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can estate agents insist we see thier IFA?

(30 Posts)
oops Tue 16-May-06 23:10:45

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Freckle Tue 16-May-06 23:23:12

As far as I know, they are not allowed to insist and it is against the rules of their governing organisation for them to link the two issues. However, not all estate agents belong to the governing body (which only has advisory powers anyway).

marthamoo Tue 16-May-06 23:32:08

This happened to us, when we were buying our first house - mainly because we hadn't a clue. The Estate Agent (selling the house we were interested in) said they wouldn't put our offer to the sellers unless we spoke to their financial adviser first (we already had an approved in theory mortgage from a building society). Reason given was that they couldn't be sure we had the financial wherewithal to back up any offer (er, duh, we had it in writing...). We went along with it and they tried to flog us an endowment mortgage (this was in 1995 - they knew by then that endowments were a big no-no).
We almost went with an endowment but, thankfully, the house fell through and we got better advice from a work collegaue's friend.

These days I'd have the chutzpah to say "I think your client might be interested in the fact that you are refusing to tell them about the offer on their house until you've tried to flog us one of your mortgages..."

Long way of saying you are under no obligation to meet with their IFA. Think about it: they're selling your flat, they're selling the house you want to buy, if they can earn commission on the mortgage you choose as well they're quids in. You can tell 'em to get stuffed - or you can meet with their IFA (make sure s/he really is independent) but you are under no obligation to go with them at all.

LIZS Wed 17-May-06 12:29:48

No I'm sure they can't . They are obliged to pass on any offer to vendor but doubt it would be taken seriously until you have sold yourselves or can prove you can bridge. However it has nothing to do with their IFA unless you so choose (same with a tied in solicitor). Personally would avoid using any EA doing this.

GDG Wed 17-May-06 12:30:22


katzg Wed 17-May-06 12:32:30

i don't think you do but we did just to shut the estate agents up and the IFA came up with a fanstatic deal which when we came to change it noone could match and the person at the cell centre wanted to know where we got the deal because she wanted it!

MissChief Wed 17-May-06 12:32:58

sorry, but they seem to see you as easy money! you have freedom of choice here so put yr foot dwon and say no! go to

or something similar - search for yr own mortgage and can even check paymts etc in mortgage calculator. also could try building socieites like abbey, derbyshire etc - they reguarly offer best deals on the high street.


blueshoes Wed 17-May-06 13:17:27

Saw a program on telly about dodgy estate agents. Won't name the agency (a very well known one) but their tactic was to get the buyers to use an IFA, which unknown to the buyers was owned by the same person as the estate agency. The IFA would then pass on confidential info which the buyers gave them to the EA, who despite the buyers saying they only wanted to look at houses in a certain lower price range, showed them houses which were up to the absolute limit of affordability. I think the prices of some of the houses marketed at a lower price were also jacked up to the affordability limit.

Oops, I can't stress how important it is to see an independent IFA. There will always be another estate agent who will want to earn your commission.

janinlondon Wed 17-May-06 13:21:45

When we were selling we asked the financial advisor in the estate agents to vet the offers. He checked the facts of people's finances - asking to see the mortgage offers or any other sources of funding before we accepted an offer. Mainly because we had accepted two offers from time wasters who really didn't have the financial backing. He wasn't flogging them mortgages though - just meeting with them to check their paper work. Could that be what's going on here?

blueshoes Wed 17-May-06 13:31:29

Oops, I read your post again. If the agent for the sellers are concerned about your ability to afford the house, can't you just get your bank/independent IFA/mortgage advisor to write a letter to say it is within your means (subject to your house going under offer)? That should be good enough evidence without your having to disclose your entire financial history (bear in mind it is incredibly tedious because you have to list all your assets and liabilities and outgoings) to the agent's IFA.

foxinsocks Wed 17-May-06 13:38:50

you don't have to go with their IFA

if you need a mortgage and I assume you have already found out you can get the amount you need, just get written confirmation of that

last time we moved, we let the estate agent's IFA get involved as they hurried our mortgage application along where we were unable to do so. However, I am financially savvy so never felt (and never let) the IFA feel he could boss us around.

