Author Topic: Estate Agent Smarmery?  (Read 1897 times)

CAMRAMan

  • Formerly A Warwickshire Lad
Estate Agent Smarmery?
« on: March 05, 2019, 05:53:29 pm »
We have decided to sell our house. Not the best time to do so, but hey, ho. I called an agent - recommended by a friend - and instructed them, or at least started the process. We had several agents round in the autumn to value the place.

Coincidentally, about an hour later another agent who had done a valuation last year called and asked what our plans were. I told him I'd chosen another agent. 'Oh no, I have someone who wants to buy your house!', he said. Yeah right!, said I. 'No, no, really!', he said.
Anyway, he said he would do a one-off viewing contract (to be signed before the viewing on Friday) without any further commitment. He's sent it, and it's basically a normal contract with alterations scrawled over it. I am wary and need to print it out and go over it tomorrow and get back with any changes or amendments I want to add.
I am very sceptical indeed that these potential 'buyers' exist. What do you reckon?
Haggerty F, Haggerty R, Tomkins, Noble, Carrick, Robson, Crapper, Dewhurst, Macintyre, Treadmore, Davitt.

jiberjaber

  • ... Fancy Pants \o/ ...
  • ACME S&M^2
Re: Estate Agent Smarmery?
« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2019, 06:50:14 pm »
We have decided to sell our house. Not the best time to do so, but hey, ho. I called an agent - recommended by a friend - and instructed them, or at least started the process. We had several agents round in the autumn to value the place.

Coincidentally, about an hour later another agent who had done a valuation last year called and asked what our plans were. I told him I'd chosen another agent. 'Oh no, I have someone who wants to buy your house!', he said. Yeah right!, said I. 'No, no, really!', he said.
Anyway, he said he would do a one-off viewing contract (to be signed before the viewing on Friday) without any further commitment. He's sent it, and it's basically a normal contract with alterations scrawled over it. I am wary and need to print it out and go over it tomorrow and get back with any changes or amendments I want to add.
I am very sceptical indeed that these potential 'buyers' exist. What do you reckon?

Perhaps you could suggest an amendment to make it contingent on the buyer existing? (probably need to think through the form of words though )
Regards,

Joergen

IanDG

  • The p*** artist formerly known as 'Windy'
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Re: Estate Agent Smarmery?
« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2019, 07:12:26 pm »
Our current estate agent is getting shitty with us because we wont accept an offer that is £22K under the asking price. Coincidence that we are now at 6 months and we can switch to another agent with minimimal fees?

Mrs Pingu

  • Who ate all the pies? Me
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Re: Estate Agent Smarmery?
« Reply #3 on: March 05, 2019, 07:35:04 pm »
Isn't this sort of thing all carried out online yet?

<Last sold using a solicitor
Do not clench. It only makes it worse.

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Estate Agent Smarmery?
« Reply #4 on: March 05, 2019, 07:58:32 pm »
Isn't this sort of thing all carried out online yet?

What, replace mistake agents with a small shell script?  That's far too obviously sensible to have happened.
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

Basil

  • Um....err......oh bugger!
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Re: Estate Agent Smarmery?
« Reply #5 on: March 05, 2019, 08:09:36 pm »
 :D
*nicks 'mistake agents'*
Quote from: Kim
And remember that friends who organise things on Facebook aren't proper friends anyway.

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Estate Agent Smarmery?
« Reply #6 on: March 05, 2019, 08:11:56 pm »
:D
*nicks 'mistake agents'*

IIRC Nye has copyright on that one.
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

Basil

  • Um....err......oh bugger!
  • Help me!
Re: Estate Agent Smarmery?
« Reply #7 on: March 05, 2019, 08:16:18 pm »
Sensible uttering.
Quote from: Kim
And remember that friends who organise things on Facebook aren't proper friends anyway.

Ben T

  • I do find that slightly bizarre, I must admit.
Re: Estate Agent Smarmery?
« Reply #8 on: March 05, 2019, 08:19:51 pm »
I would have thought buyers are fickle and don't care which agent they go through. If by "I have someone" he means he knows of someone who has actually seen your house, they why would they not just go through whatever agent you've chosen instead?
It is what it is. It's not what it's not, so it must be what it is.

