Hire an agency you can trust

OPERATORS selling a licensed outlet can find reassurance by working with a firm that is a member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), according to Peter Seymour, head of licensed trade and leisure at Graham & Sibbald.

• Seymour (centre) of Graham & Sibbald.

In November last year, the RICS launched the UK Commercial Real Estate Agency Professional Statement.
Seymour said that, while there are “several lvels” to the guidance published by the RICS, a Professional Statement “is the highest level of guidance”.

And he argued that this Professional Statement “increases the requirements that an RICS member, undertaking commercial estate agency instructions, must adhere to”.

These standards, said Seymour, mean a greater level of trust between commercial RICS estate agents and their clients.

“RICS professionals must act with integrity, providing an honest and realistic assessment of the likely selling price, or rent,” he said.

“So much of the negotiation can happen outwith the client’s control and so they must feel their agent is acting in their best interest to maximise the sale value and not just to get the deal done.”

Further to this, Seymour told SLTN that all RICS-regulated firms must have professional indemnity insurance in place, which complies with the RICS Rules of Conduct; an RICS-approved policy ensures that in the worst case – where negligence or wrongdoing can be proven – their agent’s firm has protection and is able to give them financial compensation.

And RICS member agents’ terms and conditions “must comply with current legislation and be fair and reasonable”, according to Seymour, which he said means that operators can be confident “that there are no hidden costs or unfair penalty clauses” within any contracts.

Lastly, Seymour said that operators can be assured that all RICS members must adhere to a raft of codes, including its Code of Conduct, Rules of Conduct for Members and RICS Ethical Principals.
In real terms, Seymour said RICS membership means “your agent will always act in your best interest”.