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Estate Agent Tricks

On the whole, estate agents do a good job at helping you buy and sell houses. But be aware of some of the estate agent tactics to try to get you to raise your offer or buy extra services from them. Keep your cards close to your chest and learn to spot common estate agent tricks before they pull them.

estate agent tricks

Whipping you into a frenzy

It’s the estate agents’ job to create a buzz around a property. They might try to do this by giving the impression lots of people are viewing the property and by arranging appointments close together. Rather than working through offers one at a time, they might try to introduce “sealed bids”, which pits you against other buyers without you knowing how much they are willing to offer. Open days can also work to encourage buyers to act quickly and get into a bidding war.

If you are buying, stay focused and try not to be influenced. All of this is aimed to get the best price for the seller – that’s the estate agent’s job.  So keep in mind what you can pay for the property and stick to this – there’s no point in getting your dream home if you are then impoverished for the rest of your life. Find out the best questions to ask an estate agent when you are buying a house.

Talking you out of the best deal

Never let them know your bottom line (if you’re selling) or your maximum budget (if you’re buying). Otherwise the chances are you’ll end up having to settle for it.

If you’re selling, it’s important you’re on the same page as your estate agent. Is your priority to get the maximum price or to sell as quickly as possible? Avoid letting an agents’ agenda eclipse your own by shopping around to find the right agent for you. Getting the right valuation and a sales strategy that suits you will be key.

Find and compare the performance of local estate agents in your postcode using our free estateagent4me service — compare the success rates, average days to sell, % achieving asking price and typical fees of estate agents in your area.

Find and Compare Local Estate Agents

This form will take you to for the results

Inventing phantom offers to drive up your offer 

Phantom offers are an estate agent trick to be aware of. Your below-asking-price offer has been accepted, the property you are buying is off the market, and it’s all steam ahead towards completion. Then the next week, the estate agent calls to say that someone who viewed the property previously has put in an offer a few thousand pounds above yours.  If you suspect this is a false bid, challenge the estate agent and ask to see proof that this third party exists and they are willing to make a higher offer.

Whether real or hoax, being gazumped is depressing and can cost you money. There are a few options for reducing the chance of being gazumped but they cost – see Gazumping: what is it and how to avoid it.  

Some estate agents have introduced a “Good Will Charter”. Both parties pay a deposit which they will lose if they don’t go through with the sale. It’s not fail safe but it might help you weed out people who aren’t serious about the deal.

Another option is a lock-out agreement whereby the seller has to take the property off the market for a limited amount of time while the deal is being completed. You will have to move quickly to get everything done before the time period is up. Discuss the pros and cons with your solicitor.

The HomeOwners Alliance is working with the government on its proposal for a reservation agreement to put an end to the home buying and selling chaos.

Pressuring you to use their mortgage brokers 

Some estate agents have been reported putting pressure on people to use their mortgage service, saying they will get preferential treatment or, worse, claiming they are unwilling to work with them unless they do. The estate agent trick of putting undue pressure on you in this way is illegal. By all means, get a quote from the estate agent’s mortgage adviser before shopping around, but bear in mind that:

  • they may have a far narrower selection of mortgages than if you look further afield
  • there may be an upfront charge for their advice whereas some mortgage brokers and banks can give you mortgage advice for free

Also be aware there have been accusations of mortgage brokers and estate agents working closely together, openly discussing potential buyers’ budgets in order to get as much money out of the buyer as possible. So again, find out what deal they can offer while remembering that you are under no obligation to accept their mortgage offers. For steps to take see “Why you should avoid estate agent in-house services”

Mortgage Finder

Get fee free mortgage advice from our partners at L&C. Use the online mortgage finder or speak to an advisor today.

Find a mortgage

Selling you extra advertising

If your house isn’t selling,  maybe you need to think about changing your tactics. Your estate agent might tell you they can do more to advertise your property if you pay them more.

Think hard about this: why haven’t they done everything they can to market your property already? And is the extra money refundable if you still don’t get an offer?

See our guides for more advice on finding the best estate agent to sell your home and what to watch if you are switching estate agents.