By the way, you don't have to prove to them that you can afford it - if you don't want to get that letter, you don't have to. They may be just avoiding time wasters but it sounds more like they are trying to drum up more business for their IFA imo.

arfy Wed 17-May-06 13:42:52


and surely doing this would make a mockery of the 'I' in IFA standing for 'independent'?!

Helennn Wed 17-May-06 14:26:45

As an ex-estate agent, (6 years ago now so memory a little foggy!!), I know it is absolutely not on for them to make you see their financial adviser before putting your offer forward, especially as you already have a mortgage offer in principle from elsewhere, ie as good as they could do. I honestly can't remember for sure but I think it is actually against the law and I remember a famous case being in the papers about a firm, (fairly sure it was Connells), that had been done for just this. Not sure it is a good idea to put your property on with them if this is how they behave - maybe worth ringing Estate Agents ombudsman and making double sure before confronting agent, (they would know the law to which agents have to comply, fairly sure it is called the estate agency act).

Having said that, like other posters we got our mortgage through who I worked for because they did do an exceptionally good deal that we couldn't get anywhere else, (because they do so much business with them)!!! But we chose to, and were certainly not forced!!!

Let me know how you get on

oops Wed 17-May-06 17:50:06

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oops Wed 17-May-06 17:57:13

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Piffle Wed 17-May-06 18:02:07

I= Independent
If you see your won one he will charge you
BUT the IFA gets all his money by commission, so you will be offered and tol,d you need
criticl illness cover, life insurance, and extra shit you never even knew existed.
By all means go, the advice has to be sound BUT get ready to tell him to hop it and know what products you want. He will even try to get you into his best commission pension...These days many vendors/estate agents insist that you have a promise of a mortgage before being obliged to show you properties - we had this. You can get it yourself from your bank, an agreement in principal its called

oops Wed 17-May-06 18:26:33

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Orinoco Wed 17-May-06 20:54:35

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OldieMum Wed 17-May-06 21:00:16

We have recently had an offer accepted on a house and this was based purely on our account of our financial situation (accurately given, I should say). Nobody mentioned IFAs, or made any other conditions. It's our solictor who needs to be clear about our financies.

OldieMum Wed 17-May-06 21:00:32


finefatmama Wed 17-May-06 21:22:03

When we went looking in January EVERY EA in the area insisted that we see their IFA. Apparently, a lot of properties were on the market a second time as buyers made offers before trying to arrange finance. One was a repossessed property and they said that they could lose the relationship if they didnt at make sure we were good for the money.

The three IFAs we saw just asked how much we earned and how much we owed, then signed a piece of paper over the the EA. they invited us back to look through mortgages if we wanted to but none spent more than 10 minutes with us.

oops Wed 17-May-06 21:29:09

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hulababy Wed 17-May-06 21:32:57

No you don't have too. We have our own IFAs. DH is friends with a few and we have different IFAs for different product types, depending on who DH rates best for that area. We have never paid for an IF either. They are paid through commission fromt he products they sell. However, nowadays many of the products have similar commission rates, so IFAs aren't swayed to specific products so much. Our IFAs offer share the commission with us anyway!

Whenever we have gotton a mortgage we have always declined the estate agents and insisted on using our own.

Twinkie1 Wed 17-May-06 21:33:33

No No No =- they are not allowed to do this and if I were you I would threaten that you will knock on the door of the people who's house it is and tell them what they are doing as it would more than likely really piss them off!!!

hulababy Wed 17-May-06 21:36:00

Just spoken to DH to get better clarification. He says that if you get a letter from your own IFA showing that you can afford the mortgage, then this is sufficient. This is the approach we do every time. If you do this then they cannot insist you see their IFA.

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