Is your Estate Agent forcing you to use their Mortgage Advisor?

Estate Agent Mortgage Advisors

Some Estate Agent Mortgage Advisors are still stuck in the pre 2008 times.

Whilst most Estate Agents key concerns are to sell the property for the best price, to the best buyer for the Seller.

Some of the larger chains such as Connells, Persimmon & Countrywide (and their subsidiaries), are still heavily incentivised to upsell other products.

Their in house Mortgage Advisors are no exception.

We are not saying that every branch do this. But there is definitely still plenty of evidence to suggest it is going on when it shouldn’t be.

Mortgage Advice should not be sold.

Most Mortgage Advisors have adapted.

They’re no longer sales people like they were once considered, pre 2008.

There is no denying the Mortgage industry needed to be completely reformed after the financial crisis.
And reformed it was.The industry is now heavily regulated to revolve around proper advice and right customer outcomes.

You should be offered the best advice which you can then accept or reject.

Estate Agents Forcing their Mortgage Advisor

This usually occurs when you look to put an Offer in on a property. 

The Estate Agent will say it is a requirement for you to speak to their Mortgage Advisor or agree to use their Solicitor before they can present your Offer.

This breaks competition laws and the Property Ombudsman Code of Practice.

Is forcing you to use an Estate Agent Mortgage Advisor illegal?

Yes, it is illegal for an Estate Agent to force you to use their Mortgage Advisor. Or any of their services for that matter.

The NAEA Propertymark in a recent complaint stated here:

“It is illegal to make a purchase, or the presentation of an offer, conditional on you taking additional services from the agent.”

And The Property Ombudsman Code of Practice for Residential Estate Agents states, in section 9 under “Offers”:

“By law, you must tell sellers as soon as is reasonably possible about all offers that you receive at any time until contracts have been exchanged.”

“By law you cannot make it a condition of passing on offers to the seller that the buyer must use services offered by you or another party. You must not discriminate, or threaten to discriminate, against a buyer because that person declines to accept that you will (directly or indirectly) provide related services to them.”

The main offenders

According to customers and publicly available reviews, in our experience we find the main offenders to be the larger Estate Agency chains:

Connells and their subsidiaries (such as Sequence)

Countrywide and their subsidiaries (such as Bairstow Eves, R A Bennett)

Persimmon Homes the New Build Developer

Connells Mortgage Advisors

A 1 Star Google review on Connells Estate Agents in Coventry from Stuart Price:

“They refused to put our offer on a property forward unless we made an appointment with their own mortgage advisor. Was told we would not be taken seriously in the future unless we did this, even though we told them we already had a mortgage sorted.”

This review has been liked by 6 people. Considerable more than any of their other 77 reviews on Google.

A strong indication Stuart isn’t the only one.

Countrywide Mortgage Advisors

A 1 star All Agent review on Bairstow Eves Estate Agents (Countrywide subsidiary) from Shoaib:

“Shocking service!
They do not accept AIP from any bank!
They say I need to provide an AIP which has had a hard credit check 
Bairstows only use this tactic to get us to use their lender!”

Persimmon Mortgage Advisors

A 1 star review Trustpilot Review on Persimmon Homes from Alexandra Soare:

“I am so disappointed with this company, because it does not let me buy the house with another mortgage advisor. It forces me to use theirs, it is discrimination. In addition to their mortgage advisor, he didn’t even ask me for documents and other documents to check how far I fit. He sent me to fill in just a form to write just what income I have.”

What to do to combat this

On each of the above companies we have found good as well as bad reviews. And we are in no way saying that the above will happen every time.

The important thing is to be confident now you’re in the know.

Don’t let any Estate Agent or New Build Developer tell you you have to use one of their services. You know it’s illegal and so do they.

Tell them you will be using your own Mortgage Advisors/Lender or Conveyancer/Solicitor and you know they can’t force you to do otherwise.

If you don’t feel confident enough to have the conversation, ask your Conveyancer/Solicitor or Mortgage Advisor to speak with them.

We are trying our best to stop the minority giving the majority a bad name.

The more people that know about these tactics the better!

Get in touch for more information

Whether you’re a first time buyer or simply looking to Remortgage. Get in touch with us today, so we can put you in touch with a Mortgage Advisor which Specialises in your case.

We will only put you in touch with a Mortgage & Protection Advisor which Specialises in your individual circumstances. Your information will not be used for any other purpose.

For more information or you would just like to find out more about us, please do get in touch