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  1. JacJac

    There is an Estate Agent in Boston Lincolnshire that seems to advertise properties as ‘new to the market’ though they already sold. These are at a very advantageous price for the size and condition of properties. These properties are not available for active buyers to see as they are already sold.
    Is this just click bait advertising or is there something more underhand going on?
    Are they underselling these properties to their friends and family. Or favourite clients maybe……Mmmm!?!?

    When analysing this agents ‘New to the market’ “sold” properties, they all seem grossly underpriced for their size and condition. Their other properties seem to meet the current price bracket, though aren’t as spectacular as the ‘New to the market’ “sold” ones.
    I wonder if anyone else encountered this new form of marketing in their area?

  2. S SomjeeS Somjee

    Golettings Liverpool jointly gazumped me with a seller. They made inconsistent statements. There should be a wY to hold unscrupulous estate agent’s to account.

  3. Shelley HartShelley Hart

    A buyer was introduced by our Estate Agent. The sale was stalled due to the lender requiring an ESW1 certificate. We found a surveryor to do this at our own cost. The Flat failed the survey consequently the form was denied and the sale fell through. We know have a white elephant on our hands and the Estate agent wants an admin fee of £495 because of the failed sale, which was no-ones fault. What can we do about this?

  4. EmmaEmma

    I’m trying to move my chain along, I’m with purplebricks but they have been very quiet since our offer was accepted am I allowed to chase up and down the chain myself? Via the estate agents? At the moment I’m relying on information about the chain from the estate agent I’m buying off of and this feels too risky.

  5. PGPG

    So who do you report unscrupulous estate agents to? We are trying to buy, and the estate agents are putting real pressure on us to use their in house services. Even saying if we don’t that the purchase price will be 2k higher. They have justified it by saying the vendor wants to be able to check the progress of our mortgage application and for things to progress more quickly, and to be assured of our commitment. They even implied they would continue to market the property, despite our accepted offer, because we won’t use their financial services. We have a broker we’ve used for ten years who we have a relationship with and want to use again. He has already identified a mortgage for us. So to go with them would actually be slower! I feel very vulnerable in my purchase though and don’t know what to do.



  6. Marian BestMarian Best

    My friend is strongly considering a private sale of her house and downsize. Valuers have advised that due to COVID she will not be allowed to view other properties unless she appoints an agent in her own sale. I disagree with this and would appreciate guidance. She lives in North East England

  7. DebraDebra

    My estate agent has not given me a copy of my agreement is this right I would have thought I should have it
    Also they have pushed one particular buyer on me she’s using their in house mortgage company and I feel they are pushing for me to accept her offer. I was told they had been other offers but I have not received any of them is this right

    • HomeOwners AllianceHomeOwners Alliance

      Hi Debra, You don’t have to agree to any offer. You can push back and say you would like to wait until you’ve had a few offers made before deciding. Estate agents have a legal duty to pass through all offers, whether they use their in house mortgage service or not, so you may want to remind them of that. If you aren’t happy, tell them so and if they don’t up their game, you have the right to change estate agents. Angela

  8. Jane RichardsonJane Richardson

    Can an Estate Agent lie about Buyers? Had a Buyer for 6 months, recently found out there is a Chain of 3 more. Is the original Buyer fictional. Due to Covid obviously there have been slow down. We were all set to go, then Friday it was revealed one of the Chain needs a Mining Search, the results due this Tuesday, does our Buyer really exist?

  9. Veronika DVeronika D

    There is shortage of properties on the market in comparison to last two years, 85% of properties are going for sealed bids, listings clearly says offers in access of “amount” however current climate blamed on Covid, Post Brexit shortage of everything including building materials make everything rise rapidly. Offers of 10-20% percent over asking price on your dream house doesn’t get you your dream house. People are being played by Agents, there is very little chance you will get to see property if you haven’t sold your house or want to buy with mortgage, cash is preferred and bank balance has to be shared and verified by your accountant. We are currently bidding on second property which started with bids, followed by sealed bids by date and time, two weeks in we are back to bidding war. A little inside of current climate from our experience…blind bids on desirable properties seems to be back doors entry for developers with attached deal in couple years time or mate rates. There is also lots of adverts on tv sell your house, true is can you buy house?

  10. Peter JannecePeter Jannece

    I want to sell my over 55s one bed apartment on Facebook for the most money I can get.
    How should I proceed when someone makes an offer?

