Saturday 20 February 2010

Referral fees - are they actively destructive?

We are currently finding the firms that rely heavily on estate agent referrals are incredibly slow - it can take literally weeks to get a draft contract out of them, and on more than one occasion we have offered to draft the contract for them, based on the information in the Home Information Packs

Assuming they are not being lazy or incredibly incompentent (though ... - no, don't go there!) I can only think they are victims of their own successful marketing; in other words, that the referring agents are so keen to get a couple of hundred quid referral fee - guaranteed and, presumably, up front - that they would rather refer the case to someone who does not actually have the resources to handle the work, rather than lose the referral fee

How this can conceivably be in the best interests of their client, the seller, is beyond me. It is also not in the interests of the buyer or the housing market generally

If (and it is a big "If") my limited, recent experience is widespread, and if (another big "If") the reason is as I have surmised, this, surely, provides very strong support for those who wish to ban referral fees, at least where they are being used in such an unsophisticated way as to distort the whole market

Have any other conveyancers had similar experiences?

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