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Viewing Same House Through Different Agents

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I saw a house last weekend through one agency, I wanted to view it again this weekend with my daughter but the agency didn't have an opening in their diary and the vendors were away. The property was on Rightmove with more than one agent so I rang another agency and arranged to view the property. The first agency then rang me to say they had arranged with one of the family to be there on Saturday to show us around. I told him I had now arranged a visit via another agency at which he became very assertive and said I couldn't do that as I had been introduced to the vendors via their agency and the vendors would be liable to pay their fees and the sale would go through their agency even if we did view it through a second agency. So, I rang the second agency and told them and they confirmed that they could not show me the property as I had already seen it via the first agency.

Frankly, all we want to do is view the property this weekend. My question is can agencies determine whether or not you can view a property through other agencies? If they refuse to do so does this count as a cartel? What are the rules, if any?

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I saw a house last weekend through one agency, I wanted to view it again this weekend with my daughter but the agency didn't have an opening in their diary and the vendors were away. The property was on Rightmove with more than one agent so I rang another agency and arranged to view the property. The first agency then rang me to say they had arranged with one of the family to be there on Saturday to show us around. I told him I had now arranged a visit via another agency at which he became very assertive and said I couldn't do that as I had been introduced to the vendors via their agency and the vendors would be liable to pay their fees and the sale would go through their agency even if we did view it through a second agency. So, I rang the second agency and told them and they confirmed that they could not show me the property as I had already seen it via the first agency.

Frankly, all we want to do is view the property this weekend. My question is can agencies determine whether or not you can view a property through other agencies? If they refuse to do so does this count as a cartel? What are the rules, if any?

you shouldnt have said anything. You can view through all of them if you wish. The vendor is on with multi agencies and will pay a multi agency fee when the sale completes so their fees would be paid anyway. You dont have to worry about one agency arguing with another. They will tell you what they have to keep their own lives simple but I wouldnt abide by it, any issues are between them and the vendor.

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you shouldnt have said anything. You can view through all of them if you wish. The vendor is on with multi agencies and will pay a multi agency fee when the sale completes so their fees would be paid anyway. You dont have to worry about one agency arguing with another. They will tell you what they have to keep their own lives simple but I wouldnt abide by it, any issues are between them and the vendor.

In retrospect, I shouldn't have, but I didn't want them to think I was doing anything untoward. I've no idea what the rules are, if there are any, and I certainly don't want the vendors to be involved in any arguments with rival agencies, etc. It would be nice to know if there are any rules/regulations governing this area, or whether it's just agencies being 'courteous' to one another.

As we are travelling quite a way to see this property and it has to be at the weekend because of work commitments my feeling is it should be up to the buyers and vendors to determine convenient times to see a property rather than what fits in with an agency's diary.

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You can view through both EA's, but now EA number 2 knows that you have been introduced by EA number 1, then they will not want to waste time with the viewing because only EA1 will get paid.

They may well be paying multi-agent fees, but only EA1 will get the money for introducing the buyer first.

Only way round this is to get your other half or a friend to arrange the viewing with EA2 and plead ignorance. If you do go ahead and purchase, then just go through EA1. Have your partner or friend to tell EA2 that they are not interested.

It would not really matter to the vendor unless one EA is cheaper than the other.

With regards to rules/laws etc.

When the vendor signed up with an agent(s), then the agreement states that if the buyer is introduced by that agent, then they get the commission. Even after they have been instructed not to market the property should this happen the vendor will still have to pay that agent if the buyer was introduced by them.

This is a way to stop vendors doing deals with buyers behind the EA's back. Some still try and some get away with it, but if the EA checks up and finds out, then they can obviously take the vendor to court.

With regards to viewings. The vendor probably requested the EA to carry out accompanied viewings, so you would need to do this around the EA's diary. Just the same when you are buying a property, you will need to meet with the solicitor around their diary even if it is not suitable to you.

In an ideal world the vendor will be happy to carry out viewings should the EA not be able to, but again this gives the vendor and buyer an opportunity to arrange a deal behind the EA's back.

Basically the EA is protecting their own interests and their responsibilities.

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You can view through both EA's, but now EA number 2 knows that you have been introduced by EA number 1, then they will not want to waste time with the viewing because only EA1 will get paid.

They may well be paying multi-agent fees, but only EA1 will get the money for introducing the buyer first.

Only way round this is to get your other half or a friend to arrange the viewing with EA2 and plead ignorance. If you do go ahead and purchase, then just go through EA1. Have your partner or friend to tell EA2 that they are not interested.

It would not really matter to the vendor unless one EA is cheaper than the other.

With regards to rules/laws etc.

When the vendor signed up with an agent(s), then the agreement states that if the buyer is introduced by that agent, then they get the commission. Even after they have been instructed not to market the property should this happen the vendor will still have to pay that agent if the buyer was introduced by them.

This is a way to stop vendors doing deals with buyers behind the EA's back. Some still try and some get away with it, but if the EA checks up and finds out, then they can obviously take the vendor to court.

