Last week the National Trading Standards Estate and Letting Agency Team announced a surprising change in the property industry. ‘Price on application’ (POAs) in relation to a listing will now be abolished as it was deemed ‘misleading’ and ‘unlawful’. Originally, the policy was in place to cut marketing printing costs for price points that end up changing, but now collateral is mostly digital, this is no longer an issue.
Nevertheless, this has caused some conflicting opinions within the industry. Head of London Sales, James Moran stands by the decision: “The removal of POA on agents’ listings is a sensible move as our industry is not well known for transparency, so this ruling will be a welcome change. I’ve always struggled with the thought process behind vendors and their agents adopting this method of pricing, as ultimately if a buyer is interested in a property they will want and need to know the price. Some buyers simply won’t bother to enquire if they see POA as they are baffled as to why a seller who is supposedly serious would adopt such a method.”
On the other hand, some agents believe that privacy is a key factor as to why POA’s have been so popular in the past. In their eyes, once the price is published, this could jeopardize the privacy of the family and attract ‘property porn viewers’ rather than those actually interested in purchasing, ultimately devaluing the property. In the past, POA’s have also benefitted vendors who want to test the waters if they are not entirely committed to a certain price point. However, it has been pointed out that in current times, a property’s digital footprint is easily available online, and therefore the price is attainable.
The middle ground seems to lie on a guide price, with some believing that this provides vendors with wiggle room if there is significant interest but still creates a rough ballpark for the buyer.
Whether you agree with the decision or stand against it, this will certainly cause a stir in the industry.
Read the full article here