Agents should have code

Brokers are calling for a code of conduct for estate agents to prevent them pressuring clients into using their inhouse financial advisers.

Intermediaries have voiced concern that estate agents are telling home movers that they are unable to guarantee the sale of their property if they do not use inhouse advisers.

Rod Murdison, proprietor at London-based Murdison and Browning, says: “I had a client who was being poached by an estate agent and this is happens all the time. Luckily she came to me first leaving the estate agent red-faced. I don&#39t understand why estate agents don&#39t have a code of conduct.”

One IFA became so fed up with the problem he decided to set up a DIY property sales company to assist homemovers without the services of an estate agent.

Jim Gillespie, principal at Hartlepool-based Independent Financial Services, says: “We have all seen similar examples of bad practice. Not only do I write business that I would have lost to estate agents&#39 mortgage advisers, I now also pinch house sales from them.”

Andrew Forsey, director at Andrew Forsey Financial Services, adds: “I have spoken to solicitors who say it is illegal to make it a condition that the client sees the agent&#39s own adviser. There needs to be a code of conduct.”

Peter Bolton-King, chief executive of the National Association of Estate Agents, says: “This type of behaviour is against what the NAEA stands for. Unfortunately, in any profession you will get the odd bad egg. If any of our members were caught pressuring clients they&#39d be eligible for expulsion.”