Now OFT attack dogs go after estate agents

2 March 2009

Giddy from their latest victory against the major banks, the guys and gals at the Office of Fair Trading are gearing up to have a good rake around in the murky world of house purchasing – a good idea at the moment, as nobody seems to actually buying or selling all that many houses.

There can be fewer things more frustrating than buying a house – the only one we can think of is trying to launch a dustbin into outer space using only bicarbonate of soda and vinegar as rocket fuel.

The OFT are promising to explore every facet of the whole tooth-gnash-causing business, including the cost of estate agency fees and what you actually get for your money, the relationships between estate agents and mortgage brokers (who are increasingly one and the same) and the proliferation of estate agents.

A full report is promised by the end of the year, yes this one, 2009AD. Which in itself is astonishing as these things usually drag on and on until everyone involved has had enough and just agrees to give up.

Expect changes in the law and an easing in the house-buying process by about 2020 though – once everyone involved who is portrayed in a negative light has had their say in court and the dragged the arse out of the whole thing.


  • Martin
    >Needs some updating. Offers over £270k. Rustic charm, must view.
  • The B.
    Honestly though, can you see it happening? Putting legislation in place to govern estate agents is like wiping down eels so they're not so slimy, chuck ‘em back in and they'll soon slime up again.
  • -=Mike H.
    It's good to see estate agents losing their jobs, I mean, what do they actually do for their money? They make a lot of money putting pictures on the wesite and talking utter twaddle.
  • Darren W.
    We decided to use a local estate agents, we spent about £1500 on fees, from the day of sale we had 3 offers within 4 days... then they all fell through, finally we got a sale another 10 days later and it took over 10 months to finalise everything... there wasn't even a chain!!!, it turned out that when we put an offer on a house we had to pull out because the first 4 offers on ours had dropped, when the last offer came through we carried on with the sale... Luckily for us the house we was buying was 5 doors down and 4 months later the owner comes knocking on to find out why its taking so long when there is no chain, turned out the Estate agent hadn't told them that the offer was back on... when we challenged this pathetic incompetency they told us that this sale wasn't worth much and that they had been losing money on the length of time it was taking... Apologies but £1500 fees sold within 10 days and no mention on rightmove or local ads, christ not even a board went up!!! they said it was cost of calls and marketing!!!! Hope they do investigate and allows to claim back on purchases over the past 2 years or something!!
  • Steve
    >Needs some updating. Offers over £270k. Rustic charm, must view. High ceilings, VERY light and airy!
  • Ian P.
    Current vendor very keen to sell, already had many offers (some of which were'nt physicallly possible). Possible planning permission for 100 houses and your own satelliet rocket launcher complex. More info provided it has'nt sold in the next 2 months or when we can get off our big fat arses and be bothered do some research.....
  • Lumoruk
    Paid £2k in solicitor fees to arrange to buy a house then the day before she had to sign she decided she didn't want to sell...result £2k out of pocket what a joke! Estate agent said they have had enough of her and will not be representing her again, whatever!
  • Noghar
    NOW the OFT is going after estate agents? When the market has slumped and the buggers are being fired in droves? Where was the OFTduring the 90s and 00's when the feckers were ripping eveyone off and stitching their customers up? And why didn'the OFT have anything to say when the government started farting about with house-purchase legislation, ending up with an even worse system where buyers can still be screwed for costs when a seller arbitrarily changes their mind or honest sellers can be gazundered by speculators? Oh but now we have to have a home pack instead with an energy rating. What a load of useless toss that is. rant rave foam gnash etc.

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