FifeingEejit

  • Not Small just Far Away at the back
Re: Estate Agent Smarmery?
« Reply #9 on: March 05, 2019, 10:36:19 pm »
Isn't this sort of thing all carried out online yet?

<Last sold using a solicitor

Well Purple Bricks exist, but in the local market at least I've taken it to mean that no one will touch the property with a barge pole

Examples currently for sale through them in North Fife:
A house with a leaky roof and undefined boundaries
A house with a downstairs conversion that will never get planning permission due to the fact that it was put in the basement as part of flood repairs
A house that is suspiciously around 50k under the value I'd expect, 20k under the home report valuation and the single survey is suspiciously good...

But then Fixed price/ Offers around is also suspicious up here... why does the seller not want to go to blind auction?!

Re: Estate Agent Smarmery?
« Reply #10 on: March 06, 2019, 12:57:59 am »
The house we bought last autumn was sold by Purple Bricks, their online system is pants, especially for the Scottish system. We sold via a local estate agent who were on it from the start, understood the local market, the process of buying and selling and were flexible on commission so we didn't pay any more than if we'd gone digital.

Jaded

  • The Codfather
  • Formerly known as Jaded
Re: Estate Agent Smarmery?
« Reply #11 on: March 06, 2019, 07:21:01 am »
Purple Bricks are having difficult times.

I wouldn’t expect the Scotland Rugby team to be sponsored by them for too long..l
If you don't like your democracy, vote against it.

Re: Estate Agent Smarmery?
« Reply #12 on: March 06, 2019, 07:39:35 am »
We have decided to sell our house. Not the best time to do so, but hey, ho. I called an agent - recommended by a friend - and instructed them, or at least started the process. We had several agents round in the autumn to value the place.

Coincidentally, about an hour later another agent who had done a valuation last year called and asked what our plans were. I told him I'd chosen another agent. 'Oh no, I have someone who wants to buy your house!', he said. Yeah right!, said I. 'No, no, really!', he said.
Anyway, he said he would do a one-off viewing contract (to be signed before the viewing on Friday) without any further commitment. He's sent it, and it's basically a normal contract with alterations scrawled over it. I am wary and need to print it out and go over it tomorrow and get back with any changes or amendments I want to add.
I am very sceptical indeed that these potential 'buyers' exist. What do you reckon?

Given the "without any further commitment" they probably do. Anecdote: when I was selling my flat some time ago, the first agent to visit said the price should be £X, with an expectation of getting £X–10%. The second agent suggested a price of £X+20% and said he had a buyer who was waiting for a flat like this to come up. I signed a one-off limited contract with the agent, the buyer arrived within half an hour and put in an offer a couple of hours later. Given how keen they were I didn't budge on the price and within a week it was sold at £X+20%.
Quote from: tiermat
that's not science, it's semantics.

ian

  • fatuously disingenuous
    • The Suburban Survival Guide
Re: Estate Agent Smarmery?
« Reply #13 on: March 06, 2019, 11:42:36 am »
Don't all estate agents claim to have a 'buyer waiting' or similar – just on the basis that they have people on their lists? I think I've commented before, I don't really understand in 2018 why estate agents really exist, everyone goes online and looks on Prime Zoopla or whatever. For our money we got a prime spread in the Crystal Palace window of our chosen agent, though ironically it had already sold by the time it appeared. Our agents were fine at first, but lost all interest the moment the offer was in (despite the fact they only get their commission when the deal completes). We griped noisily and they gave us some money back. To be honest, everyone we dealt with was awful (other than the agents we bought from). It's a dismal process.
!nataS pihsroW

Re: Estate Agent Smarmery?
« Reply #14 on: March 06, 2019, 11:52:28 am »
Don't all estate agents claim to have a 'buyer waiting' or similar – just on the basis that they have people on their lists? I think I've commented before, I don't really understand in 2018 why estate agents really exist, everyone goes online and looks on Prime Zoopla or whatever. For our money we got a prime spread in the Crystal Palace window of our chosen agent, though ironically it had already sold by the time it appeared. Our agents were fine at first, but lost all interest the moment the offer was in (despite the fact they only get their commission when the deal completes). We griped noisily and they gave us some money back. To be honest, everyone we dealt with was awful (other than the agents we bought from). It's a dismal process.

