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Nov 28 2014

28th November 2014 - Rolfe East Property Column


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Beware Of Double Agents

We are not exactly talking James Bond territory here, but there is a story to tell involving Rolfe, Rolfe East and a ‘Goldfinger’ agent – but probably not quite as well dressed, glamorous or violent, it is also set with regards to Land Registry statistics rather than in Monte Carlo!

Anyway, when agents - sales estate agents that is, look at the registry data and compare records the more desperate ones are known to make historic, and unwarranted, claims on agency fees – and this recently happened to us.

Essentially, Agent Rolfe East and A.N.Other agent were both asked to value a property, but the owner was not yet ready to sell.

In the meantime - and before the owner had decided whether to sell or not - A.N.Other agent visited the address with a potential buyer who they had on their books. They were let in by the tenant and showed the client around the property, without the owner’s permission, and as the owner had neither instructed nor signed contracts with Goldfinger the viewing constituted bad practice at best and at worst was trespassing.

Rolfe East were subsequently instructed to sell the property, and duly set about the task with our usual professionalism. Once this sale was achieved the sellers, to their surprise - if that is at all the appropriate word - discovered that double fees had been claimed, rightly by us, but also by A.N.Other agent for the service of selling their property!

So, it wouldn’t make a good film, but the clear messages here are:

Make sure you have valid Terms & Conditions in place.

Always choose a good, local, independent, established agent - such as 007 Rolfe East! - who advise on what really is best, has earned its solid reputation and prides itself on excellent customer service, is not interested in cutting corners but is interested in building a relationship, knows the cycles, peaks and troughs of the market, and who belong to National Approved Schemes, i.e. Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA), National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA), and The Property Ombudsman (TPO).

Watch out for agents carrying white cats!

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