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Connells launches internal probe over ‘conditional selling’ allegations

Estate agency giant says it is 'very concerned' over allegations that staff at a branches have required potential buyers to use its mortgage services before passing on offers.

Nigel Lewis

connells

Connells has begun an internal investigation after several independent mortgage brokers accused branch staff of taking part in ‘conditional selling’ when buyers are told their offers will only be forwarded to a vendor if they use one of the estate agency’s services.

The allegations have been revealed by trade title FT Advisor, which has spoken to several brokers who have made allegations based on eight cases, all involving a single but unidentified Connells branch.

It is also reported that there has been an increase in the number of independent mortgage brokers seeing clients who are told they must use an estate agency’s in-house mortgage or insurance broker in order to make an offer.

And a Facebook discussion page for brokers includes allegations about 38 other instances of the practice.

Statement

Connells has released a statement saying that it is “concerned to hear the allegations of conditional selling being made against eight of our estate agency branches in our 1,250 strong branch network. This is not company policy and any breaches will be investigated, with any necessary action taken.

“Although the number is low, this of course does not minimise the seriousness in which we are taking this and if we do receive a customer complaint directly it will be thoroughly investigated in accordance with our complaints procedure.”

Propertymark says it is acceptable for agencies to pre-vet potential buyers particularly when there are multiple offers on the table, but that an agent cannot refuse to pass on an offer unless someone is taking their services.

Read the FTAdvisor article in full.

February 28, 2022

2 comments

  1. “concerned to hear the allegations of conditional selling being made against eight of our estate agency branches in our 1,250 strong branch network. This is not company policy and any breaches will be investigated, with any necessary action taken.

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