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Is this estate agent a bit dodgy?

8 replies

Bladedancer · 09/10/2020 22:47

My son is looking to buy a flat. He found one he liked which was on the market for offers in excess of £130k. When he went to see it on Tuesday the seller said she had an offer of £132,500 but was going to wait until Friday to see if she got a better offer. My son rang the on-line estate agent and offered £135k. The estate agent had already mentioned using the solicitor they recommend, saying that the seller was going to use them too and it would be easier if they both had the same one but my son has a trusted solicitor friend who he is going to use. However when he made his offer the estate agent said he would stand a better chance of having his offer accepted if he used their recommended solicitor. My son stuck to his guns about using his friend and today had a phone call to say that the seller is taking the offer of £132,500.
We’ve moved house several times and have never come across this;-in fact I thought it was better for the seller and buyer to have different solicitors. Am I being overly suspicious in thinking that the estate agent is getting a big fat cut out of this and should be avoided?

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PercyKirke · 09/10/2020 23:01

NEVER use the same solicitor as the vendor. This stinks like rotting fish!

PickAChew · 09/10/2020 23:05

Estate agents can be really particular about using the solicitor they have a deal with. They do it with mortgage "advisors" too. They can't stop you from sourcing your own but they can be bloody difficult if they're not going to get their cut from the transaction. But yes, you should have a different solicitor with the way that conveyancing works in this country.

Bladedancer · 09/10/2020 23:36

We moved house three years ago and the estate agent said they could recommend a solicitor if we needed one, but were perfectly ok when we said that we had our own. To me, that was fair enough but in my sons case it sounds as though the estate agent is almost trying to hold him to ransom!

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JoJoSM2 · 10/10/2020 07:47

In my area, the agents state what commission they get for referring a client to ‘their’ solicitor or mortgage broker at the bottom of the listing.

Legally, they have to pass on the offer to the owner so hopefully did that. To give them the benefit of the doubt, the vendor might have felt there
was some benefit to using the same solicitor to avoid delays. However, I wouldn’t do that personally as I’d want the silicitor to act solely on my behalf and not the vendors too.

user1471538283 · 10/10/2020 08:56

You can choose your own solicitor and the estate agent probably gets kick backs from their recommended one. If you have a trusted solicitor it makes all the difference. We have a firm we have used for the whole family and they take no prisoners

Bladedancer · 10/10/2020 10:24


“Legally, they have to pass on the offer to the owner so hopefully did that. “

There’s nothing to suggest that the estate agent didn’t pass the offer on and of course the vendor has the right to choose which offer she accepts but the whole attitude of “if you don’t use our solicitor there’s less chance of your offer being accepted “ didn’t sit well with me. Son has various other properties to look at but has decided he won’t look at anything else that’s on with this particular agent.

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JoJoSM2 · 10/10/2020 15:43

I’m not surprised. I’d also be put off the estate agent.

Bladedancer · 11/10/2020 10:11

Thanks to those who’ve responded;- good to know I’m not actually paranoid! There was a good outcome to this;- my son had looked at quite a few other flats and there was one which he especially liked but it was at the very top limit of his budget. Yesterday he had a call from the estate agent ( not the dodgy one, obviously) to say it had been reduced by £5k for a quick sale. He offered the new price and it was accepted.

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