Marcia Whyte, who ran Executive Estates in Brighton Road, South Croydon, failed to disclose to a potential vendor that she was seeking to acquire his property, and also failed to disclose her personal interest to a potential purchaser Whyte intended to re-sell the property to.
Had the transaction proceeded Whyte stood to make a secret profit of £65,000.
In addition, the estate agent received a deposit from the potential purchaser, even though doing so is unlawful where an agent has a personal interest in the property, even when that interest has been duly disclosed.
OFT director of consumer protection Mike Haley says: “Estate Agents must immediately disclose to prospective vendors and purchasers that they have a personal interest in the sale of a property they are marketing. This is specifically to prevent them from making a secret profit, as Marcia Whyte would have done in this case. We take seriously any complaints of an estate agent potentially misleading consumers by failing to disclose a personal interest.’