Agent ‘will not let us attend open house because we won’t use its mortgage service’ claim couple

A couple are claiming that they are being denied the opportunity to attend an open house viewing by an agent because they will not be using the agent’s mortgage or conveyancing services.

The couple are asking on an online forum whether this is normal.

Writing under the name ‘ginger choc’, the correspondence reads: “My partner and I have recently started viewing houses.

“We have a mortgage in principal, an offer on our current property, and are happy with our current mortgage broker and solicitor.

“Most of the EAs we’ve arranged viewings with have asked a few questions about our current position (obviously I’m fine with this) and have tried to sell us broker or conveyancing services but an assertive ‘no thank you’ has been enough to get the message across and we’ve still been able to view.

“However, I recently booked in to an open house this Saturday and have just had the following email from the EA:

‘With our open house events, we book for all the applicants viewing the property to come in to the office and be financially qualified so that when any offers are made, we can confirm for the vendor that all is in place.

‘It is gives a further mortgage product comparable for what you already have in place with Halifax to ensure you are getting the lowest cost product possible.

‘What day/time would you be free to pop in to the office so that we can just run through your existing mortgage in principle?’

“I feel like this is a sneaky tactic to get me to sign up to their other services.

“I don’t see what info they could possibly need prior to a viewing that can’t be sorted by phone and email. I work full time and making time for viewings is hard enough as it is without having to schlep across town to be sold something I don’t need.

“Is this normal? Am I being unreasonable? Can they really stop me viewing a property if I don’t do this first?

“I am not that experienced dealing with estate agents so any thoughts would be really appreciated. Thanks.”

This has received some interest – with two corporate chains being named as ‘offenders’ by one poster.

Another advises that the would-be viewer has no obligation to do as the agent has asked, and the agent has no obligation to take a viewing appointment.

“So ultimately it comes down to how much you want to view the property, and play the game? Your call.”

Ginger choc says they would quite like to view the property, as it is in the ideal location, but there may be other suitable properties.

However: “They are quite a big agent locally though, and I’m not sure if I want to rule out all properties sold by them.”

As always, we’d be interested in our readers’ opinions.

https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?s=15df7db7e844ba62333324a1a7edef14&p=74748336

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24 Comments

  1. jamesBee

    It is underhand and why the industry has a bad name. They will say it’s to qualify the applicant but that’s not the real reason.  plus if you have to make an appointment it’s not an open day !

    Report them to trading standards and the NAEA as they are not actiNG IN there clients best interests

    Report
    1. Paulfromromsey87

      Agreed.  2 things briefly.  First, check the TPO Code of Practice re Aggressive behaviour and handling offers.  Quite simply, this shouldn’t happen. Second, the agent is missing a trick. ‘Show a buyer a buyer’ and you’ll improve your chances of getting at least one offer, if not more, on the day.

      Gives us all a bad name, should be named and shamed.

      Report
  2. smile please

    Look. It not right. But it happens. And it’s not the worse thing out there.

    Play the game.

    See the mortgage broker, if they can match or better the current deal why not use them if you want to buy the property?

    Same with the solicitor.

    All that’s getting hurt is the ego.

     

    Report
    1. DomPritch134

      Such hypocrisy from you it’s laughable. You are quite happy to condone this almost conditional selling, yet any misdiscretions from a hybrid agent you are jumping up and down calling for enforcement.

      ’play the game’ what is that? To break rules?

       

      Report
      1. smile please

        As you point out its NOT conditional selling. 

        I have no problem with agents offering clients i am involved with mortgages and solicitor referrals. As long as they are good mortgage advisers and good solicitors not a problem.

        If they were to recommend a certain poor solicitor in my area or a panel conveyancer, or perhaps a mortgage broker that has difficulty producing the mortgages promised yes i would have a problem.

        But to be honest Dom, you are anti estate agent. Whatever anybody says on here you would be against so your opinion is pretty much pointless.

        I could offer to pay your solicitor fees if you sold with me, you would still find a problem with that no doubt!

        Report
    2. fluter

      I am really quite surprised at your condoning of this kind of practice SP. This is what spivvy agents do, not true property professionals. Which one are you?

      Report
      1. AgencyInsider

        Having awarded you Comment of the Decade on the Rightmove story this morning I am afraid you have badly let yourself down with this comment SP. The insistence by agents that a buyer see the in-house mortgage advisor so that the vendor ‘can be assured everything is in place’ is pure BS and nothing more than an attempt to overturn an existing AIP and replace it with one that will earn the agent a fat referral fee. It’s wrong; it’s a stain on the industry; and the sooner it goes, the better.

        Report
        1. smile please

          The lord giveth, the lord taketh 😉 

          Report
    3. NotAdoctor32

      I imagine your reply would be somewhat different if this was an agent on your hated list.

