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Cheated by the estate agent

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  • Cheated by the estate agent

    I sold my house over a week ago and I've just found out the estate agent who sold my house conned me for £5k. I'll try to explain exactly what happened.
    I had the house on for 235k, the buyer put the offer for £225. Agent rang me and told me and told me the buyer offered £222 and he also told me the buyer wanted to take £5k extra from the mortgage company so they would have money to spend on the house. I had no problem with that. Couples of days later I rang him and accepted the offer reluctantly. Then the survey was done and before the surveyor left I asked him if I had something to worry about and his reply was nothing major. But then agent rang me a week later and gave me the picture as if the house would fall down. He told me the buyer wanted to send builders to get a quote for repairs. I didn't have any problem with that so they came in and went back. Agent rang me and told me they've quoted 2k and I should drop the price or else sale would fall. Again I accepted this reluctantly because by then I had seen a house which I wanted to buy. Then close to the time of exchange he told me I should advise my solicitor to pay him his commission plus 5k extra which he'll be getting from buyer's mortgage company and then he'll pay the buyer.
    I went to pick up my post last week and asked buyer if they had received their 5k. They didn't know what I was talking about and when I explained to them the truth came out. They had offered 225k. They never sent the builders in.
    Since then I've tried to contact the agent to sort out the matter but they're just telling me different stories. First he told me he'll give buyer the cheque, then yesterday the manager told me at times they work in an "unorthodox" way.
    I would like your opinion of what would you do if you were in my shoes? I feel I've been cheated and I'm wondering how many other people are being conned by estate agents like these guys. Thanks

  • #2
    Re: Cheated by the estate agent

    This doesn't sound unorthodox it sounds criminal. Never mind complaining I would go to the police. Surely your solicitor knows what amount was on the offer and how much they paid

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    • #3
      Re: Cheated by the estate agent

      drhouse thanks for replying.
      The estate agent told me not to tell my solicitor about the £5k which I didn't. But the good thing is we've a record my solicitor paid them £5k+his commission. I also have the contract which I had signed with the estate agent which shows the percentage he's charge as his commission.
      I've already sent emails to Property Ombudsman and Trading standards. Would be calling police later today. I personally think estate agents like this have no right to be in this field.

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      • #4
        Re: Cheated by the estate agent

        What rotten agents. Please let us know the outcome.

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        • #5
          Re: Cheated by the estate agent

          Just to give you guys an update.
          This particular estate agent isn't a registered member of Property Ombudsman and neither they're registered with National Federation of Property Professionals. So I'm left with Trading Standards. I contacted them last night and they've advised me to write a letter to the estate agent and give them 7 days period. I did that last week and I'm yet to hear from the agent. I know they won't respond. It'll be a slow process but I'll see it through. I just want my money back and more importantly want something in place so either this particular agent goes out of business or at least this doesn't happen to others. Thinking of contacting local newspaper to make people aware.

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          • #6
            Re: Cheated by the estate agent

            If he told you not to tell your solicitor didn't you smell a rat?
            RICHARD WEBSTERwww.rwco.co.uk
            As a conveyancing solicitor I want to be helpful (England/Wales only) but can't accept liability for this.

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            • #7
              Re: Cheated by the estate agent

              Surely the Estate Agent has commited the crime of 'obtaining money by deception' or whatever it's called and, as such, it is very much a matter for the Police IMO.

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              • #8
                Re: Cheated by the estate agent

                Thanks for your input so far. Just wanted to update you all with what's happening right now. I contacted police last week and they've advised me as of now its a civil matter which they won't deal with. I've got their crime reference number if we need to involve police. I've received letter from the estate agent telling me they haven't done anything wrong so I'll be contacting Fair Trading Standards again today for the next steps.

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                • #9
                  Re: Cheated by the estate agent

                  Further update. Just spoke with the Trading Standards and the rep who I had on the phone has advised me I basically have no chance of winning this. He's arguing the people who've been cheated are the buyer and the mortgage lending company. He's saying the buyer should fight for this. But I don't get it. Aren't we both £5k worst off because of this estate agent? Also if that's the case why his other two colleagues didn't tell me this.
                  Anyway he's advised me he'll contact the local fair trading standards and they'll "might" come back to me within 20 days.
                  I just don't understand where do I stand on this now? No wonder why so many companies in this country run business in dishonest way and more often than not they get away with it.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Cheated by the estate agent

                    I am now totally confused. What was the offer you accepted - 225 or 222 and what then was the 2K deducted from - the 225 or 222. What amount was paid to your solicitor ? Why would your solicitor pay over an additional 5K without asking you questions ? If he asked questions why did he not say this was highly suspicious or suggest that the buyer was committing an offence in defrauding the mortgage company.
                    If the buyer did not ask for a 5K cash back then it is you the money has been taken from. If he did ask for a cashback and didn't receive it then it is he who has lost the money. If the estate agent did nothing wrong then ask them what happened to the 5K they got in addition to their commission.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Cheated by the estate agent

                      drhouse sorry to confuse you.
                      The original offer which estate agent put forward was 222k. But after the survey he told me the buyer wanted me to drop it down to 220k which I did reluctantly. After the sale when I spoke with the buyer he advised me their offer was always 225 and they never reduced it or asked for the price to be reduced. My solicitor had verbally asked me when he received the invoice from the estate agent if it was the right amount they were asking for (their commission based on 220k +5k). Buyer has advised me they never asked for any cashback so I strongly feel this 5k which the agent has got on top of their commission is my money. This is what I tried to explain to the Fair Trading Standards rep but it seems like he just didn't want to listen to me. Shall I call them again and discuss the matter further? Hopefully I'll be speaking with someone else today.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Cheated by the estate agent

                        So if I have this right the buyer paid 225K as he expected to do so. You got 225K and thought the buyer was getting a cash back of 5K. You paid this to the agent to pay to the buyer - can I say that I have done cash backs before but they have always gone through legal channels and I have NEVER known it to be done in this way.
                        Anyway, had the agent paid this to the buyer you would have been ok with this but the money appears to have disappeared into the agents pocket which I see as taking money by false pretences. However, I know nothing about the law I'm afraid so can't advise you there.
                        When they invoiced for their commission what was the 5K described as ?
                        Also it is now compulsory for all agents to belong to some form of redress scheme so they are conravening trading standards if they are not a member of one of the schemes.
                        Don't give up.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Cheated by the estate agent

                          drhouse many thanks for another detailed response.
                          Yes I would had been happy if the 5k was given to the buyer. But it seems like the buyer never had a deal of any cash back with the estate agent.
                          You've raised a very good point with regards to the agent being registered with someone. These guys aren't and that's one of the things I would be highlighting to the Trading standards. Another thing now that I've done some research on this. By law they're meant to forward all the offers in writing but I never received any paperwork from this estate agent.
                          As for what the 5k was for, I don't know at this stage. I've asked my solicitor to forward me a copy of the invoice he had received.
                          Thanks once again and I definitely won't give up so easily. Getting money back isn't my only aim, I want the local community to get to know the facts about this particular estate agent.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Cheated by the estate agent

                            Was this done to help the purchaser con the mortgage company regarding the deposit paid on the property?

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                            • #15
                              Re: Cheated by the estate agent

                              have you written a strong worded letter to them explaining that your going to complain to watchdog about them? a good name n shame never went a miss.

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