Go compare! Well actually, we’d rather you didn’t…

To (mis)quote a well known advertisement featuring one of Wales’s most recognisable TV ‘stars’ – no, not me on this occasion – the advice given to all potential vendors and purchasers should be just that.  When enlisting the services of an estate agent to either sell their property or as conduit for purchasing a house, it is not essential for someone to sign up to their in-house package deal of solicitor, mortgage-broker, EPC-purveyor, chiropodist and undertaker.  Yes, a solicitor will be needed for all conveyancing matters and a mortgage may be required in order to allow the property to be purchased, but nowhere is it recorded as a legal requirement that when using a particular estate agent, you are bound to use ‘their’ people.  An independent estate agent should be able to recommend a legal firm, offer an opinion borne from experience on various mortgage deals, arrange an introduction to an independent mortgage advisor and indeed may have an opinion on suitable footwear and appropriate funeral hymns; but the decision lies with the individual.  In the modern era, all this information is freely available and it is certainly beneficial to seek advice and then compare what is on offer on the open market.  Phrases such as, ‘our packaged deal’ invariably translate to, ‘it will cost you’ and ‘exclusive to us’ does have an element of exclusivity in that, ‘all your money will come to us, nobody else’.