If you are looking to buy a house, Kirstie Allsopp has an urgent estate agent warning you need to hear, or risk being duped.
The Location, Location, Location presenter took to Twitter to respond to a tweet asking whether it was normal to be asked to go through a mortgage application with an estate agent before being able to view a property. Her message was very clear – ‘This is NOT legal,’ she tweeted.
‘Just a reminder boys and girls that YOU DO NOT HAVE TO TALK TO AN AGENT’S MORTGAGE ADVISOR. Yes, agents should check you are serious/ have all your ducks in a row. But a refusal to show a property or put forward an offer without you talking to their financial folk is illegal,’ she wrote.
There a few reasonable questions that Estate Agents can ask to ensure you are serious about buying a property, such as asking for proof of DiP or funds. However, Kirstie warned that forcing someone to sit through a mortgage sales pitch is wrong.
‘I’ve always felt agents should do more to ensure everyone has their ducks in a row. Forcing people to see an agent’s mortgage “adviser” is wrong but ducks are good,’ she clarified on Twitter.
Commenting on Kirstie Allsopp’s tweet people revealed their estate agent horror stories of this illegal practice.
‘Yep, they all do it. An agent told me I had to see their mortgage advisor, by law. When I asked what law she was flummoxed. Sent them a copy of my pre-agreed mortgage and told them I would sue them if they prevented me from viewing,’ tweeted one homeowner.
However, not homeowners were lucky enough to get out at an early stage. Many revealed that they had actually missed out on properties because of this practice.
‘I lost a property over this. The estate agent refused to move forward until I saw the mortgage agent – I didn’t even need a mortgage,’ someone commented.
‘Had an agent refuse to put our offer forward until we’d seen their financial person. We told the vendor and refused to progress,’ tweeted another.
An independent mortgage adviser revealed that they encounter this every day tweeting: ‘As an independent mortgage adviser, I get this every day with agents saying they have to speak with their own adviser by completing a full appointment. Very misleading and they need to be more honest.’
So what can you do to avoid getting caught up by this sketchy practice? On twitter, Kirstie Allsopp urged sellers to make sure they went with an agent who didn’t engage in this practice. She even encouraged buyers who had been victims of it to contact her.
Heed Kirstie’s warning, and don’t be caught out by this estate agent trick.