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House selling and time wasters

(70 Posts)
Vintagejazz Thu 11-Aug-22 21:39:33

We're selling a house at the moment and we spent ages getting it ready today for a viewing at lunchtime tomorrow (specifically requested as they would be travelling down the country on Fri evening and would miss the open viewing on Saturday)
We were informed at about 6.30 that they've now decided to travel tomorrow morning and will just come along to the open viewing next week.
I told a friend who sold recently and she rolled her eyes said she had a few people waste her time like this when she'd bent over backwards to accommodate them.

Do people not realise the work that goes into getting a house viewer ready, especially when b there's people living in it?

Vintagejazz Fri 12-Aug-22 09:10:42


Good luck Vintagejazz, I hope you have a selection of offers to choose from after your open day.

Thanks. Fingers crossed.

Vintagejazz Fri 12-Aug-22 09:15:25


I think these house buying programmes on TV have encouraged people to make ridiculous and often insulting offers. They view properties way above their maximum budget in the hope of getting a massive reduction.

I agree. Even when people can afford the asking price and admit the house is worth it they're still determined to offer a really low price and resent having to pay anything close to the asking price. They never seem to realise that the vendor is just a normal citizen who needs to move for whatever reason and can't do so if they don't get the proper market price.

Witzend Fri 12-Aug-22 09:16:28


My sister is selling, and she's had similar problems. She has a video of the house on the EA's website, along with a clear description and a floorplan, yet still people say the rooms are too big, or the location is not what they are looking for etc, when everything is very clear before they get there.

It's infuriating, and because of the location of her house she thinks that people treat it as a day out.

It used to infuriate me when viewers e.g. ‘wanted bigger bedrooms’ or ‘a bigger garden’ - and I found out that the EA had brought them round without their even having had a proper look at the particulars.

Eventually I told the EA that this sort of viewing was wasting everybody’s time - hers, theirs and mine.

I also put my foot down over the EA phoning to say, ‘I have a Mr and Mrs X here - OK to bring them round in 20 minutes?’

I had to state firmly that I would always need a minimum of 2 hours’ notice - I am not a tidy type!

Razzamatazz Fri 12-Aug-22 09:29:03

This thread has made me reflect on how stressful it was. I sold a railway station and sometimes the first question would be 'what time are the trains', as though I was the Fat Controller!

Charleygirl5 Fri 12-Aug-22 09:46:30

I think if I ever sell this house I will leave it in the hands of the estate agent. They are being paid enough to do very little. The last person to sell her's did that and she and her family moved out each time there was a viewing. At least she did not have to listen to the rude comments. It is at least 6 years since a house was sold in this cul de sac.

Sparklefizz Fri 12-Aug-22 10:22:06


This thread has made me reflect on how stressful it was. I sold a railway station and sometimes the first question would be 'what time are the trains', as though I was the Fat Controller!


Cabbie21 Fri 12-Aug-22 10:28:34

This thread makes me realise we were ideal buyers. Our vendor must have been pleased. DH even offered the asking price, though we did negotiate it down after the survey.
I just wish we had much less stuff than the previous owner, as the house looked more spacious, because less cluttered.

Grammaretto Fri 12-Aug-22 10:31:08


This thread has made me reflect on how stressful it was. I sold a railway station and sometimes the first question would be 'what time are the trains', as though I was the Fat Controller!

That's wonderful if infuriating Razza

We had a time waster once who admitted she was. "I am not interested in buying but my house is similar so wanted to see what you were offering for the price in order to know what to ask for mine".

My neighbour left theirs in the hands of the EA, went on holiday for a week, leaving it very tidy, and it was sold by the time they were home.

Good luck Vintagejazz

Nannarose Fri 12-Aug-22 10:39:50

I remember one harassed and poor 'weekend father' telling me that on wet days he would take his little one to look at houses where he thought there were children. They would usually start to play together, he would be offered a cup of tea.....and that was an hour passed pleasantly & cheaply! Funnily enough I realised on hearing a friend moaning, that she had probably had him viewing!

I did actually ask someone why she had come in and taken up our time, and on leaving said 'sorry but my husband would never consider a shared drive'. She said that of she had really loved it, she might have tried to persuade him! I was still sceptical though, it was on a 1970s estate of identical houses, she didn't need to come in to know the basics!

