Simplifying the property game

Press release

Tuesday 6 December 2005

A valuable new tool is now available for estate agents to help improve business and assist clients with the biggest purchasing decision of their life. The British Standards Institution has published a new Draft for Development (DD) for estate agency services to help clarify the process of buying a home.

The aim of the DD 8464 standard is to increase the transparency of the residential property sale process and outline the requirements for essential information and advice, contractual details and sales services to the client.

The document has been published as a DD so that its development as a British Standard can benefit from a period of trial and consultation. Users are being invited to comment on the document in light of their experience in implementing it and to participate in its development as a full formal British Standard over the next 2-3 years. BSI is urging industry to get involved so that it can meet both their needs and those of consumers.

A survey commissioned by BSI prior to the development of the draft found that 44 per cent of consumers viewed estate agents as having low standards, and were dissatisfied with their experience.

Martin Danvers, Senior Content Developer, BSI British Standards said, “BSI is providing a framework for estate agents to address consumer concerns and thereby enhance their reputation among homebuyers.

It offers a good opportunity to improve business efficiency and dispel the criticism frequently levelled against the industry. We also hope the document will drive up standards by putting competitive pressure on rogue estate agents that currently do not subscribe to industry codes of practice.”

The DD is applicable to residential property sales and specifies the benchmark for its principal features. To support industry in achieving this benchmark, DD 8464 also makes provision for the overall management of the business, with specific reference to:

  • Advertising and promotions
  • Client relationship management including complaints procedures
  • Staff qualifications and competencies
  • Funds management
  • Ethical business
  • Liability insurance
  • Quality policy and service improvement

Mr Danvers added, “We are aware of proposals for a European standardization project in this area. The experience gained from DD 8464 should put the UK in a strong position to ensure that any future European standard is aligned with UK best practice and the real needs of the UK industry.”

- Ends -

Notes to editors

Purchasing the DD 8464 standard

DD 8464:2005 Estate agency services – Residential property sales – Specification for the provision of the service is now available for purchase from BSI Customer Services on +44(0) 20 8996 9001 or email The document includes details of how to provide feedback on the DD.

  • Research - Independent research house YouGov surveyed over 2,000 consumers nationwide for BSI in October 2004.
  • Draft for Development (DD) – A document published as a DD is developed under broadly the same processes as a formal standard but should be applied on a provisional basis. This is so that information and experience of its practical application may be obtained and used for further development.
  • BSI - BSI British Standards is the UK’s national standards body, working with government, business and consumers to represent UK interests and facilitate the production of British, European and international standards to meet economic and social needs.