Mystery surrounds the identity of an estate agency which has been accused of charging a seller five years after the home was listed.
Paul Telford, who now runs a For Sale By Owner website, has issued a statement making the allegation but without revealing the name of the agency.
He says his home was on the market back in 2011 with what is described as “a local high street agent in Doncaster.”
He says that as a result of no interest from buyers and what he calls “a lack of pro-active effort from the agent in question” he withdrew his property from the market.
Five years later, Telford sold the property himself but says he then received a letter “out of the blue” requesting payment from the agent he had instructed initially.
Telford’s statement says: “Having not paid the £500 cancellation fee due to the lack of service when originally selling his house, the agent had kept Paul on their books and despite having no hand in the successful sale years down the line, decided to charge Paul due to the sole agency agreement restrictions in the original contract.”
The statement then describes this as an “archaic and backhanded tactic” which led him to start his website, OkayLah.
“We fully appreciate that there are plenty of great estate agents out there but unfortunately, there are also those that continue to give the industry a bad name and more often than not this means the consumers experience of selling a property is a negative one – as was the case for myself” he says.
OkayLah launched at the back end of 2017 and completely by-passes all kinds of agents, charging £35 or £65 for different packages.
It requires sellers to upload their own descriptions and photos, which stay on the website for as long as they wish, and included in the higher fee is a For Sale or To Let board.
Sellers are advised to check the Land Registry for recent comparable sales in order to arrive at an asking price. The website advises: "Every home is unique, so the best person to decide how much your property is worth is you."