      Report
      1. PeeBee

        NotAdoctor32

        “I imagine your reply would be somewhat different if this was an agent on your hated list.”

        The Agent is unnamed.  It could be any Agent… loved… ‘hated’… anyone.

        Your comment therefore has no point other than to chuck a firework in the room.

        Report
        1. NotAdoctor32

          So your comment would be the same if it was an online agent?

          Report
          1. PeeBee

            ??

            It wasn’t my comment.

            Report
            1. NotAdoctor32

              Ah my bad.  Why so defensive over it then?

              Report
              1. PeeBee

                Why were you so offensive over it?

                Report
    4. smile please

      Woah!

      Calm the horses!

      At no point did i say i condone the practice, at no point did i say you must use the mortgage broker pushed. Or that i agree with constructive selling. – Don’t you love it how people twist your words!

      I said play the game, if an agent is pushing their mortgage broker and being difficult about it (we all know the agents i am talking about) go and see them.

      Takes half an hour.

      Obviously do not agree to a credit check.

      However, if you see a property with Sequence (or whichever estate agent) and they can match or better the rate you currently have and you are not financially penalised, why not use them? It makes sense.

      I can say for certain, the mortgage advisers and solicitors we recommend on deals are far more straightforward as we trust them and the communication is clearer.

      We took a young couple out viewing the other week, they made an offer, they obtained a certificate of some sorts online to say they could borrow enough. We asked them to see our mortgage adviser to compare rates. He could not get close to the figure they were offered borrowing wise almost 50k adrift.

      We agreed to sell the property to them but it would stay on the market until mortgage offer is out. We are still waiting for mortgage valuation and even solicitors to have money on account.

      Remember who you work for, THE SELLER.

      Granted the corporates do effectively conditional sell, but a lot of good agents offer this service (not as aggressively) to protect their seller (i am one).

       

      Report
  3. Property Poke In The Eye

    I think buyers should register with agents with agreement in principle and their solicitors details to show they are in a position to buy.  That way it cuts out the time wasters.

    Report
    1. PeeBee

      PPITE

      On the basis of your post, 98% of the sales I have been involved with over the last 40 years (three weeks next Tuesday) have been to “time wasters”.

      #Just_Saying

      Report
  4. Will

    Such underhand tactics can back fire.  A friend who had a similar scenario did a land reg check and approached the owner directly cutting out the agent completely.

    Report
  5. RealAgent

    I would say that insisting buyers visit the branch is a bit much but I see nothing wrong in pre qualified viewers.

    Do this job long enough and you get told just about anything while buyers try to “reserve” a property. Knowing a viewer has an ability to buy is prudent.

    Every estate agent should now be doing money laundering checks for indentity, surely proof of funds is an essential and required part of that. We are far beyond the “I’m good for the money John, honest”

    Report
    1. Dom_P

      Every estate agent should now be doing money laundering checks for indentity, surely proof of funds is an essential and required part of that

      I agree with you, but this is potentially overkill to simply attend an open day to view a property; sure, if the viewer wants to place an offer on the property then I think this is prudent, but to do this on people who may not even move forward seems overly heavy handed in my opinion.

      To me it does seem that in this case, the agent knows they have a mortgage and are therefore already in a prime position to offer and move matters forward, and is therefore trying to see if they can poach the business. Whether this is allowed or not, it feels a little murky from a moral standpoint to me; point out you offer mortgage services and that it might be worth exploring options, but making it a condition of viewing seems like they are doing their vendor a disservice by potentially losing a hot viewer.

      Report
  6. Chris Wood

    I hope local trading standards takes a long hard look at this firm.

    Report
  7. davehedgehog

    Although I disagree with what this agent is doing i also ****** love it… I have lost count of how many times i have sold a property because another agent wouldn’t show a potential buyer round without seeing their broker first, only for the buyer to ring me to see if I would let them view. Viewer looks, likes property, mortgage A-I-P confirmed, I get the commission. Due to (mainly corporates) greed. I know this can’t happen with sole agencies but I’ve still done really well out of it.

    Report
    1. AgentQ73

      And at some point in the future that buyer will become a seller and i know who they will use and who they definitely wont use to sell

      Report
  8. CountryLass

    I would be very interested to hear about this if it were my property! Potentially refusing to allow someone to attend an open day, and therefore miss out on a potential bidder just to try and get a referral fee? Remind me, when can I terminate my agreement with you?

    Getting qualified viewers, yes. Booking a time slot on the open viewing, ok, good, stops me having to hide all my small stuff in case 20 people turn up at once, and means I can pop to the loo in relative safety if I know that there is no-one booked in between 11-1130. But refusing to allow someone to view my property because you don’t think you are going to earn any money from them? Get out. Seriously. Leave, right now. I am your client, you act in MY interest, not the interest of your invoice book!

    Report
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