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Estate Agents!!!

(41 Posts)
mollie Fri 29-Jan-16 09:24:25

The word barracuda comes to mind. We've decided to relocate but are still fine tuning our plans. I phoned an agent two days ago in the area we're thinking of moving to, discussed our plans and declined their offer of helping to sell ours. We wanted to go down the on-line agency route. This morning I've had two random calls within 15 minutes of each other from agents in my area, connected to that first agent (a nationwide chain), who have potential buyers and want to sign us up!

TWO! In 15 minutes! Do I believe they have buyers waiting and sign up with pound signs in my eyes and commit us to thousands of pounds in fees or hold out and stick to our plan? I know they have to find business and earn their fees but don't they deserve their reputations!!!

Teetime Fri 29-Jan-16 10:01:36

They can be dreadful I agree. We have moved often and we usually seek out a small owner run business- they seem to give the best price and service more so than national chains. I would try an on line one though next time like Purple Bricks. We had an online conveyancer once - Shoesmiths - they were brilliant and a good price.

mollie Fri 29-Jan-16 10:30:54

We're going with Sarah Beeney's Tepilo online agents Teetime. They seem far more civilised, get a fee regardless so aren't desperate to force your hand which is worth a lot in my book.

Pittcity Fri 29-Jan-16 10:48:08

We have tried and failed to sell our house twice in the last five years. We get regular calls, emails and letters from agents saying that they have people who want to buy our house. If that is true why didn't they contact the independent local agent we were using?
All our househunting is done online, so as long as your property is advertised there I am sure that no agent is better than another when it comes to selling - organising to view is another matter!!

Nonnie Fri 29-Jan-16 11:12:54

Having moved so many times I conclude that they are all rubbish. DS is now selling and buying and I gave him my opinion but it transpires the one he is buying from is actually very good. The one he is selling with has had to be chased and chased and it seems impossible to get all the spelling mistakes on Rightmove changed.

I have some sympathy with Millie's agent though as surely that means they are simply doing their job?

When another DS bought without direct he wished there had been an agent who would have chased the solicitors to get things moving. It took forever and we think it was down to their laziness and not being chased by someone who wanted their commission.

Badenkate Fri 29-Jan-16 11:57:14

If there are no problems, agents always seem like a waste of money. Several times when we've moved though, problems have come up and then we've been very thankful for our agents - although I do like to use small local businesses. Has anyone had any experience of how on-line agents handle problems?

mollie Fri 29-Jan-16 12:18:46

I just think, like anyone trying to sell you something, they aren't entirely honest and, being me, I find it disappointing. But I am reminded of one estate agent who was brilliant for me when a deal was falling apart so perhaps it's unfair of me to tar them all with the same brush.

As for the online agents Badenkate, I'll let you know in time (I hope) but fingers crossed it's all just good news!

Welshwife Fri 29-Jan-16 12:25:38

One thing Agents are able to do is to check out the financial status of the potential purchaser - when we sold my mother's house and the ins at the time could be difficult the agent was able to tell me where the man worked and that he had a good record and would have no difficulty at all with his mortgage application - which was absolutely right. He also did as I asked him and sold to people who wanted it as a family home rather than a buy to let. He was a local man and was worth every penny.

Ana Fri 29-Jan-16 12:36:42

Agents do have to rely on the information the prospective purchasers give, though. I was told initially that my buyers had exchanged contracts on their own sale, which turned out not to be true. The next lot said they had the money in the bank - who knows whether they did or not because they pulled out anyway...hmm

maggie273 Sat 30-Jan-16 09:52:31

I have just put my house on the market with Purplebricks having had 4 estate agents quote me from 4 to 12 grand to sell my house!!! PB seem to be very slick and efficient you don't pay if your house does not sell and if you use their solicator you don't have to pay them until completion,

Nonnie Sat 30-Jan-16 09:57:44

maggie I've never paid any of them before completion. I hope PB manage to put a boot up the other EAs, about time. Will be interesting to hear how you get on.

I do think you have to choose carefully because different agents are better for different properties. One agent which only deals with very expensive properties tried to convince DS to sell through him, he didn't. He has chosen one whose stock of properties is similar to his own.

If I were selling I would seriously consider an Internet agent because nowadays we all look on the web for new houses, not in EA's windows.

