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Conditional selling ‘will only get worse’ and could ‘erupt into open warfare’ ‒ Star Letter 18/08/2023

  • 18/08/2023
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Conditional selling ‘will only get worse’ and could ‘erupt into open warfare’ ‒ Star Letter 18/08/2023
Each week Mortgage Solutions and its sister title, Specialist Lending Solutions, pick the top comments from our readers.

This week’s first batch of comments were in response to the article: Brokers warn conditional selling becoming more prevalent as Connells under fire

Chris said: “I believe I had a similar situation with another estate agent, where my client had put an offer in at the asking price but the client accepted a lower offer. It seems the in-house mortgage adviser couldn’t verify my client’s mortgage figures despite me producing a decision in principle from a well-known lender and my client not needing to see their in-house adviser.

“The agents were clever enough not to put anything in writing but they couldn’t tell my client, who had nothing to sell, why his offer had been rejected.”

MsAngeline added: “Connells did something similar to us in 2021. This was when it was very hard to find properties to buy in our area – they said that they would add us to a preferential list and invite us to viewings if we had an agreement in principle from their in-house mortgage provider.

“This was despite having a mortgage in principle already agreed. Their argument was that they needed to know that we could afford the house themselves. I hung up and will never use them.”

Peter Calloman said: “I’ve seen this [conditional selling] with another firm that has a tame solicitor panel. Conditional selling used to be practiced by Barclays years ago until the law changed.

“If a purchase goes belly up as a result of conditional selling using an in-house solicitor and it goes wrong then Connells better have good professional indemnity insurance (PI) as they could go out of business overnight.”


‘It will only get worse’

disqus_8fOMMy2pIO continued: “I possess a recording of a call between a Connells manager and my clients, who essentially made out that the decision in principle (DIP) we submitted to them as verification of proceedability on an offer could not be accepted by them, as they had not produced it.

“Their in-house adviser had to sit down with them and prove affordability to Connells. The comment that he had been in the business 30 years and had seen loads of dodgy documents was dropped into the conversation to undermine our documentation, and also that ‘his client would not be happy’ if he did not do this.”

They added: “He obviously thinks an adviser with an exemplary record of 32 years in an multi-award winning network is a shyster, rather than contacting our office and discussing any issues with the adviser concerned, with professional courtesy.

“Another Connells branch did not pass on an offer to the vendor until 24 hours had passed, in trying to unhook the clients dealing with us, and again their insistence of ‘being verified’ by their in-house adviser.”

disqus_8fOMMy2pIO said: “If they badmouthed solicitors like this, insinuating they are dodgy then they would be sued out of existence, but to Connells, advisers of other networks are seen as fair game, even though they fail to understand there may be well established client relationships over many years in the background.

“Just respect that and do your role, sell the house, and move on to your next customer – not trying to get everything in-house and totally cheesing everyone off, plus rapidly becoming the pariah of the financial industry.”

They added: “The parent body Skipton Building Society also need to realise what their errant child is getting up to, and yank the lead.

“With the decline in house sales, one can predict it will only get worse, and at some point, a red line will be crossed as to their actions and erupt into open warfare.”


Later life lending picking up in second half of year

Another comment came from: Legal and General blames rising rates for lower activity numbers in H1 results

Andy Wilson noted: “So, not just me whose later life lending figures were down over 50 per cent in the first half of this year then.

“Thank goodness this has now turned, and things are picking up nicely. This is largely from clients I started up with over a year ago who now realise things may not get better for some time.”


The comments here are from our readers and do not necessarily reflect the views of Mortgage Solutions and Specialist Lending Solutions.

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