  11. Suzannie ThomasSuzannie Thomas

    I tried to view a property but was told that if I didn’t have a mortgage in principle or use their broker I couldn’t view the property. Is this legal?

  12. Shane HardingShane Harding

    Have made an offer for a house at asking price. A lot of offers were placed and I was asked my final offer. I was not told any of the bids and had to pluck a figure out of the air. When speaking with the estate agent in one breath they said I was outbid by a lot and in the other breath it was mentioned a couple of grand. Without knowing the bid I could do little about it. I may have been able to stretch if it was only a couple of grand as am sure most would have. Also never found out the amount that was bid as was told they are unable to tell me. Just wondering is this the correct process. This doesn’t help as how do I know what to bid next time and not sure if was being told 100% truth.

  13. Steven HardwareSteven Hardware

    Palmer Snell are one of the worst for this. They said we are not able to get onto their “hotlist” unless we talk to their mortgage advisor. We already have a fixed term mortgage with Halifax and have told them we are not going to swap, but they are constantly trying to get us to send them information or proceed with their broker.

  14. ThomasThomas

    It’s is always there most popular listing!….I feel it’s bad business ethics to play client’s up against each other as most of them so often do.Covid has also been there number 1 excuse for some time!….Still to meet a honest estate agent!most of them are junk!

  15. S JohnsonS Johnson

    I live in a flat in a very rich city the flats on my estate have been constantly valued for less than we paid for them. Even though they are 17 yrs old large living room separate kitchen. Can estate agents blight a estate. I know one did it before in Knaresborough against Barrett’s. houses

  16. Joyce ChambersJoyce Chambers

    This is not the first time an agent has booked me in a viewer a week in advance , one time a month in advance then the night before phone me and inform me the viewer can’t be contacted , this was a proposed cash buyer . This time I had to tell them I was expecting their phone calls . I believe this is lies if so WHY mess with peoples lives . From J MARCH 17 2021

  17. Colin AyresColin Ayres

    I am being persued by an Agent for Commission for a property that they did not sell and they are claiming that they had sole Agency. I terminated my agreement with the Agent verbally in May 2020 and after finding out they were still marketing the property in June 2020 I emailed them. Another agent put a leaflet through my door and contact was made and the agent informed me that one of their clients was looking for a property in my area, so the agent took photographs and passed them onto the potential buyer who viewed and bought the property. After 3 months had passed the original agent contact my solicitor stating that he was owed money and that I had sold the property without informing them. My solicitor asked for a copy of the contract which did not come to light for a few weeks. The contract was never signed by myself as the seller, the sole agency weeks had been overwritten and altered and my partners signature was in the sellers box, but this I believe was obtained by the agent under dubious circumstances and to add my partner HAD NOTHING TO SELL !! I have now been served with small claims court papers and really do not know what to do as the agent in my opinion has acted disgracefully and bullying me to pay his commission on a house he did not sell, furthermore he has accused me of using his marketing material to entice the sale which is totally incorrect

  18. Herb BrunoHerb Bruno

    I’m about to sign a “property instruction form” with a local estate agent for selling a flat, but I already have a potentially “interested party”. The estate agent is offering to reduce their standard fee by 50% if the “interested party” decides to buy. Is this common practice? Having read Katie’s question and your reply of February last year, in which you suggested it may be possible to avoid an estate agent commission altogether in this situation, I’m beginning to wonder. On the other hand, I’m quite happy to leave the price negotiations to the estate agent, in which case I dare say a (reduced) commission would indeed seem appropriate

  19. JasminJasmin

    My husband and myself are selling our property for divorce. I am suspecting the estate agent and my ex are colluding together. One of the parties who wants to buy the property is my brother-in-law. I am suspecting that the estate agent is deliberately telling us there are no buyers and constantly asking us to pull down the price. Furthermore he advertised the property as a two bed Instead of three. He only changed it after 4 weeks since I pointed it out. My husband is insisting I should leave the keys with the brother-in-law to manage even though he is an interested buyer.
    The estate agent has not even had a for sale sign being placed over 6 weeks.

