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.