I don’t know ANY agent based on the CDS who charges more than 7.25% infact if they are not in the network they all charge 5%. Some of the biggest commissions earn’t were by the old system of the spanish runners when they asked the seller “how much do you want for the sale” their logic being if some foreigner came along they could ask a high price and anything over the amount the owner wanted was theirs. Unfortunately, this practice has been used by some of the english agents but it happens mainly in rural areas.
Yes, this system of runners is very much alive today and in rural areas pre-dates the commission based estate agency system as we know it.
Many of the properties offered by British agents claiming to be buyer’s agents are in fact supplied through runners. These agents often claim that they only charge the buyer commission. But in reality the runner is charging the seller a large uninvoiced commission.
In my experience runners are usually government workers who have the opportunity to meet the public in their job and are free to work for themselves in the afternoons. Their moonlighting income is always undeclared to the taxman.
A purchase involving one of these runners will almost always involve black money and their presence in an operation is often the only reason that black money is demanded by the seller.