Greedy intermediaries working for affluent clients in the London property market are beginning to become a significant problem, a leading firm in the capital has warned.
Simon Barnes of H Barnes & Co says the growing army of bag carriers, gofers, runners and personal house hunters who work on behalf of rich clients seeking rental or sales properties in the capital are beginning to ask for such huge fees that deals are beginning to fall down.
Barnes says this kind of arrangement has been around for some time but that “more recently the number of requests and the amounts expected, in fact demanded, has risen dramatically”,” he says.
“It has reached such an unrealistic level that it is preventing deals being done and leaving the would-be buyer disappointed.
One example shown to The Negotiator featured an American flying in from Los Angeles who wanted to rent a super-prime apartment for a month but whose intermediary asked for 20% of the rent to clinch the deal.
The amount of money involved was considerable and Barnes says he walked away from the deal because it was ‘unethical and greedy’.
Other examples include a high-ranking Middle Eastern Royal and one high profile American A-lister, neither of whom secured the properties they wanted despite offering acceptable prices.
“The sole reason being that their advisor’s fee demands could not be met,” says Barnes (left).
“How honest they were to their clients and whether they can be considered to have acted solely in their client’s best interests is unlikely.”