Following the sale of the property, the son of the Seller, Mr F, accused the Agent of failing to disclose a conflict of interest. Specifically Mr F asserted that a conflict of interest had arisen as a result of another department within the Agent’s offices acting on behalf of a neighbour by submitting a planning request to the local council which had resulted in lower offers being received for the property.
The Agent’s contemporaneous progress notes recorded feedback from the 29 different potential buyers who had viewed the property and from the buyers themselves. Whilst four of the potential buyers had referred to the neighbour’s planning application as a negative aspect, 19 of the potential buyers sighted the condition of the property in relation to the asking price as the only reason why they were not prepared to put forward an offer or had
made a much lower offer. The buyers themselves were also recorded as taking into account that the property required a complete renovation when putting forward their offer which the Seller had accepted.
Given the contents of the Agent’s detailed viewing records, I was not persuaded that the neighbour’s planning application was the reason why higher offers were not received. Nor did I consider that a conflict of interest had arisen, as this would have only occurred if the neighbour was involved in the transaction relating to the property. I did not support the complaint.
This case emphasises the importance of maintaining contemporaneous and comprehensive records, which include feedback received from potential buyers. Had thorough records not been undertaken by the Agent, a different outcome may have occurred.