How to become an estate agent in the UK

  • 1st Jul 2022
  • 5 minute read
  • Written by Ellie New
How to become an estate agent in the UK

Are you interested in buildings and architecture? Becoming an estate agent gives access to visit amazing properties and check out the latest property trends. To be an estate agent, you need to have strong negotiation skills, be brilliant at communicating with people, and building relationships.

What does an estate agent do?
Why are estate agents important?
What skills do you need to become an estate agent in the UK?
Does the process of becoming an estate agent differ in England and Scotland?
What are estate agent regulations in the UK?
How to become an estate agent with no experience in the UK?
What qualifications do you need to become an estate agent in the UK?
How to become an online estate agent in the UK?

What does an estate agent do?

An estate agent will help you set the value of your home and will give professional advice on how much a home is worth, setting it at the right price to market. The agent will arrange for a professional photographer to take property photos. They will also get an accurate floor plan drawn up as well as writing a detailed, accurate, appealing description of the home to be used on property portals.

It’s also the agent’s job to ensure the property has a valid EPC certificate. The agent may also take viewings depending on the package selected.

Why are estate agents important?

Selling a property can be an emotional roller-coaster but having a good agent can be very important when it comes to reducing stress. According to the Zillow Group 2019 Consumer Housing Trends Report, 95% of home sellers are stressed by at least some part of the process.

An estate agent will also have excellent marketing, selling and negotiation skills, ensuring that the property gets seen by the right people. The agent will have access to a network of contacts, such as conveyancing solicitors, removals, and mortgage advisors. Property portal Zoopla Zoopla suggests 99% of property sales are completed with sellers using estate agents.

The estate agent will chase the conveyancing chain, too. They don’t just find a buyer, they also keep involved in the legal conveyancing process to make sure your sale is smooth. They can assist with any issues and chasing the rest of the chain and will know the right questions to ask to find out further information.

What skills do you need to become an estate agent in the UK?

Being an estate agent in the UK doesn’t require specific qualifications. If you’ve got experience of working in customer service, this could be advantageous. Someone who has just left school or who has graduated from college or university can apply to become an estate agent.

A degree isn’t an essential but if you’ve got one in building surveying or planning and property development, for example, could give you an advantage whilst applying to become an estate agent. You can gain professional qualifications whilst working as an estate agent and some agencies will require that you complete these as terms of your employment from a professional body.

The key skills you will need are:

  • Strong communication skills
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Passion, drive, and charisma
  • Be able to build and maintain relationships with colleagues and customers
  • Negotiation and selling skills
  • Being super organised as you may be managing multiple properties buyers and sellers
  • Empathy – some people may be selling a relative’s property who has passed away or they may be selling due to financial difficulties, and this can be deeply distressing time for them
  • Willingness to travel
  • Flexibility with working hours, not all buyers and sellers will be able to accommodate valuations, viewings, and updates during the usual 9-5 day
  • Understand the property market

The day to day the job of an estate agent is very varied and could involve juggling several sales as well as multiple buyers and sellers and bringing in new clients, so would suit someone who like variation throughout their working day.

Does the process of becoming an estate agent differ in England and Scotland?

The process of becoming an estate agent isn’t any different in England or Scotland. The process of a house sale is different though, find out more in our how to buy a house in Scotland blog. In Scotland, most homes are sold by a ‘blind bidding’ system. Scottish sellers must provide survey reports upfront. Scotland also has its own version of stamp duty called Land and Buildings Transaction Tax. A sale in Scotland also becomes legally binding a lot earlier than in England and Wales.

What are estate agent regulations in the UK?

Estate agents have legal obligations that they must follow. Agents are legally obliged to pass on all offers from prospective buyers, such as:

  • Council tax band or rate
  • Property price
  • Tenure information (freehold or leasehold)
  • Details of any reservation fees to be included
  • A shared ownership property must include the percentage of shares being offered for sale, as well as the amount of rent on the share not being sold
  • Properties listed for rent should include information about deposits and any holding deposit payable

Under the Consumer Protection: Unfair Trading Regulations 2008, estate agents must comply by strict rules. This law applies to estate agents, property developers and websites that introduce buyers and sellers. If seen to be acting unfairly, they could be issued with fines and even imprisonment of individuals.

Estate agents that are members of The Property Ombusman must adhere to its Code of Practice of Residential Estate Agents.

There are other estate agent legal obligations to buyers that estate agents must adhere to read more from the HomeOwners Alliance.

How to become an estate agent with no experience in the UK?

You don’t need experience to become an estate agent, you can learn whilst on the job. Here are a few easy ways to help open doors if you’re aspiring to start a career as an agent.

  1. Take a sales course

Completing a sales course will help you learn sales practices; this could impress potential employers that you’ve taken the time to gain proper training. Other relevant courses are estate and property management, business studies, surveying, civil and structural engineering, or urban and land studies.

  1. Take training under a professional body

You could get specialised training in real estate management from a professional governing body. You may be able to complete some of the courses in a few months. Some of the major organisations include the Independent Network of Estate Agents, the National Association of Estate Agents, and the Guild of Property Professionals. Ensure any training you take is to industry standard.

  1. Learning as an apprentice

Learning through an apprenticeship allows you to gain practical skills that you can apply whilst on the job. You may need your Maths or English GCSEs to qualify for the apprenticeship. Search local estate agencies to see if they have any available apprenticeship vacancies or would be willing to hire you as an apprentice.

  1. Learn about what’s going on the property market

Property websites such as Rightmove and Zoopla provide articles that offer insight into what’s happening in the property industry.

If you become an online estate agency franchise owner with easyProperty all the training, you’ll need is provided by us across three weeks featuring a mixture of blended learning, some of which is classroom based and some online. You’ll also get support after you’ve finished your training to really help your business take off find out more

What qualifications do you need to become an estate agent in the UK?

You don’t need specific qualifications to become an estate agent in the UK. Some agencies will require that you have achieved certain GCSEs or equivalent, usually Maths and English. Some agents will have higher level qualifications, but it varies, and these are not essential. There are also courses available through professional bodies if you’re looking to further your knowledge and improve your CV.

How to become an online estate agent in the UK?

Becoming an online estate agent is much the same as becoming a high street agent. Look for businesses that have a fresh offering and innovative technology. An online agent operates virtually rather than from a high street-based office and provides the same service but can charge less, as they don’t have the big overheads of that of a high street agent. Find out more about what an online estate agent is.

We’re looking for passionate people from all backgrounds to join our online estate agent franchise business. You don’t need any former experience as you’ll receive a mix of classroom and online based learning to prepare you from everything to launching your business to negotiating sales. We have marketing and technology already in place to make your life easy. Our culture is refreshing, accessible, honest, and human. We want to empower the people that work for us and with us. Don’t miss a fantastic opportunity to be in control of your business and your schedule. Learn more about becoming an easyProperty online estate agent franchise owner.  

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