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Avoid Channel 4 'Dispatches' Estate Agents' Dirty Tricks Tue, 29 Oct 2013 08:00

Last night, Channel 4 aired "Dispatches - Undercover in the property market" to bring to light the "dirty tricks" employed by estate agents.

The programme largely focussed on the impact of the "Help to Buy" Scheme on the property market and how this was, allegedly, going to a fuel a house price bubble.

The programme claimed that Help to Buy will also help sell mortgages and it's big business!

Two of London's largest agencies arranged mortgages worth around £14 billion last year.

The way estate agents are now pushing financial services is causing concern to industry leaders.

"Dispatches" sent two researchers posing as first time buyers into two well-known estate agents in London to see what tricks were used to get them to arrange their mortgage through the in-house broker.

1.  Priority viewings

The undercover researchers were told that, if they agreed to used the in-house mortgage broker, they would be on a small list of people to hear about properties first, as soon as they came on the market.

2.  Prioritised offers

The undercover researcher was told that if she used the in-house broker, her offer would be "prioritised" to the vendor.

3.  Property taken off the market

The undercover researchers were told by one of the agencies that, if they used the in-house mortgage broker, the property would be taken off the market, and could not be superceded by a higher offer or even a cash offer!

The programme suggested that these tricks had come about due to the pressure on agents to meet sales targets for in-house financial services, motivated by commissions received for introducing mortgage business.

Prior to the programme, it would be fair to say that estate agents were not the most trusted of professions.  This was further emphasised by "Dispatches", when it explained that "anyone can set up as an estate agent within 48 hours, with no training or accreditation required!".

The exposure of these "dirty tricks" will no doubt cast further doubts on whether estate agents can be trusted.

It seemed very clear from the programme that the two agents featured were not acting in the best interests of their client ... the vendor.  Yet agents charge around 2% plus VAT in fees, while, it seems, often not looking out for their client's best interest.

By law, agents are required to present their client - the vendor - with all offers, but the "Dispatches" undercover filming suggested that they did not always do this.

If you are thinking of selling your property, it is natural to consider appointing an estate agent.

However, an alternative option is to sell your property for cash. This need not involve estate agents or indeed mortgage financing!

With Dream House Buyer purchasing your property for cash, there are no fees, no viewings, no legal fees, no hassles or uncertainties, no worries that the agent is playing "dirty tricks" and does not have your best interests at heart.

We make a fair cash offer for your property - typically around 15% below the current market value - and complete within a timeframe that suits you - our valued client.

Richard Hill, Founder of Dream House Buyer, watched the "Dispatches" programme and commented:

"I was shocked to see how these dirty tricks were used on first time buyers, and it was clear that the vendor's interests had taken a back seat.

To ignore a cash offer because the buyer was locked into in-house financial services is not fair on the vendor, when a quick sale might have suited their circumstances.

A property transaction can fall out of bed at any point up to exchange, so there is no suggestion that having a mortgage puts a buyer in a stronger position.  It only demonstrates that they are "proceedable".

Judging by comments on twitter, this programme has done nothing to increase confidence and trust in estate agents, which is why some vendors may prefer selling their property for cash through a family business like Dream House Buyer".

Find out why we are different to other quick sale house companies >>> here.

Dream House Buyer is a family owned property company that considers all types of property, and we buy property with sitting tenants too. We will make an instant cash offer for any property in the UK, regardless of the size, location, condition or value.

We will buy any property that you might consider a problem - including property with sitting tenants, flats with short leases, problem tenants, unmortgageable and structurally damaged property.  We also buy ground rents and portfolios. If you think we can help, then please invite us to make you an immediate cash offer for your property.

Contact us on 0800 1577 497 or email us info@dreamhousebuyer.co.uk

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