28 Nov 2017
An agent has been banned from listing a property on Rightmove after entering into a joint agreement with another agent who is not on Rightmove.
Steve Morris & Son, in Sutton Coldfield, was told that it had been attempting to re-sell space on Rightmove – something the firm totally rejects, saying this is far from the case.
Steve Morris & Son lists on OnTheMarket and Rightmove, paying the latter over £1,000 a month.
A second agent in the area – whom Steve Morris & Son has asked not to be named – came off Rightmove earlier this year because of the cost, and now lists only on Zoopla.
This agent was asked to carry out a sales valuation at a property, along with some bigger, multi-branch agencies.
The vendor chose to proceed with the independent, whose For Sale board was erected a few days later.
The vendor wanted their property on Rightmove and Steve Morris & Son’s name was put forward by the other agency.
The two agencies had previously worked together when both were on Rightmove, and were happy to collaborate again.
On this occasion both agencies signed a joint agreement with the vendor. The property was listed on Rightmove by Steve Morris & Son, and on Zoopla by the other agent – who, it was agreed with the vendor, would hold the keys and carry out viewings.
However, James Morris of Steve Morris & Son said there was then a turn of events: “It appears that one of the bigger agents in town who carried out a valuation, miffed that they did not get the instruction and having pestered the vendor every day for two weeks, saw the listing on Rightmove under our name.
“A complaint was made to Rightmove.
“Rightmove carried out a ‘mystery shop’ on our listing and as agreed with the vendor, we forwarded the contact details to the other agent for them to arrange the viewing.
“Rightmove contacted us and informed us that we were in breach of our terms and conditions that sharing a listing is not allowed and the property must be removed from Rightmove. Oherwise we would be suspended from any advertising on Rightmove for 28 days.
“We reluctantly removed the advert.
“After explaining the situation to the vendor, we were given a set of keys to carry out viewings.
“We emailed our Rightmove rep of this change and informed him that we would re-listing the property on Rightmove as we believed the issue to have been resolved.
“However, he replied saying we could not do this.”
The rep said that this was because there was “a dual instruction with two estate agents and these are not allowed by one agent advertising it on Rightmove”.
The rep said: “It is a re-selling of the Rightmove service to another agent who has an interest in the property sale.”
James Morris told EYE that the situation was “absurd”: two small local agents had been jointly instructed and were happy to collaborate.
The agent said: “It means no agent can accept instructions from a vendor if they wish to instruct two agents, one of which may not advertise on Rightmove.
“Effectively, Rightmove are pricing out the smaller agents and are now dictating that they cannot work jointly with any other agent who happens to be on Rightmove, potentially killing that business.
“I find this unfair and it surely goes against good business practices when a third party can dictate how successful your business can become.
“This, combined with the crazy membership fee system Rightmove have in place, meaning that one agent could be paying considerably less or more than a similar agent in the same location, is just pure madness.”
A spokesperson for Rightmove told EYE: “Our terms and conditions state that agents cannot re-sell Rightmove services to other agents, so when an agent adds a listing to Rightmove that agent must handle all the enquiries that they receive via Rightmove and they must have the direct relationship with the vendor and be instructed or jointly instructed by them.
“Sellers who instruct a Rightmove agent to list their property can choose to instruct additional agents who are not on Rightmove if they wish to also market their property elsewhere.”
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