Property warning: What estate agents ‘can’t say’ to potential buyers – ‘basically illegal’

The Property Show discuss ‘green mortgages’ in trailer

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Property experts Louisa Fletcher and Andrew Montlake returned for another episode of their podcast, The Property Show. This week, Louisa explained why more and more properties are being sold at over the asking price, why gazumping is “making a comeback” and shared some handy estate agent tips. Meanwhile, Andrew discussed green mortgages, how they work and shared his pick of the latest mortgage products.

The Property Show podcast aims to help homeowners and renters make money, save money and protect themselves.

The term “proceedable” is something that is often used in the property market to describe when a buyer is in a position to proceed with a purchase.

A “proceedable” buyer is usually someone who has a mortgage in place or a “mortgage in principle”, has already accepted an offer for their own property or has already sold their home or a cash buyer who does not need to rely on obtaining funds for a property purchase.

A proceedable buyer is more likely to have their offer accepted on a property than a non-proceedable one.

It’s best to make sure you are proceedable before you make an offer on a property.

Estate agents will play some role in determining whether you’re proceedable or not for their client.

Andrew, who is a mortgage expert, said estate agents have a “duty of care” to check whether a buyer is “proceedable”.

However, Andrew warned that there are certain things an estate agent “can’t say”.

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He explained: “The little thing to watch there is it’s okay for an agent to say ‘look, can you talk to the broker, I just want to know you’re proceedable’.

“That’s fine. What they can’t say is ‘you have to use my mortgage broker’.”

Louisa added: “If you ever hear that, that is very bad and naughty.”

An estate agent also has to put all offers up to the vendor.

Andrew continued: “If they do greet you with ‘if you don’t use my mortgage broker, we’re not going to put your offer up’, that is basically illegal.

“So you can complain about that. That’s not the way to proceed.”

Louisa said fortunately “not a lot of that goes on these days”.

However, if a buyer does come across something like that then Louisa said you need to remind the agent that’s not acceptable.

The UK property market has been booming in recent months with house prices hitting record highs.

Current market conditions have led to more people offering above the asking price as demand outstrips supply.

Louisa also warned this has led to a rise in gazumping.

“It’s making a comeback,” she added.

Gazumping is when a seller accepts an offer on a property from one potential buyer but then later accepts a higher offer from someone else before the exchange date.

You can listen to The Property Show Podcast on Spotify and Google Podcasts

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