Bluesmum Sat 30-Jan-16 10:03:38

We are about to put our house on the market and I have been advised not to use online agents as you still have to pay a significant fee, but usually end up doing the majority of the work yourself, which is fine if you have the time and knowledge, nerves of steel and a thick skin! Whilst good agents do seem hard to find, I am told when they are good they are well worth their fees. I suggest you use your local Streetlife forum to sound out recommendations. I did have a strange experience after using Rightmove to get an estimate of our house value - I then got two phone calls from strange sounding companies I had never heard of before, both telling me they understood I wanted to sell my house and offering their services! I gave them short shift I can tell you! Just say I am not looking forward to the next few months, it is 39 years since we bought this house and things have certainly changed since then!

Cath9 Sat 30-Jan-16 10:05:13

Anyone in the Herefordshire region want to sell, I have been looking for a place so that my poor son doesn't have to have me any longer.
I didn't want to leave where we were when my husband died but it was a case that he insisted as we were renting a barn that was 27 mins from the nearest shop.

luluaugust Sat 30-Jan-16 14:42:56

Try using an Estate Agency that has a Chartered Surveyor on site (RICS) at least somebody has had to work for a qualification to do the job, many of the staff that come for valuations or house views have no qualifications, although sometimes a lot of experience. A small, local independent Estate Agency can also work well as they have often been in the area for a long time, although many have been taken over by the big chains now. House moving is supposed to be one of life's worst traumas and unfortunately it so often is.

Luckygirl Sat 30-Jan-16 16:05:58

I have found estate agents to be completely useless.

For a start I am a photographer and their rubbish photos offend my sensibilities!

One agent advised us to take our house of the market as a sign of good faith to a potential buyer who had put in a good offer - I was not happy about doing that and said that we should keep it on the market and let this guy just take his chance against anyone else who might show an interest or make a better offer. Under a great deal of pressure from the agent we did take it off - and the "buyer" did not buy it - he had several houses dangling in the air with his offers and did not complete on ours. The end result of that was that we had to take out an expensive bridging loan to buy the house we wanted to move to - and we had to pay the * agent his enormous fee when eventually he did sell it.

My friends nearby have been trying to sell their house for a year - and it is mainly because of bad advice from the agent. All the neighbours can see that but the agent keeps telling them to put a ludicrous price on it - why? - who knows? And he is targeting the wrong market - blindingly obvious to everyone around.

Like solicitors they seem only to spring into action when you contact them to find out what is happening - there is a brief flurry of activity then they go into hibernation again.

There is nothing that they do that you could not do yourself.

Ana Sat 30-Jan-16 16:09:24

I'd rather have an Agent show people round my house while I make myself scarce than do it myself - as I live alone I wouldn't be comfortable and would probably put off potential buyers by pointing out all the work that needs doing...

Nonnie Sat 30-Jan-16 16:35:47

We sold our last house during a downturn in the market and didn't get any offers until I told the agent I wanted to show people round. The next two both made offers and we accepted the second. The sale went through very quickly! I think I am better at it than they are!

Gaggi3 Sat 30-Jan-16 19:08:56

I not sure if it is still the case, but until fairly recently estate agents needed no professional qualfications.

J52 Sat 30-Jan-16 19:18:39

Mumsnet has a thread on Purple Bricks it might be worth looking before committing.

Our agent seems to be doing a good job in keeping us informed of our impending sale. She is talking the buyer through the process and keeping us informed.

Things have changed since we last sold, everything seems to be more open and finances have to be verified.

However, my maxim is ' trust no one'!


annsixty Sat 30-Jan-16 19:19:52

I don't think they do. They are basically sales men though a skilled negotiater is worth his weight in gold once you have someone interested in your property.

Ana Sat 30-Jan-16 19:22:42

I'm not sure how finances can be verified, J52. Estate Agents can't very well approach prospective buyers' bankers for details so do have to rely on what people tell them - which isn't always the truth!

I'm afraid I have to agree with your maxim when it comes to house selling/buying...unfortunately.

ellenemery Sat 30-Jan-16 20:58:37

My eldest son is looking to move to Nottinghamshire. Today he had three appointments in Newark. They drove the 100 plus miles but arrived slightly early so popped into the estate agents to pick up some details of the properties only to be told the second property they were to view had been sold earlier in the week. When they arrived at the first appointment no estate agent arrived, they were let in by a neighbour. I hope he is not charging the client much for his services.

Catlover123 Sun 31-Jan-16 14:35:00

purple bricks does not get a good write up in Mumsnet, but Housenetwork does. Anyone had dealings with them?

J52 Sun 31-Jan-16 19:23:11

Once an offer is made the prospective buyer has to provide evidence as to where the money is coming from. This is to satisfy money laundering rules.

We know exactly where our buyers are getting their money from and how much mortgage they require.


Ana Sun 31-Jan-16 19:26:18

I don't think that's the case in England and Wales, J52. Are you in Scotland, by any chance?