On the other hand, we were sent to view a 'quirky house' by an estate agent who most certainly knew that we have 3 children under 5. The floor plan appeared to show 4 bedrooms upstairs along a landing. However, when we got there, instead of a door, there was a wall dividing the landing in 2. We would have had to go downstairs, outside and back upstairs to get to our children in the night (unless we all crammed into 2 bedrooms which rather defeated the point...)
I rather think the owners thought we were wasting their time, but at least we could point out we didn't know until we were inside.

Elusivebutterfly Fri 12-Aug-22 10:58:58

I don't like the modern way whereby the EA does the viewing, rather than the vendor.
I had a lot of viewers and many wanted to view after work which meant me rushing eating dinner and clearing up or eating very late. The worst thing was having to go out and walk around during the viewing which was horrible on dark, cold, wet winter evenings. I don't have a car to sit in.
Viewers other favoured time was 10am Saturday. I always have my DS and DGC staying then and could not get everyone up, washed, dressed and out by that time so had to refuse it.

Grammaretto Fri 12-Aug-22 12:00:00

There was a time, in Scotland anyway, when houses were advertised in the papers on Thursdays, flats on Wednesdays and "commercial" premises on Tuesdays.
Open viewings were strictly Thursday evenings and Sunday afternoons except by arrangement with an EA.
This house was only advertised on Tuesday! We bought a substantial house currently in industrial use, with potential to be an hotel and spent the next many years turning it back into a family home. Fine except that I am now, 42 years later, all alone in a huge house and wouldn't know how to begin to advertise it grin

Vintagejazz Fri 12-Aug-22 13:02:15

Out of curiosity do any of you look in drawers and cupboards that aren't part of the fixtures and fittings? I'm tidying up everywhere just in case.

Cabbie21 Fri 12-Aug-22 13:23:59

Good grief! How rude! But these days, I would not be surprised, sadly.

M0nica Fri 12-Aug-22 13:27:39

I can remember a Location x 3 programme where someone was insistent he wanted a house in a town where none were available in his price range.

In the end Kirsty got him into a corner and said 'You are hoping that either someone will put a house on the market at two thirds of its value, or someone will reduce their price by a third . THIS NOT GOING TO HAPPEN. Estate agents know the market and in a busy market there are few or no price reductions.

The chap finally got the message, and after spending 2 years looking for this mythical 'cheap as chips' house, bought a very nice flat.

Grammaretto Fri 12-Aug-22 13:37:07

Those TV programmes are responsible for false hopes but they are fun to watch.

Does anyone remember the wonderful realistic descriptions of houses for sale from EA Roy Brooks who became famous?

foxie48 Fri 12-Aug-22 16:25:03

We had a note put through our door asking us to make contact if we decided to sell our house. The note sat in a drawer for 6 years before we decided to sell. We had engaged an EA but remembered the note and rang them. They had just sold their own house, offered the asking price and over 20 years later are still living in the house. Some things are meant to be!

biglouis Fri 12-Aug-22 16:56:00

When I was still a tenant and the LL decided to sell the house I had no intention of putting myself out to tidy up etc. There was nothing in it for me and the LL had refused to lower the rent during viewings. People took the place as they found it and I know that it did put a few people off to see durty dishes in the sink and an unmade bed. I just sat there watching TV while the EA showed them round. I know they felt awkward.

One man was so rude that I decided to allow no further viewings. I didnt tell the EA this - just made myself very difficult to contact. This was back in 2001 when there were no smart phones and they only had my landline for contact. Whenever I saw it was their number I did not answer the phone and the EA had no keys for the house. Subsequently I moved to another house in the same street and bought it when the LL decided to go and live in Dubai.

Loulou907 Fri 12-Aug-22 18:36:40

We put our house on the market after first lockdown (strong family reasons for the timing!) EA showed people round. After each viewing we had to go round disinfecting every door handle, light switch, chair back etc etc, EA advised us to put away certain things too (eg hoover and ironing board so it didn’t highlight there wasn’t a cupboard for them, couple of extension leads so it didn’t highlight the lack of power points, our scruffy arrangement of an extra quilt on top of DH’s side of the bed) and get out a display folder of paperwork that showed the high speed WiFi and the fact there was a new boiler and oven. All small things but together with a clean round and all that pigging disinfecting it made it stressful!

