The move follows new advice from the Committee of Advertising Practice.

A recent case involving a local newspaper and some agents in Fleet, Hampshire, was investigated by the Competition and Markets Authority, which found collusion to stop estate agents advertising their fees. The effective outcome was that agents should not be stopped from advertising their charges.

A spokesperson for Rightmove told EYE yesterday: “We have a set of advertising content guidelines in place to reflect industry and advertising regulations, and to ensure that Rightmove users are seeing the most accurate and useful information to help inform their property decisions.

“Recent enforcement action and guidance from the Competition and Markets Authority have led to changes to the CAP Code and TPO Code of Practice.  As a result of this guidance and changes we needed to update our guidelines to allow agents to advertise seller and landlord fees on banner adverts if they wish to do so.  Agents who choose to do so must ensure that they adhere to advertising regulations.

“The CAP Code and TPO Code of Practice requires that quoted prices include non-optional taxes, duties, fees and charges that apply to all or most sellers, buyers, landlords and tenants. Where a fee is expressed as a percentage or as a flat rate, the fee should be advertised inclusive of VAT.  Agents cannot reference specific third parties and they cannot say anything that denigrates their competitors.

“Agents should refer to the Rightmove advertising content guidelines and technical guidelines for further information and if they are in any doubt they can speak to their account manager for guidance.”

EYE has asked Zoopla and OnTheMarket whether they are making similar provision.

Meanwhile, CAP has this week updated its advice on letting agent fees, which says: “If you’re advertising on a property portal like Rightmove and Zoopla, CAP considers that it is currently acceptable for a “fees apply” pop-up to be included beside the monthly rental price, in which all applicable fee information can be found. There’s plenty of space so ensure you include all fees which fall under rules 3.18 and 3.19.  Property portals are used by a huge number of agents, many of whom use different names for fees.  The Compliance team considers that consumers are likely to be able to compare fees more easily between agents if they are consistently presented in a simple format and included in a “fees apply” pop-up box.”

The updated advice can be found here

 

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9 Comments

  1. Trevor Mealham

    This is good news as the powers that be are saying that portals (which are simply media companies) must allow agents to show fees.

    Making this ruling the CAP (the Committee of Advertising Practice) are highlighting portals should allow agents fair use to engage fair consumer practice to show fees.

    In the Trinity / Three Counties case, the CMA acted quite strong in finding cartel collusion. Something portals and media groups SHOULD not do, or impose on agents.

    Good story PIE

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  2. GPL

    Ah Yes…..

    Displaying Fees? …..if only it was that simple!

    Joiner A ….. we’ll fit 1 shelf for £25

    Joiner B…. we’ll fit 1 shelf for £40

    Joiner C ….. we’ll fit 1 shelf for £60

    or

    Joiner D …… we can pop out, have a chat about what you want done, inspect where being fitted, size, style, how sturdy, any issues etc….. and then quote you a fee having actually looked at what hss to be done.

    Substitute Estate Agent for Joiner….. Substitute shelf for house etc…..

    Another slippery slope where the unprofessionals seek yet another way to promote themselves as the agent to choose.

    It’s funny….. nothing to demonstrate that £200k house selling for £190k with one agent or £210k with another….. because the cheap n’ cheerful psuedo agent just want their cheap n’ cheerful fee!

    Thank g@d my business isn’t reduced to the me quoting the cheapest fee to win business…… those ads that shout save £0000’s on your nasty estate agents fees!…… whilst forgetting to say “and we’ll often lose you £0000’s in your sale price because we only care anout our fee!”.

    There is progression in business and then there is the erosion of service in the drive for quick profit!

    I’ll amputate your leg with a chainsaw for £5!….. you’ll probably die, but hey!…. it was cheap!!!!

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    1. Disillusioned

      A first for you today GPL, Ive actually given your post a ‘like’.

      Im not sure if its a compliment or not but you have given me a chuckle, you must be the only person on here who could respond to a story about RM displaying its fees by starting with 4 quotes for shelf fitting and finishing it with a leg being amputated with a chainsaw!

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      1. GPL

        You must be disillusioned…. disillusioned….. to “like” one of my posts…..I will forgive you because it is Friday 13th and clearly your portal centre of gravity is being affected by dark forces!….. come Monday you’ll be back to normal….. however in the interim I’ll pay you £5 to amputate your leg.

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  3. Herb

    We match online agents low fees for a low selling price service and a lot of stress

    The public are short sighted idiots!

     

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  4. Anonymous Coward

    Reason not withstanding, the universe continued unabated…

    Inevitable I think, depressing certainly, the portals essentially have no choice given the ruling.

    I thought it was a race to the bottom before.

    It would appear that the average fee for the average property transaction has stayed the same (in terms of pound notes) for the last 12 years or so.

    Given the effects of inflation that means that an agent’s effective income is probably down by 45% in the same period.

    No wonder salaries in the industry have done so badly.

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    1. PeeBee

      AC – I was charging more for selling a thirty grand flat in 1995 than one of my competitors is offering to charge today for a £200k house.

      Beggars belief.

      If they can’t negotiate their own fees to a sustainable level what hope does their client have of achieving best price in the hands of these ‘professional salespeople’?

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  5. Clarkuk

    Surely this is only for the benefit of online and cut price agents.

    As long as there is a choice I wont be posting my fees up.

    I work very hard and we earn every penny, although this may help me stop wasting my time appraising houses of penny pinchers who think that a photo on RM is all that’s needed to sell a house.

    Will anyone here be showing their fees?

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  6. IndAgent

    Good question. Is anyone actually going to do this? If there are different types of shelves with some requiring more screws to fix, will agents need to quote a min max range? Ie 1% to 2.25% depending on blah blah blah

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