The Complainant was a successful Seller who wanted the Agent to reduce their commission fee (which he had withheld up to the point of my Review) as he considered that the service he had received had not warranted it. The Seller raised issues about viewings (saying that the Agent had left the Property unlocked on four occasions), a lack of updates and feedback, marketing costs and bias towards the Buyers. The Agent acknowledged that during one viewing a staff member had left a patio door unlocked, but had apologised profusely for their error.
Concerning the security issue, there was no evidence to indicate that the Agent had left the Property unsecured on any occasions other than that which they had acknowledged and apologised for. The Agent’s detailed progress notes also demonstrated to my satisfaction that they had sought to make regular contact with the Seller to provide feedback and keep the marketing under review. The marketing costs had been confirmed in writing to the Seller as payable by him and had subsequently been deducted from the Agent’s commission fee. In any case, the Agent had paid those fees as a gesture of goodwill and I was not persuaded by the Seller’s unsupported account that he was verbally told of a different arrangement for these fees. My examination of the written evidence demonstrated that the Agent had passed on queries and requests from the Buyers, but had not acted in a way that suggested bias towards them, nor attempted to coerce the Seller into any decision that was his alone to make.
Given the Agent’s complete failure to produce or act on any in-house complaint handling process, I supported that part of the complaint and made an award of £100 for the inconvenience and aggravation subsequently caused to the Potential Buyers.
Had the Agent been unable to produce detailed progress notes and other written records, it is likely that a different outcome would have occurred in this instance.