  20. Stephen SnowStephen Snow

    Hi, First off, some great advice in your article. Thank you.
    My issue is that we have set our sights on a property but we have yet to get an offer on our property. Many estate agents state that they will not accept offers unless we have sold first. Do you have any advice on how we can get around this?

  21. K. MossK. Moss

    Hi, I feel we are being manipulated by the estate agent (and seller’s maybe), we put in an offer for the asking price, and then upped it another £10,000 to secure the purchase and they still haven’t bothered to come back to us. What is a reasonable time to wait, surely if someone was serious about selling they would consider and then accept or reject? I personally think if they were interested, then like any other seller they would jump at the extra £10,000 over the asking price and therefore they aren’t really interested?

  22. Christopher JamesChristopher James

    Why would a house be advertised for sale aand To Let at the same time by the same estate agent? Should i go ahead and rent it for 6 months ?

  23. Elaine TealElaine Teal

    I was assured by bettermove that it was a no sale no fee but had to pay money monthly up front. My house was marketed at 250,000 but just before contract was ending they phoned to say they had a cheeky offer of 176,000 on my house without veiwing it. They are now saying that as I had a formal offer I cannot get my money back. There was no letter and she didn’t say who made the offer, surley this cannot be legal.

  24. Alan ThomasAlan Thomas

    I am selling a property through an Estate Agent. I have been told by a potential buyer that he contacted the Estate Agent & they refused to let him view the property because he was not going to use their mortgage service. The potential buyer came to my house to tell me as he thought this was underhand. I am shocked the Estate Agent did this & he may be doing it to many other potential buyers. How should I proceed?

  25. Linda HughesLinda Hughes

    My son who has PTSD suffering severe mental problems, in desperation to sell his property to move to Cornwall for a more calm and peaceful life, on the advice of his estate agent took his property to an online auction The winning bidder failed to pay the deposit and it turned out could not afford the property. The auction was on 28 March. My son found the whole auction experience horrific and does not want his property to go into another auction 3 months later the auctioneers insisted we have to give 28 days notice of cancellation. Under duress, I did this on 25 May and the auctioneers have put it in to online auction in 24 June, the last day of the 28 days notice. I am fearful that the same thing will happen again or a bidder pays the deposit but does not complete might happen. My son has moments of feeling suicidal (He did make a very serious attempt to take his own life 2 years ago) and I am so stressed at going through another auction. Initially he was told the auctioneers would be sole agents for 2 months with the option to put the property into a second auction, but I cannot find that in writing in the agreement. How do we stand? Do we have any right to withdraw the property from the auction?

  26. Elaine JonesElaine Jones

    My parents in their 70s have just brought a house to rent to my son who is quite poorly to be near family, the estate agent took them to view but rushed them saying he had another appointment! My mum wanted the house because it’s a stones throw away from her, then lockdown happened as it was all going through. I had not seen the property at this time, I dad advise my parents to not buy because house prices would fall, after weeks of waiting they went ahead and because they were shielding did not go back. They brought it. I had only seen the fancy brochure they had given them, all looked well.
    I had to go and clean the property this week to find no double glazed windows as stated in the brochure in fact a few of them didn’t even open. I’m am so shocked that this happens in this day and age and really am disgusted what the estate agent has done to my elderly parents. Do you think we have any chance of getting help with this or at least getting to the point of who was most misleading?

  27. New Build BuyerNew Build Buyer

    We have been studying the house market since Autumn 2019 as we were hoping to move this year. We were interested in new build properties and so took note of their prices, location and features. Several of the new builds that either sold or were reserved over the last 6 months are now suddenly back on the market. I have no idea of the precise reasons the sales fell through, but can guess reasons such as mortgage offer withdrawn, or the lender is reducing the LTV percentage they are willing to lend. I am now seeing those same new build homes being advertised for up to 10% more than they were offered at last year. I don’t know who is suggesting this disgraceful move but if anyone tells me this isn’t because the developers and estate agents expect house prices to fall due to haggling then they are fools. If developers think they are immune to the market trends that ordinary house sellers are under then they are fooling themselves.

  28. Chris ClarksonChris Clarkson

    My sister had put in a bid on a house, she was the highest bidder and already had a mortgage in principle due to working for a financial advisers. My sister was being pressured in using the estate agents advisor to which she declined. My sister then received a call to say the vendor had accepted the middle bid due to that buyer using the in-house advisor and the mortgage go through quicker (my sisters mortgage was ready to sign).