My SiL (in USA) had tried to sell her house for ages then one morning got a ludicrously early phone call saying a family were passing through and wanted to come. They were all still in bed! All dragged clothes on and vacated a very messy house but not before the eldest DS had done the world’s smelliest poo in the bathroom. The viewers put in an immediate offer.

Vintagejazz Sat 13-Aug-22 07:02:05


*NotAGran*, I quite agree. it is 25 years since we last sold a property, but apart from a quick look round to make sure the loo seats were down that is all i do before a viewing. People have always viewed houses we have sold 'as is'. We have never had a problem finding buyers.

You have only got to watch a house programme, or read threads like this to realise that, for example, your house may be immaculate, but if a buyer doesn't like the living room curtains they may decide not to buy, to realise how flimsy and random the reasons for buying, or not buying a house can be.

Times have changed though.
Younger people aren't prepared to 'make do' the way our generation were and are used to seeing perfect houses online and often grew up in pretty 'designed' looking houses.
I think a cluttered house would be more of a turn off nowadays than 25 years ago.

dragonfly46 Sat 13-Aug-22 07:16:25

On the other side of the coin my DD put an offer in on a house in January which was accepted. Then nothing happened. The owner has still not engaged a solicitor and meanwhile mortgage rates are going up. The estate agent doesn’t know what is going on. Houses fore sale are like hens teeth in London at the moment.

Calendargirl Sat 13-Aug-22 07:23:59

I realise how fortunate I was when we sold our little terraced house several years ago. Went on the market one weekend, a couple came round but I knew they wouldn’t have it as they were on a second viewing of another property which I could tell was what they really wanted.

On the Monday night the EA sent round another lady, she was heavily pregnant, two weeks overdue, she had sworn she wouldn’t do any more viewings until after the birth. She wasn’t long looking round, could tell she liked it, asked if her DH, a lorry driver, could come to look another day to which I said of course.

Lo and behold, the next morning, the EA rang with her offer, slightly below our asking price, but still above what we would have taken, which we accepted.

Her DH never did view the house before buying!

She told me later she had rang him after her viewing, and said “Tom, it’s the one!”, and he said just go ahead and get it.

Greyduster Sat 13-Aug-22 07:51:47

When we sold our last house we were persuaded to let the EA oversee the viewings. We gave them a list of all relevant dates and information relating to fixtures and fittings, renovations, building work etc. We then had a constant stream of people phoning to ask for all the information that the agent should have had in her hand! She never even turned up for some viewings, so we sacked them and did it ourselves. One couple who viewed went straight out into the garden. They raved about it and hardly seemed interested in the house. They didn’t buy the house. Reason? The garden was too small!

M0nica Sat 13-Aug-22 17:22:01

Vintagejazz From the number of houses I have seen bought up by young people who then spend a lot of money doing them up to their taste, young people are as enthusiastic as ever to renovate houses. Some are tradesmen and get all their mates to help, others have moved from more expensive areas and when ever a real project comes up, there is a real competititon to buy it.

There are a lot of renovation programmes on tv, showing young couples renovating properties. And as I said, a house may be immaculate, but not to a buyers taste and the moment they get in the door, a maajor renovation starts.

joannapiano Sat 13-Aug-22 18:51:52

When we put our property up for sale the EA brought round a couple one afternoon, and the woman said in a loud voice, “Oh, the bathroom is downstairs !” The EA rolled his eyes and said, “Madam, it’s a BUNGALOW. “
They didn’t make an offer.

Floradora9 Sat 13-Aug-22 20:55:43

Selling in the north of Scotland we had open viewing and after lunch one Sunday two couples came together to view it . They had obviously had a very liquid lunch and they giggled all through the viewing . In another house we had already sold and had left my mother in charge of the children and gone to do some shopping . Two ladies came to the door and asked to view the house. My mother explained that is was sold but undeterred they asked if they could see it anyway . she did not let them in . That same house when we bought it on moving day we discovered that the house had no light bulb all the toilet extra were gone including a wall mounted heater which left a large hole in the wall . We were young and inexperienced so did nothing about it but I have never forgived the people who left us in March with a tiny baby with the house in that condition .