UK

Estate agents to charge potential buyers £30 just to VIEW a property

Estate agents to charge potential buyers £30 just to VIEW a property in attempt to weed out time-wasters and nosey neighbours

  • Estate agents plan to charge £30 for a viewing of a property to stop time wasters
  • It aims to stop people booking a slot and not showing up to the property 
  • Hasn’t ruled out higher charge for sought-after and expensive properties 

Estate agents plan a £30 charge for those viewing a property to stop people booking a slot and not showing up as well as nosey neighbours. 

The new website, ViewRabbit, will send a link to prospective buyers and tenants where they can pay the fee to guarantee the viewing. 

The charge is currently £30, but the website has not ruled out a higher charge for highly sought-after or more expensive properties, The Times reported.  

Founder Michael Riley got the idea after seeing estate agents become fed up with the number of people who skipped viewings after reserving them. 

Estate agents plan a £30 charge for those viewing a property to stop people booking a slot and not showing up through new website ViewRabbit, which sends a link to prospective buyers and tenants where they can pay the fee to guarantee the viewing (file photo) 

Ryan Woolfenden, the marketing director, said that out of 12 viewings for a sale, seven of the prospective buyers didn’t show up. 

He said that it was often because they have bought a property, but didn’t tell the estate agent they wouldn’t be viewing the property.  

The website says the company also aims to weed out those people who aren’t as serious about the property as other prospective buyers, leading to them not being able to see it because it was snapped up before they got their viewing. 

It also says that priority bookings are guaranteed, so an estate agent can’t cancel the booking of another potential buyer if someone else has made an offer on the property and it has been accepted. 

However, not all viewings have to be paid for. There are still some viewings on these properties through ViewRabbit which are free to book, but these can be cancelled — for example if the property is sold or let before they get to view it — any time and are not guaranteed.   

Last month, the number of homes sold hit the highest level on record as buyers dashed to complete deals before the full stamp duty holiday expired, according to official estimates. 

Over three times as many sales were concluded compared to the same month last year when the property market was suffering from lockdowns, data from HMRC said. 

On a seasonally adjusted basis, which strip out variations associated with particular times of the year, the revenue body estimated that 198,240 homes were sold in June — 219.1 per cent higher than June 2020 and 74.1 per cent above that in May 2021.  

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