    I then sent an email to the agent to say I was sure something untoward was happening and that an Ombudsman May be used to have a look into this. My sister the got a very angry call from the agent and I received responding emails upto 8.30pm! Hours after the shop had closed. Obviously there is more to this story but may I ask your overall opinion?
    My opinion is that the vendor was swayed towards the middle offer due to the agent (manager) receiving commission for this as she had told us this is what she would get if my sister were to go with there in-house advisor.

    Kind regards

  29. KatieKatie


    My house is about to go on the market but a cash buyer has shown interest in buying prior to instructing the agent. If I make the agent aware of this particular buyer prior to instructing them, and he goes ahead and buys it, am I still obligated to pay the agents fees?

    • HomeOwners AllianceHomeOwners Alliance

      Hi Katie, if you haven’t signed a contract yet then you are still in a good negotiating position. Explain to the agents that you are looking to use that you have already have an interested party and that you’re not looking to pay commission to the agent should this person go on to purchase your property. Make sure you have this understanding in writing.

  30. SusannahSusannah

    Hi, me and my two sisters inherited my parents property. After two chains clasped we have secured a neighbouring buyer who has a house on the terrace two doors down with no mortgage on it.
    He already has a mortgage secured and upon valuation survey the lenders pull out due to timbre infestation in the roof rafter, isolated damp caused we think by a missing roof tile and trees to the rear of the property which are mature and have not had any affect on the property structure.
    The property is old (not listed) so we are expecting some issues with valuation. Since then the estate agent has said the property is unmortgageable, she has asked of we want to readvertise the property as a cash buy only. And her in house broker who has been helping the buyer said it was pointless continuing without a proper house survey. Historically the buyer wasn’t interested in a survey as he just wanted to buy the property whatever state it was in as loves the terrace it was on. The buyer hasnprivately got in touch with me to say he still wants the property and will go halves for a proper structural survey with me to support any future mortgage applications. When I sent her a quote I received for a survey over a week ago she replied that the buyer is not interested in getting one done. This was after the valuation came back to say there were a few issues.
    I feel like she is out of her depth here it just cannot be bothered anymore.
    Me and the buyer are at a loss to know how to proceed

  31. SallySally

    I am selling a property, client A made an off we that I accepted,I engaged solicitor and so did she, I have since heard next to nothing since May, buyer B who wasn’t in a pose to buy but now is, made an offer 10 days ago via the estate agents but that offer was not passed on to me ( I found this out from buyer B who managed to get my number) I also found out that the estate agents haven’t been letting people view the property despite the fact I asked them to put it back on the market over 6 weeks ago. I am now engaging with Buyer B to by privately I am out of the six month period with estate agents and don’t want to pay them any commission. I don’t feel they have been, open, honest or timely. Can you advise please?

    • HomeOwners AllianceHomeOwners Alliance

      Hi Sally, this is certainly something we could advise you on, but we’d need a bit more information from you and our advice would take more than a paragraph replying here. Please consider becoming a member, we’d be delighted to help you with this issue.

  32. Richard WinkworthRichard Winkworth

    Hi There. Can you help. I’m buying a property and have been issued a “Notification of Sale” On this notification it states a price but does not state (anywhere) what the tenure is. It’s advertised FREEHOLD but the agent won’t in issue a “Notification of Sale with this fact written in. Is this normal?

    • Marianne ColeMarianne Cole

      Thanks Richard. You do need to get your conveyancer to look into this for you rather than the Estate Agent confirming this

  33. KateKate

    My daughter is trying to buy a house. Theirs is sold and there is no chain above or below.
    They have offered the asking price for a property.
    The Estate agent says that the vendor will only sell to a purchaser who has had taken mortgage advice from their own mortgage advisor.
    My daughter has a mortgage organised already.
    What can she do?
    The house is still for sale.

  34. SDTSDT

    What is the difference between a property being ‘sold subject to contract’ and to being ‘sold reserved’?

  35. Anna KieuAnna Kieu

    I feel we should have had some form of compensation ,th current system just doesn’t seem fair.

