Estate agents warned about commission

Posted: 21 Jul 2008 13:11:36 GMT

            Property News - Estate agents warned about commission

Cash-strapped sellers who want to avoid paying large sums to third parties may want to consult the Ombudsman for Estate Agents, a body which settles disputes between estate agents and consumers.

The latest report from the ombudsman has warned that estate agents who are asking for a fixed fee for selling a property, rather than asking for a percentage of the sale price, are clear about what they are intending to do.

Ombudsman Christopher Hamer said that some estate agents are operating under a fixed fee basis but are not making it clear to their client.

He explained: "If a seller has signed a contract on a fixed fee basis I will not rewrite that contract but if there is evidence that some confusion has been built into the process by the agent I am likely to make an award of compensation against the agent."

Mr Hamer went on to say that to avoid future disputes from sellers and buyers, "the fee must be openly described as fixed irrespective of the price finally achieved for the property."

In his report, the ombudsman pointed out the recent case of a complainant who was confused over an arrangement fee and was duly awarded a refund of £235.

Sellers concerned about estate agent fees do have the option to sell their property privately.

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