For help, advice and discussion about stuff not related to aviation. Play nice: no religion, no politics and no axe grinding please.
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By AndyR
Example 1: showed interest in a property last week. Five further phone calls to chase a viewing. We had taken the effort to drive there to make sure we were happy with the area and the exterior. Further phone calls yesterday trying again to get an appointment to view. Got a call back this morning to let me know an offer had been made last night so it was off the market! Why then was I unable to get a viewing a week ago?
What astonished me even more, there was no politeness about it. No asking can we keep your details on file, sir? Can I just check that we are looking for the correct property type? Are there any other areas or villages you would consider? Nothing.

Example 2: another 40 mile round trip to check area, exterior, etc. Different agent. Called up to arrange a viewing. Is your house on the market? Yes. Is it sold? Not yet. Oh, we can’t help with viewings until it’s sold. Really? So I sell, then due time pressure I’m forced to buy a property that’s not ideal, or I rent, so I’m not able to move for up to 6 months anyway! FFS!

Example 3: similar to number 2, won’t allow viewings until you have an offer on your current property, but we can send you a video tour....

All those I’ve spoken to have not really come over as friendly, or professional. Or give a stuff :evil:

I know I could do better. Maybe I will.
By avtur3
Just two years ago we made a house move that involved selling two properties in order to buy one. That’s what happens when you move from the North West of the England to the South East.
The communication problems we encountered with estate agents, solicitors and other vendors/buyers involved in the chain were unbelievable.
What we experienced first hand was the estate agent “managing” communication in what they “thought” was their vendors best interest”. Sometimes that was us, other times it was others involved in the chain. From an agent point of view, they only get their commission when the property is sold so they gear themselves “to what they think might be the quickest most profitable sale”. However, that doesn’t take into account the shenanigans of all the other parties involved who also think they are looking after their own best interest.
Estate agents only get their money when a sale competes, but how they decide how to back winners I really do not understand.
Two years down the line from our own move we’re now supporting our “in-laws” who are making a late in life move (both 70) they were intending to downsize from 4 beds/3reception rooms but are moving to 5 beds/4 reception rooms!
Contracts exchanged last Friday for completion this Thursday but the way our stupid system works nothing is actually set in stone until the minute of completion.
The problem is that the people most likely to complain about the system are those negotiating a sale, but having waded through that quagmire of a sale they are the same people who are most likely to walk away (with a sense of relief) and not complain.
AndyR liked this
@AndyR Have you not added a mahoosive garage to your house to keep your 'essential tools'?
We're moving house next Thursday.

Had some estate agent dodgyness. We received an offer on the house. It was about 5% less than asking, so not bad, but we didn't immediately accept.

A few days later we got a note through the door from a new interested party saying that they were really interested in the house, but the agent wasn't letting them book a viewing as we already had an offer on the table. I sent a text to them and we set up a viewing between us.

At the end of the viewing they immediately offered us £15,000 over asking. We've exchanged and they're moving in on the 16th.

(And we're moving into an AirBNB for a month while our new house is built. But that's a different rant!)

I don't know quite what the agent was playing at. But if it wasn't for my buyer's tenacity, we'd be down quite a lot of money.
For agents, an offer in the hand is likely to complete sooner than a possible offer coming in two weeks after a viewing. The agent’s key metrics include time to complete - anyone in business knows that money in the hand now is far better than the promise of money in the future (even if the future cash is a bigger number).

TBH the cr*p that estate agents deal with every single day doesn’t appeal. Even were I the world’s straightest and best, all the others would make each day a misery.
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By Morten
Become a chain free buyer.

About 6 months ago, this was possible assuming you had reasonable equity in your existing house and a decent income. It is well worth talking to a good mortgage broker to see if this is still feasible in today's market.

I was able to remortgage the existing house to a 75% interest only mortgage and use the cash thus liberated as a deposit on a second 75% interest only mortgage on a new house, thus enabling me to be a chain free buyer.

You need to be able to afford the payments (interest only mortgages with today's rates are very cheap) and the total indebtedness needs to be acceptable to the bank.
But the attention you get from the agents when you have no chain and a letter of agreement in principle to the mortgage you need is better than as a chain buyer - ditto the acceptance from the seller which could save a percent or 2.

You will need to temporarily pay the second home higher rate of SDLT, but you get that back if you sell your first property within 3 years.
And, again, when that sale happens you will be a chain-free seller and potentially make a quicker/better sale.

And, as importantly, you buy yourself time and can plan your moving dates with complete flexibility.

(Act 2 of my story is still to be played out, though. Sale of former home in North London now restarting after lockdown...)
Last edited by Morten on Thu Jul 09, 2020 2:26 pm, edited 2 times in total.
@AndyR I think you need to find an Estate Agent with more "old school" staff. Pretty sure my father-in-law wouldn't be handling potential customers like that!
seanxair, AndyR liked this
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By Irv Lee
johnm wrote:The answer to the question is that it is too easy, no qualifications required and a booming market in the South of England.

hmmmm.... I think you are confusing them with po*******ns pre COVID - you''ll get the thread locked.
Morten wrote:Become a cash buyer.

I think this is sound advice. We're going through the process of house hunting, and we've found generally that the first questions we're asked are "have you got the cash ?" rather than "what kind of property are you looking for ?". I think it's simply the case that house sales are falling through and lenders are tightening their wallets, and so the best prospects agents have are in selling to people with cash in the bank.

Luckily, we're in that position.

On the other side of the coin, whilst the agents we used to sell our property were very useful in many ways, I found their actual ability as salespeople to be somewhat lacking. When I was asking for feedback after viewings I mostly got piffle. For example, we'd rebuilt the kitchen prior to sale, but as we were selling and not living there (and this was prior to having tenants) we hadn't put white goods in (I think there was an oven and hob and that was it). They gave us feedback like "They expected to see good quality fridges etc in the kitchen". To which the response should have been "Fine. If you make an offer I'll buy you a fridge.". I mean, this was a drop in the ocean financially considering the value of the house. But no, they saw this as a lost sale. Disappointing.
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By AndyR
Flyin'Dutch' wrote:@AndyR Have you not added a mahoosive garage to your house to keep your 'essential tools'?

Just as neighbours from hell moved in :cry:

Morten, I’d agree but don’t have the cash fluidity to do that. If we move it will be upgrading. And I was a late starter.

I am seriously thinking about starting an estate agency on the side though :)
By avtur3
AndyR wrote:
Flyin'Dutch' wrote:@AndyR Have you not added a mahoosive garage to your house to keep your 'essential tools'?

Just as neighbours from hell moved in :cry:

Morten, I’d agree but don’t have the cash fluidity to do that. If we move it will be upgrading. And I was a late starter.

I am seriously thinking about starting an estate agency on the side though :)

The chancellor has just announced that the stamp duty threshold is raised, with immediate effect, to £500,000 until end of March next year.