With regards to viewings. The vendor probably requested the EA to carry out accompanied viewings, so you would need to do this around the EA's diary. Just the same when you are buying a property, you will need to meet with the solicitor around their diary even if it is not suitable to you.

In an ideal world the vendor will be happy to carry out viewings should the EA not be able to, but again this gives the vendor and buyer an opportunity to arrange a deal behind the EA's back.

Basically the EA is protecting their own interests and their responsibilities.

I can see why an EA wants to protect their own interests but that is their concern not mine. We're not trying to do a deal behind anyone's back merely trying to view a house at a time convenient to us and as EAs seem reluctant to be open all weekend when one would have thought most people were available to view perhaps they should be a bit more adaptable about viewing times. As it is one of the extended family is going to show us around the house so if the EA were worrying about missing out on a potential sale through some backhanded deal by us surreptitiously viewing one of the properties on their books they can clearly rest easy as they are already aware of the viewing.

With regard to meeting a solicitor, if one has got that far clearly it is of greater importance to be more flexible about meeting, that is hardly the case simply for viewing a house, which would appear to be more about the EA's convenience than potential buyers.

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I can see why an EA wants to protect their own interests but that is their concern not mine. We're not trying to do a deal behind anyone's back merely trying to view a house at a time convenient to us and as EAs seem reluctant to be open all weekend when one would have thought most people were available to view perhaps they should be a bit more adaptable about viewing times. As it is one of the extended family is going to show us around the house so if the EA were worrying about missing out on a potential sale through some backhanded deal by us surreptitiously viewing one of the properties on their books they can clearly rest easy as they are already aware of the viewing.

With regard to meeting a solicitor, if one has got that far clearly it is of greater importance to be more flexible about meeting, that is hardly the case simply for viewing a house, which would appear to be more about the EA's convenience than potential buyers.

I understand your point about viewings and flexibility and agree with you 100%. I personally find it odd that so many EA's are unable to be flexible especially when sales are not easy to come by.

The large EA's will only carry out block viewings at times and days to fill their diary. I know many people that want to see properties, but are unable to be available when the EA is. I assume the EA's believe that if a buyer is really interested, then they are the one's that should be flexible. Maybe that is just the attitude that many EA's have and is one of the many reasons why so many people do not like us or put us all in the same grouping.

Personally I do viewings when a buyer/tenant want to view. I often lose what bit of social life I have by doing this in the evenings or weekends, but when you need to earn a wage you sometimes have to do what it takes.

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Going back to your original post - the first EA said they had arranged for a family member to be there, so what's the problem? Just accept that viewing...

I have accepted that viewing. If you had read my original post properly you would have seen that I said "My question is can agencies determine whether or not you can view a property through other agencies? If they refuse to do so does this count as a cartel? What are the rules, if any? " That is what my post was about the first paragraph was just giving background.

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I understand your point about viewings and flexibility and agree with you 100%. I personally find it odd that so many EA's are unable to be flexible especially when sales are not easy to come by.

The large EA's will only carry out block viewings at times and days to fill their diary. I know many people that want to see properties, but are unable to be available when the EA is. I assume the EA's believe that if a buyer is really interested, then they are the one's that should be flexible. Maybe that is just the attitude that many EA's have and is one of the many reasons why so many people do not like us or put us all in the same grouping.

Personally I do viewings when a buyer/tenant want to view. I often lose what bit of social life I have by doing this in the evenings or weekends, but when you need to earn a wage you sometimes have to do what it takes.

Can you open up an office in Surrey, you sound as if you have the right ideas. I do know of EAs who open all weekend but unfortunately none of them seem to do so in the area where we're looking for a house.

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:D

You may find the agents that open all weekend either deal with top end property that gives them huge commissions and are usually located in tourist areas like the Mumbles here in Swansea.

The others that are flexible and open long or late hours are like us. Small agents that are trying to survive against the big chains with big bugets in an industry that nobody likes, so we generally have a very small market share which means that we do not have that many viewings booked certainly in the case of sales.

We rely on lettings to keep us going.

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Around here, the top end agents are the ones least likely to be open on Sundays. In fact, Savills & Knight Frank aren't even open Saturday afternoons!

Many of our selling clients are not thrilled about having viewings on a Sunday anyway, although they get a bit keener when they become desperate. ;)

It is very difficult to find decent weekend staff that are able to do much more than open the front door, so we much prefer all viewings to be accompanied by a full-time member of staff. In our particular case we are a very small operation so taking days off during the week is not a practical solution to being open all weekend. Hence we operate 8am-6pm Mon-Fri and 9-4 on a Saturday, but Sunday is a day of rest. Obviously if a particularly serious buyer can only view a property on a Sunday, particularly if it happens to be empty, we will be as flexible as possible. But the thought of sitting in the office all of Sunday on the off chance that someone (often from out of the area, and yet to put their own house on the market) to call in, does not fill me with glee.

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