As independent estate agents in Bury St Edmunds, Newmarket and Cambridge, at April Homes we are proud to avoid the hard sell. Instead, we prefer to engage with our buyer and seller clients by offering a highly personalised and transparent service. As a result, we were shocked to read about the case of a couple who were allegedly denied the opportunity to view a property they were interested in purchasing simply because they already had a mortgage arranged in principle with an alternative provider.

Originally shared on the Money Saving Expert forum, the story revolves around a couple who had arranged their mortgage and conveyancing services prior to beginning their property search. The agent marketing the property the couple had identified decided to prevent them attending an open house viewing as the couple were not planning to use their add-on services. Frustratingly for the couple, the fact that they had a mortgage in principle, an offer on their current property and a conveyancing quotation with which they were happy meant that they were in an excellent position to move.

It is not unusual for estate agents to ask questions of potential purchasers to establish their ability to afford the property and move forward, and to assess the likely status of any chain. However, as Gareth Scourfield-Thomas, founding partner of April Homes, observes, this agent’s policy is somewhat extreme and bordering on the unethical. ‘Of course, as responsible estate agents we are always keen to understand a potential buyer’s position in order to provide the best possible service to our seller client,’ comments Gareth. ‘We would, though, never prevent a potential buyer from viewing a property simply because they had had the foresight to arrange a mortgage or engage a conveyancing solicitor themselves. In our eyes it simply underscores the importance of working with an estate agent who believes passionately in acting in everyone’s best interests, and especially those of the seller. If I were looking to sell my property I would be far from impressed if my estate agent were ruling out viewings because the buyer had shown initiative and planned ahead.’

April Homes are estate agents in Bury St Edmunds, Newmarket and Cambridge, so if you’re looking to put your property on the market, why not contact us for an initial discussion? For us it’s as much about the people as the property…