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Is your estate agent trying to push you towards using a particular service? Remember the choice is yours – and yours alone…

We’re moving ourselves at the moment … We’re on our way to new premises and, although we have plenty of experience, it’s fair to say there have still been a few unexpected issues to resolve along the way.

So, if it’s new to you, we understand entirely just how daunting the moving process can be; indeed, if you’re a client of ours, we’ll frequently take that extra step to make it a little easier if we can.

Take Your Pick

But, sadly, anecdotal evidence suggests not every estate agent operates the same way. Indeed, one friend of a friend recently related a story which suggests, for some, it’s not so much about making a move as pain-free as possible. It’s simply about making money.

Of course, we make no bones about the fact we have preferred suppliers for services related to moving house; we’re happy to recommend mortgage brokers, conveyancing solicitors, removal firms, cleaning companies and the like.

However, although we will offer a referral to vendors looking for assistance, they are not a condition of service.

In our opinion, at no point during the process should a buyer or seller feel obliged to use a supplier just so their estate agent can claim a referral fee. For us, it’s simply wrong, particularly if a buyer’s offer is only relayed to the vendor on the understanding that they are obliged to engage the services of a particular mortgage broker or solicitor.

Beware The Bullies

So, if you are on the point of selling property and researching who you should instruct, it’s not a bad idea to check if the agent has a recommendations policy and, if so, what terms it operates under. After all, you probably don’t want buyers deterred by an over-zealous referrals strategy which might net your agent a few hundred pounds but does little or nothing in your interests.

Of course, like anyone else, estate agents need to turn a profit to stay in business and to move with the times and new technology entering the industry.

But, in our opinion, the customer has to come first. An honest recommendation is fine; bullying customers into using partners just so you can take a cut is something entirely different.