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Campaign for estate agent code steps up

13 September 2004
Which? is calling on estate agents to sign up to a new 'we promise' universal code of conduct.

The call comes after discussions in the House of Lords of The Housing Bill when which considered Home Information Packs (HIPs).

Which? is now challenging estate agents to show that they are truly customer friendly by signing up to a ten-point 'we promise' code.

The head of campaigns at Which?, Louise Hanson said: "Industry chiefs often tell us that it's only a few rotten apples that spoil their reputation, so now estate agents can really convince us that they are not out to con home movers."

The code would include a promise to value property accurately, declare any conflict of interest, pass on all offers immediately and ensure that the client understands the contract.

Ms Hanson added: "The Which? message to estate agents is we dare you to put up the 'I promise' code in your agency and show that you are putting your customers first."

Earlier in the year, Which?'s 'Move It' campaign won a victory when the government announced plans to clamp down on estate agents who deal with the 1.8 million property transactions that take place each year.

Which? strongly supports the introduction of HIPs and the plans to crack down on the rogues.

However, the consumer watchdog still would like to see a single ombudsman for all estate agents. Additionally, it wants the industry to work together to deliver an effective and robust system to ensure consumers' complaints are handled fairly.
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