Customers should beware of estate agents who may try and use underhand tactics to profit from offering mortgage broking and conveyancing services.
Mansbridge Balment Plymouth says recent newspaper revelations that increasing pressure on agents to sell these services, as well as the property, is leaving people thousands of pounds out of pocket.
Darren Lawson, Managing Director of the agency, said to be certain of receiving a trusted and transparent service, customers should select an independent estate agent with a proven heritage and track record.
He said these kind of practices are likely to continue while the industry remains unregulated and, until the Government addressed that, people should ideally use an agent fully licensed by the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) – like Mansbridge Balment Plymouth.
He also pointed out that in Plymouth, people could get further peace of mind by using the Plymouth Area Property Professionals Association (PAPPA), which offers a whole range of property services from its members – who must be completely independent and fully accredited by their industry body.
“Sadly these tales of apparent underhand tactics are all too prevalent these days and makes it increasingly harder for the many reputable independent estate agents to fully gain the trust and confidence of both buyers and sellers alike,” said Darren.
“Fortunately we have the full backing of the NAEA and are dedicated members of PAPPA. if people are still in any doubt about our customer service credentials, one look at the independent customer review site Allagents.co.uk – where we are ranked in the top 30 of almost 15,000 agents nationwide – should put their minds at rest.”
According to the Daily Telegraph, some sellers are being put off high bids from buyers with independent mortgages by agents who claim their sale is more likely to go through with someone else who is doing everything in-house.
In turn, some agents are telling buyers they can get a £1,000 buyer’s incentive discount if they use their in-house mortgage and conveyancing services – but then just take this amount off their bid to the seller.
Certain agents and also giving buyers access to a special, so-called ‘premium buyers list’ of properties that will only be available to them on condition they see the agent’s mortgage broker.
Darren said that Mansbridge Balment Plymouth did have a long standing professional association with CMB Mortgage Consultants – and the agency made no secret of that.
“As a highly successful mortgage consultancy, we have no hesitancy in recommending CMB, but people are under no pressure to use their services,” said Darren.
“There is no incentive, financial or otherwise, for us to recommend CMB either. Like us, they are totally independent and very good at what they do.”