Indeed.   Closing deals is something that estate agents are largely uninterested in.   It's not profit until the money is in the account.

FifeingEejit

  • Not Small just Far Away at the back
Re: Estate Agent Smarmery?
« Reply #15 on: March 06, 2019, 01:24:53 pm »
The odd thing about Zoopla is it seems to be the same concept as the Local Solicitors Property Centres that we've had up here for donkeys, except not just limited to the solicitors that act as estate agents.
The result being that by checking ESPC, TSPC and Zoopla I can see mostly duplicates but the odd house that's only on one of them.

CAMRAMan

  • Formerly A Warwickshire Lad
Re: Estate Agent Smarmery?
« Reply #16 on: March 06, 2019, 06:21:44 pm »
This estate agent has told us that the potential buyers are specifically looking in our area, even our road. Now, our house is 4-bedroomed and good value by Warwick standards, so it's feasible, but still a little iffy.

I have sought the appropriate clarifications and got a reduction in their fee, so it seems to be OK.
Haggerty F, Haggerty R, Tomkins, Noble, Carrick, Robson, Crapper, Dewhurst, Macintyre, Treadmore, Davitt.

Gattopardo

  • Lord of the sith
  • Overseaing the building of the death star
Re: Estate Agent Smarmery?
« Reply #17 on: March 06, 2019, 06:32:17 pm »
We have decided to sell our house. Not the best time to do so, but hey, ho. I called an agent - recommended by a friend - and instructed them, or at least started the process. We had several agents round in the autumn to value the place.

Coincidentally, about an hour later another agent who had done a valuation last year called and asked what our plans were. I told him I'd chosen another agent. 'Oh no, I have someone who wants to buy your house!', he said. Yeah right!, said I. 'No, no, really!', he said.
Anyway, he said he would do a one-off viewing contract (to be signed before the viewing on Friday) without any further commitment. He's sent it, and it's basically a normal contract with alterations scrawled over it. I am wary and need to print it out and go over it tomorrow and get back with any changes or amendments I want to add.
I am very sceptical indeed that these potential 'buyers' exist. What do you reckon?

Wary of contracts with scrawled amendments.

Ask if the buyer is cash or mortgage, part of a chain etc.

Re: Estate Agent Smarmery?
« Reply #18 on: March 06, 2019, 07:26:20 pm »
When we bought our last house we knew which road we wanted and even which side of the road.  We saw the house before the listing went public, were the only people who ever were allowed to view and our offer was accepted with 15 minutes of the surveyors report being phoned through. 
It can happen!

Adam

  • It'll soon be summer
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Re: Estate Agent Smarmery?
« Reply #19 on: March 06, 2019, 08:11:17 pm »
We have decided to sell our house. Not the best time to do so, but hey, ho. I called an agent - recommended by a friend - and instructed them, or at least started the process. We had several agents round in the autumn to value the place.

Coincidentally, about an hour later another agent who had done a valuation last year called and asked what our plans were. I told him I'd chosen another agent. 'Oh no, I have someone who wants to buy your house!', he said. Yeah right!, said I. 'No, no, really!', he said.
Anyway, he said he would do a one-off viewing contract (to be signed before the viewing on Friday) without any further commitment. He's sent it, and it's basically a normal contract with alterations scrawled over it. I am wary and need to print it out and go over it tomorrow and get back with any changes or amendments I want to add.
I am very sceptical indeed that these potential 'buyers' exist. What do you reckon?

