Fee avoiders beware

MIL Outsource, a monitoring, investigation and litigation service recovers a £4000 fee for a Basildon agent, from a vendor who found their own buyer.

A monitoring, investigation and litigation service is demonstrating its worth in the property market by recovering lost fees for agents.

The Basildon agent was told by the vendor to stop marketing the property in January 2020. In June 2020, MIL Outsource identified that the property had sold to a buyer introduced by the agent. MIL Outsource then arranged for a solicitor to intervene and in February 2021 their client finally recovered their £4000 fee.

Based in Truro, Cornwall, MIL Outsource is currently expanding its team following demand for its service by estate agents across the country.

Estimates suggest a staggering £400 million per annum of revenue is lost to fee avoiders, representing a significant amount of unaccounted revenue by hardworking estate agents*.

Amber Golding MIL
Amber Golding, MIL Outsource

Amber Golding, Sales Manager at MIL Outsource explained, “Fee avoiders are a major source of pain for estate agents. Often, an agent is none the wiser that a private sale takes place behind their back to escape paying agents fees. With industry research indicating that huge sums of cash be un-invoiced every year through, the problem appears widespread across the whole UK.”

Since launching in 2019, MIL Outsource is now monitoring over £45 million worth of potential fees from withdrawn instructions. Exponential growth is expected in 2021 due to increased awareness of the unique, pay up front service now being rolled out nationwide.

The key to the effectiveness of the service is simplicity. All an estate needs to do is submit withdrawn instructions to MIL Outsource, made easier by the fact that most industry software systems already have in-built reports.

Fee avoiders are a major source of pain for estate agents. Often, an agent is none the wiser that a private sale takes place behind their back.”

Golding continues, “As soon as we receive a withdrawn instruction, the goodwill payment is sent within days and our bespoke Property Monitoring software takes over. We then check each property, every day for at least two years. As soon as a sale is identified the land registry report is downloaded to identify if the buyer was introduced by our client. When a fee is established, the real benefit of having a one stop shop, no collection no fee process from invoice through to litigation kicks in. Unlike some estate agents that monitor such recovery themselves, our clients save precious time and more importantly do not risk adding insult to injury by increasing the loss of the unpaid fee with extra court and legal costs.”

“When we began exploring the concept of an estate agent fee recovery service, we were literally dumbfounded by the prevalence and acceptance by some members of the public towards fee avoiding. It’s often seen as an acceptable way for vendors to negotiate a better price. Buyers rarely see a problem in saving a few thousand pounds because the agreement is between the agent and vendor. Buyers rarely feel any sense of loyalty to a specific estate agent. Without taking any risk themselves, they typically consider there is nothing to lose and a promise of a lower price if they make the offer directly to the vendor.”

The service is good news for agents who have been restricted by Covid viewing criteria over the past year. MIL Outsource will pay up to £10 as a goodwill advance for every withdrawn instruction, regardless of whether a fee is ever identified.


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