Carnivals, Festivals and Linklove: what I have been up to this week

by Chris Lang on December 26, 2008

If you liked my Household survival tips, you will definitely enjoy the Festival of Frugality – there is a wealth of money-saving tips and many interesting articles. My post about 8 proven ideas to save on fuel is there too.

Another carnival to check out is the Homesteading Carnival over at A city on a hill. I’m there too with the tips on how to prepare to disasters and emergencies. The rest of the posts there are much more domestic and peaceful though.

A post I wrote about 7 recession food strategies has made it to the Carnival of everything credit. As the name implies, you will find there a lot more advice on how to create better financial habits.

Rich life carnival has featured my article about preparation for disasters and emergencies. Check it out, and while you’re there, have a look – I found some good articles about personal finance there.

Peter Mericka wrote an interesting article about auctions. Nowadays they seem to have been around forever, but the truth is that 30 years ago auctions were almost unheard of and most of the houses were sold via private sale. Read how real estate agents made auctions popular and why in Peter’s article here.

Another revelation – when real estate agent recommends a conveyancer, you never know – he might be getting paid for this referral. According to the latest story at Australian Real Estate blog, conveyancers are willing to pay the estate agents up to $150 for a referral. Guess who they must be passing this cost on to – yea, I bet it’s us, the clients, home-buyers and home-sellers.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Australian real estate December 26, 2008 at 6:47 pm

Kickbacks don’t just get paid to conveyancers either, but to all manner of services and trades,from repairmen to pest inspectors.

Of course this doen’t just happen in real estate but rather is found wherever economic activity of any kind takes place.

There are no kickbacks at our site. In fact quite the opposite, we help people save thousands so they can easily afford the entire conveyancing cost.


The Realist December 27, 2008 at 11:25 am

Payment for referrals are no new revelation. I would hardly think that someone would be silly enough to load the fee they charge for receiving a referral from an estate agent. The consumer could easily check by going to the supplier to compare prices between the referral fee offered and to that of what the supplier quotes them directly.

This is no different to how lenders operate with mortgage brokers. Lenders offer their loans and if the loan is referred by a broker the broker is paid by lender. This is also true for the insurance industry. What’s all the noise about? Nothing new there! Maybe from a recent posting on Mr. Mericka’s blog he obviously cant compete and resorts to vent himself on his blog.

I have read Mr. Merika’s blog and I am somewhat skeptical on his outlook on the real estate industry. On closer examination he is a lawyer that not only represents buyers and sellers but also acts as an estate agent as well as a mortgage broker. I feel his views are very skewed and offer no balance. On one hand he dismisses referral payments yet his business arranges loans for people of which you would expect that his business or himself would be paid a commission or referral. This is somewhat of a double standard.

Reading further into his blog I find his comments very abrasive against nearly all in the real estate industry. His comments infer that no one is allowed to operate a business to make a profit nor are they free to decide how a business would spend its money. It’s simple, the business or bank either pays a referral or it keeps it and puts it into the bottom line. These organisations simply have decided to divert marketing dollars from activities such as advertising to a referral structure. Nothing evil there, its business.

Find something more interesting, like people who steal from their clients such as lawyers from their trust accounts. Now that a controversy….

All the best for the new year,

The Realist


Chris December 27, 2008 at 3:40 pm

Thanks for the comment! I like people with strong opinions 🙂

Call me naive but I had no idea about conveyancers paying referral fees to estate agents, I still don’t think it is a normal way of business. And the consumers can not easily check, as you mentioned, because conveyancers’ fees are different, I have dealt with 3 conveyancers and paid 3 (significantly!) different fees. If you approach the conveyancer, they have your details on file and you would have to send someone else to get a different quote.

Re mortgage brokers, I am sure that the bank finds a way to pass the mortgage broker fee on to the consumers.


Remortgage Broker February 14, 2009 at 12:00 am

Sounds like some interesting thoughts here. The UK remortgage market has been tough of late and we would suggest people consider the following before plunging into a remortgage;

What remortgage deals are available and what should I be looking out for?
What rate of interest will my product carry?
How much will I save, if anything, on my new mortgage rate?
What is the standard variable rate (SVR) that the mortgage will revert to?
What are the new monthly repayments?
What is an annual percentage rate (APR)?
Is there an early repayment charge?
Does the mortgage carry any arrangement fees?
How long will the whole remortgage process take?

Best wishes

Vivienne Connery (UK Remortgage Broker)


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