If you've already signed a contract with the first agent, then if you do sell through the one who's contacted you, you'll probably find the small print states you'd still be liable to also pay the fees for the other one.
“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving.” -Albert Einstein

ian

  • fatuously disingenuous
    • The Suburban Survival Guide
Re: Estate Agent Smarmery?
« Reply #20 on: March 07, 2019, 09:26:49 am »
What Adam says, a contract is a contract. Even if a couple with a (large!) pocketful of cash come and knock on the door of your for-sale house and buy it there and then with nil input from the EA, you're still liable for the agent's stated commission. Generally, if you're selling on a 'sole agency' basis there will be a warning from the agent that you'll pay their commission regardless of how you the sell your house, if it's eventually sold by another EA (for the period of the agreement). Dual agency (pointless in this day and age surely), will have a shared commission scheme, regardless of which agent finds the buyer (or neither, you'll still owe them both their commission).

It is possible to make a multiagent agreement where the agent who makes the buyer introduction collects the commission but, if I recall, they're egregiously expensive and rarely offered other than for pricy property where it's worth the gamble.

Basically, if you've signed a contract with an agent, you're bound for the tenure of that agreement. You can't unilaterally decide otherwise.

I've never met an estate agent who hasn't claimed they don't already have a buyer.
!nataS pihsroW

CAMRAMan

  • Formerly A Warwickshire Lad
Re: Estate Agent Smarmery?
« Reply #21 on: March 07, 2019, 11:16:43 am »
We have not formally engaged the first agent...
Haggerty F, Haggerty R, Tomkins, Noble, Carrick, Robson, Crapper, Dewhurst, Macintyre, Treadmore, Davitt.

Wombat

  • Is it supposed to hurt this much?
Re: Estate Agent Smarmery?
« Reply #22 on: March 07, 2019, 11:27:04 am »
I'm surprised than anyone still uses a traditional High Street estate agent.  We sold ours very quickly and efficiently through Yopa.  Flat rate fee, you knew exactly what you were getting, and how much you'd pay.  Why pay for a team of people to sit in a fancy office and drink coffee, when all you need is a portal to the online viewing things like OntheMarket, Zoopla and Rightmove?  As for buying our current house, which involved using other people's agents, was an ongoing clusterfuck which left us homeless for 5 months, because estate agents can't be arsed to do their jobs.
Wombat

ian

  • fatuously disingenuous
    • The Suburban Survival Guide
Re: Estate Agent Smarmery?
« Reply #23 on: March 07, 2019, 12:16:09 pm »
Honestly, we did it because we were lazy. Which I think is most people. I'm not sure we'd do it again, there was very little value in what they did (a couple of photos, eventual spread in the window [not really sure how effective that would be, but our kitchen looked both nice and uncharacteristically tidy] and upload to the usual property sites) more so considering that even a small percentage of a London house is a lot of money these days. They did get us asking price (and I thought a reasonable asking price).

And like I say, they lost all interest the moment the offer came in. We got half our money back (begrudgingly and with no actual apology). Solicitors were useless too (I think I detailed that story elsewhere). Horrid process, like chewing through curdled incompetence, I have no idea how any of it endures. Well, I do, to extract money. I once had to spend over an hour explaining the difference between verticle and horizontal measurements and three-dimensional topology. I don't think, even with global warming, the local stream is going to rise 73 meters. Yeah, we had to complain about our solicitors too, don't think we got anything out of them on the grounds that uselessness is expected.

The EAs we bought this place from were very helpful (which shouldn't be surprising, yet is).
!nataS pihsroW

Re: Estate Agent Smarmery?
« Reply #24 on: March 07, 2019, 01:34:45 pm »
What Adam says, a contract is a contract. Even if a couple with a (large!) pocketful of cash come and knock on the door of your for-sale house and buy it there and then with nil input from the EA, you're still liable for the agent's stated commission. Generally, if you're selling on a 'sole agency' basis there will be a warning from the agent that you'll pay their commission regardless of how you the sell your house, if it's eventually sold by another EA (for the period of the agreement).

There is (or used to be) a difference between sole agency and sole selling rights - only SSR would give the agency a right to commission if you sold the cash-rich couple who came a-knocking.

(AFAIK, E&OE, IANAL, etc etc)