  36. Terry BrooksTerry Brooks

    We’ve been house hunting for a while and finally came across a house that seems just right for us., the agents have a disclaimer that the house belongs to a member of staff.
    We were the first to view it and immediately offered the full asking price and at the agents request supplied them with proof of deposit and agreement in principle
    Yet the “vendor” (a member of staff) has yet to accept our offer, they apparently insisted on allowing everyone who wanted to to view it and we were told the vendor will make a decision at the end of the week.
    Well the end of the week came and went and still no decision, we had contacted the agent via email and was told “a decision will be made tomorrow”, of course tomorrow came and went and still no decision.
    I strongly suspect they are holding out for someone to make a higher than advertised offer and push the price up, the house was not advertised as “offers over” or “offers in region of”
    Is this practice common or even legitimate, I’m reluctant to entertain such skulldugery marketing tactics especially from an employee at the agents

    • Sara HindSara Hind

      Hi Terry. If the vendor is an agent then they’ll know of lots of sales tactics. It’s quite common for vendors (whether they’re employees of an Estate Agent or not) to want to wait to see if more offers will come in. If you’d like to talk this through, please consider becoming a member where you’ll have access to the Home Helpline team who can chat through tactics with you. Best of luck in your hunt for a new home.

  37. FrankFrank

    My daughter has made an offer on a property and the estate agent has asked for proof of deposit, it is being gifted by me, and mortgage in principle before the vendor will take it off the market. I can understand a lender and solicitor asking for this but an EA, is this correct? They have claimed it is law.
    Does an EA have the right to ask for these. My belief is they are holding out/ delaying for a better offer
    Many thanks

    • Sara HindSara Hind

      Hello Frank. Estate agents shouldn’t accept an offer without confirmation that the prospective buyer has their finances in place.

  38. Danny PayneDanny Payne

    I had 2 estate agents selling my property. For arguments sake Agent no.1 client put an offer in which I accepted. I was then informed by Agent no.2 that the same person who offered on the property had first viewed the house with them and as such they (Agent no.2) are legally entitled to the estate agents fee and not Agent no.1 because its all about first viewing and not who does the offer ? The sale has gone through and I haven’t paid either as neither can agree on who should be paid. Both advised me to withhold payment originally until dispute is resolved but I am now getting pressure to pay them. I have tried to do some research on this, but I have found nothing – anyone aware of this rule or can point me in the right direction.

    • AKerrAKerr

      Hi Danny, we’ll need to take a look at your contract to advise on the options available. Do consider becoming a member and we’d be happy to assist you further!

  39. KPKP

    I am a first time buyer and trying to get on to property ladder to have a home for family of 4 in west Yorkshire area. My elder daughter 5 year old goes to reception school locally, so looking for houses around the school, over a year now. There is a high street sales agent who is very aggressive in selling properties, prefer buyers to sign up for surveying, mortgage adviser. If you do not opt, then you are not a preferred buyer irrespective of your financial eligibility. There are few instances where my self and my friend’s higher offers were not considered, eventually properties were sold for slightly lesser than what we offered. Its quite strange.
    Asking price 280,000£, My friend offered 283,000£ and sold at 282,000£
    Asking price 330,000£, I was pushed to offer 345,000£ and sold for 342,000£

    Also, they always lie to you and push you offer higher price, by saying ‘there is a higher offer than asking price, would you like offer higher’. I did speak to my friends who own homes across north, south and midlands, they say its not ethical on sales agent’s part to push buyers to pitch higher price than the asking price. Well buyer would not like to pay more if there is work required in the property, if not straight away. I would not mind paying more if the property is immaculate and does not need any work for next 10 years.
    This agent does not like if a buyer has good knowledge of the area and has done good analysis before putting an offer. Its a digital age information is readily available on internet.
    As a buyer its your right to challenge the asking price and reason behind the arriving at that figure.
    If a vendor is expecting higher price is understandable, but sales agent has to be reasonable in admitting that and not pushing buyers to quote higher.
    Such actions of agents are pushing the property prices up.

  40. MaryMary

    Sam, if no contract signed contact Trading Standards. If an estate agent comes to your home and you sign a contract you have 7 days before they can advertise unless you waive your right to 7 days to change your mind. I had this with an estate agent, although the price they sold it for was for a lot less.

