Quarter of home movers feel pressured into purchasing additional services

A consumer group has alleged that home movers are being pressured into paying for additional services to avoid losing out on their desired property.

According to the Homeowners Alliance, a quarter of survey respondents who had used an agent during their transaction process stated that they had felt pressured to use an in-house service offered by the agent.

Whilst 55% of this proportion felt under pressure to purchase a mortgage from their estate agent, 49% felt pressured into purchasing conveyancing services.

The proportion was slightly more modest where surveys were concerned, with 41% of home movers feeling pressured by their agent to purchase them.

In response to these findings, the consumer group is now urging the government to stop estate agents from offering services to both parties partaking in a property transaction.

It states that being able to offer the buyer services whilst acting for the seller presents a conflict of interest, and stresses that enforcement of existing regulation regarding referring fees should be improved at a minimum.

Commenting on the survey results was Paula Higgins. The chief executive of the consumer group stated: “The great majority of estate agents are upstanding and a vital part of the home buying and selling process, but sadly a small number may be encouraging their clients to use their services for all the wrong reasons, not to help smooth the process but for financial gain” says Homeowners Alliance chief executive Paula Higgins.

“Any estate agent that favours buyers who use in house services are doing a disservice to the seller as well. Sellers can also lose out because estate agents have an incentive to sell a property to a buyer who is taking out a mortgage or life insurance with them rather than one that isn’t”

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