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  • Property-a-holics

    Pressure from estate agent - use their broker

    Hi,

    We have made an offer on a property we love however the agent said we needed to go in branch to have our finances checked before passing on the offer.

    Of course this was actually a hard sell from their mortgage broker who charges £700 just to port my mortgage (ERCs mean a new mortgage is unlikely to be better).

    I really despise doing this but also worry they have the power and can tell the vendor what they like so we have to 'play the game' if we want the house as I've heard people lose houses 'by being outbid' suddenly if they don't go along with this. It's so frustrating let alone illegal but what can we do if we really want the house..

    It's a probate with a solicitor in charge so it's not like i can go and chat to the vendor about what they're doing and show directly that we're serious and I have my own broker.

    Can I go along  with their broker until we get further down the line then 'change my mind'? By that point the agent would likely want the sale anyway too, even if they lose broker commission. Any other suggestions? 

    Thanks
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    I agree and will definitely be reporting them if/once we get the house but in the meantime,as my wife puts it regardless of how wrong it is they have all the power and 700 to get the house you want is a small price to pay. I'm just wondering if there's any way we can play the game to a certain point to get the house but not pay them the 700 in the end..
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    This was exposed in Channel 4's "Dispatches".

    You are not obliged to use their mortgage broker and it is sharp practice to try to force you to.

    A letter from your broker to confirm that you have been passed for finance or a decision in principle from a lender is more than enough to prove that you are proceedable.

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    I know but unfortunately we don't have much choice! The reality is if I call them out on it we could sadly easily lose the house, which is not worth doing for 700 quid. I know it's wrong and illegal but that doesn't help us.

    I sent my decision in principle to the agent already. She said we had to go in branch and do this meeting as the first step. 

    So now I'm wondering how long I could play them at their own game for...long enough to get vendors details somehow or flag what's happening to them? Or at what point would I normally have to pay broker fees? If quite far down the line I could then change my mind and use my normal broker? Thanks
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    If you are going this route. Don’t agree to pay any fees. If they are that keen they can have the commission. If you take a mortgage with no fees and no ERC you can convert immediately post purchase.

    Or you could try and let the vendor know that you are lowering your offer by the amount you are being blackmailed for and see how they feel about it all!
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    You could ask the EA for the written policy which states you must go to their broker as a "first step".  Or contact their head office and ask for clarification (in case this is something being done locally and the head office aren't aware).

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    We lost a house for refusing to speak to the agents financial advisor!
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    S Evans

    Exactly my worry! They say they'll paint you in a better light to the vendor as everything is in house etc, so it feels like our hands our tied! So frustrating!
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    Presumably you managed to find another one... well done on sticking to your guns.
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