  41. MaryMary

    This may already mentioned this somewhere on here, but there was article on MSN recently that people were buying new houses and being told by the companies selling (and their solicitors) that they could in a few years buy the leasehold for a couple of thousand pounds. Buyers, however, found that the companies who built the houses had sold the leasehold so when they came to buy the leasehold they were being asked for vast sums. The couple in the article were asked for £44,000.

  42. SamSam

    Had estate agent round for a valuation. She gave a price, said she might know someone interested, arranged viewing next day. Told the buyers £25k more than she had told us. They came, then back again next day, put in offer of full asking price.
    No paperwork received at all from estate agent. No contract received – nothing.
    No photographs/ no measurements taken/ no advertising/ no marketing.
    Not prepared to pay £8750 for her making one phonecall – where do I stand/ what can I do?

  43. Anne MAnne M

    My house is being advertised on Rightmove. By chance,because I’d emailed the link to family members, I found out that my property’s URL had been changed. This meant that anyone who had seen and liked the property and saved the original URL, would be taken back to a page which says the property has been removed by the agent and may no longer be for sale.

    I complained and they said it was likely to be Rightmove’s fault, that Rightmove were very slow to answer emails and phone calls and that it was probably a glitch.

    The next day the URL had been changed again. As far as I know it may have been changed every day, making it impossible for people who ‘like’ the property to return via the old link. This would severely hamper follow-up enquiries.

    This would seem counter-productive for the agent, except that just two weeks before, I had a flurry of low offers from one person who was keen to seal a deal before it went online. The agent who acted on the potential buyer’s behalf put quite a lot of pressure on me to accept or divulge what would be my lowest acceptable price. When I told him I wanted the house to exposed to the wider market the offer was immediately withdrawn – odd behaviour as the buyer had been so keen and could have left the offer on the table to see if anyone else wanted it.

    I suspect that at least one of the agents is acting in the interest of the buyer, or worse, they could be involved in a property-buying consortium together.

    I’d like to know if anyone else knows of similar experiences, and if there was any investigation into these peculiar happenings on Rightmove. Also any advice would be very welcome indeed!

  44. Christine ConnollyChristine Connolly

    My daughter and partner wanted to book a viewing on a house for sale. The estate agents have told them that they will have to have a appointment with their mortgage advisor cost £500 my daughter already has a mortgage in place and a certificate to prove it !! They only want to view the property there’s no saying they will like it this doesn’t sound right to me and the agent got a bit rude and said it’s what the vendor wants is this right ??

    • Sophie KhanSophie Khan

      Dear Christine,

      Thank you for your query. This would appear to be a breach of The Property Ombudsman Code of Practice for residential estate agents (a copy of which I have attached for your further reading by email), as such you may wish to raise a direct complaint. Do also have a look at the following reading from our website which you may find useful:
      Estate Agents’ Tricks
      How to complain about your estate agent: A guide for sellers

      I do hope this is helpful and I wish you the very best in taking this forward.

      Kind regards,

      HomeOwners Alliance Team

  45. Greg AntiochGreg Antioch

    Unfortunately there are some unscrupulous agents out there,
    However please do not tar us all with the same brush.
    We work extremely hard in a very competitive market and on a lot of of occasions people do genuinely get out bid.
    Make sure you speak to your agent and don’t contact dozens of them, just choose a couple of agents you get on with and who seem helpful then let them know what you need.
    If I don’t have what a client requires I will get off my backside and go and try to find it for them.
    Most of all stay focussed and make sure you are prompt for viewings then the agent will try their best for you.


  46. ErinErin

    We made an offer on a place we liked, at asking price (we didn’t want to mess around with haggling and it was cheaper than others we’d seen). We were told we were in top position as not many offer asking price… Next day the estate agent called to say they’d had lots of offers and what was the best we could do? Could we go a little higher? We withdrew our offer as we smelt a rat, we’d been unimpressed with this agency previously anyway. What do you know, 10 minutes later ‘oh the seller was disappointed, they wanted you to buy it’. Pfft

  47. Cristian P FrasinaCristian P Frasina

    I viewed a house and decided to put an offer in. The house needs work that I am happy to do, I actually offered more than the askink price. Next day, the agent calls to ask what is my top offer in case somebody makes an offer too. I mean what is that, are they not supposed to relay the offer to the seller, this is not an auction… So disappointed in some ppl and their approach

  48. MattMatt

    I’ve been told that my offer won’t be put to the vendor unless I see their broker to qualify that I have an agreement in place (which I do). The agent insists that I won’t be sold a mortgage but I have to bring id to show the broker. Is this right? It sounds ridiculous to me.

  49. Sue VogelSue Vogel

    You are offering excellent advice and I am glad you make clear that not all estate agents get up to these tricks!

    My own estate agents are nothing like what you describe. Our first attempt to sell failed (not at all the agents’ fault – we all believed that the buyers were as keen as mustard and were good for it, but circumstances overtook them and they had to withdraw). As a result I lost my perfect flat.

    The agents have sold my house again just over two weeks after it went back onto the market and for the price I wanted.

    I am a complete novice at this, and they seem willing to be a resource for all sorts of advice about house buying and selling. At present I am not optimistic about being able to find the flat I want, but they are optimistic enough on my behalf for that not to matter.

    (And yes, now and again the cynic in me whispers that that’s because they want their money…..)


    We agreed a sale and 3 days before completion the potential buyers pulled out citing tax problems and the severing of their relationship.We had in the meantime had a survey on a property we intended to buy and instructed a solicitor as well as having an asbestos survey on our own property done (at the request of the buyers who wanted a certificate indicating that no harmful asbestos was present .As you can imagine we were £1500 down at the end of th aborted sale .I feel we should have had some form of compensation ,th current system just doesn’t seem fair.

  51. ‘Glen at AP lawyers’.‘Glen at AP lawyers’.

    Trust in your own instincts when selling your property. Have three estate agents round to value your house before putting it on the market. Have a look on Zoopla, (achieved prices for houses in your postcode). Do a bit of homework, research your area and look for the benefits, for example, good schools, access to local shops, bus, trains and airports. This type of information can be invaluable when selling a property.

  52. SarahSarah

    I have been accepted an offer of 51k on a flat of offers over 50k. It was originally offers over 55k but it was reduced. It went up on right move as under offer. Now over Christmas it’s been put back on the market for offers over £55k again. Can this be done??

    I feel like I’m being really messed around!


  53. SmjamesSmjames

    I have just received a bill from a estate agents asking for £720.00 before I have signed a contract with them.
    They are coming to take phot’s on Monday,is this normal proctice.
    They say it is a marketing fee.

  54. emiemi

    I am very interested in buying a property through an agent the asking price for the property was around 500K after I made my offer the agent came back to me to say they had an offer for £530,000 then I upped my offer by maximum of 540k and then now the agent has come back to say they have an offer for £580,000 is there any way for me to ask the agent for proof of other persons offer because I do not believe that the other person actually exists and perhaps maybe it’s a trick to get me to increase my offer. do I have a legal right to ask the agent for proof of other buyers offers

  55. stevesteve

    We agreed terms with a landlord ‘in writing’ to take the lease of a commercial building and then the file was taken over by another estate agent, who then started to invite offers from other parties, knowing full well we’d agreed terms. We were then pitched into a competition with other people and lost the property as a result. Is this legal??

  56. david daviesdavid davies

    read the small print in the contract with the estate agent since there can be many items which require further explanation and may involve more costs where these items are considered to be needed What you are not told is often as important to you as what you are told

  57. SteveSteve

    Buying a property right now and finding that we are being pressured to speak to the agents mortgage advisor all the time. We have a mortgage in principle from our building society. I have no reason to get another quote. I don’t trust that the in house mortgage advisor and the agent aren’t in cahoots and it’s just a ruse to get as much money out of us as they can.

  58. steve muntsteve munt

    my buyer turned out to be a phantom to boost the estate agents property sold image.

  59. PatPat

    Agents are actually responsible on settling for a price that is best for the vendor as they are the people paying our commission.

    Our duty to any potential buyers is to be polite, honest and as helpful as we can. However it is often the buyers who present the myriad of problems surrounding house sales.

    Sorry but it’s the truth.

  60. Clare MenziesClare Menzies

    A tremendously helpful website! thank you.

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