Estate agent mind games?

(30 Posts)
MummyKanny Wed 15-Jan-14 10:39:49

I'm new to all this house buying malarkey and I'm finding it difficult to trust bloody estate agents!

We put an offer in on a lovely property on Saturday and still waiting to hear back from the vendor. Apparently he was discussing it with his partner - but how difficult can it be?! Surely it's a yes/no answer?

The EA (well known national outfit) bas been fobbing me off and now I'm starting to get a bit nervy. I wonder whether it is normal for them to leave poor buyers hanging like this? The property has been on the market for ages and hasn't exactly been inundated with offers..

Anyone else feel as if they are being Jedi mind tricked or am I being paranoid?

2014newme Wed 15-Jan-14 10:42:24

You need to chill out, buying a house is stressy, perhaps the sellers haven't made a decision yet for whatever reason, perhaps they have issues with onward purchase etcEstate agents want to sell houses that is how they make money. Ring for an update and forget about ' Jedi mind tricks' patience is invaluable in buying and selling houses, paranoia is not helpful!

whereisshe Wed 15-Jan-14 10:46:49

Just tell the agent that your offer has a time limit and if the owner hasn't responded by x date the offer is withdrawn (put it in writing). The agent works for the seller not for you (and is paid a % of the sale price) so will do whatever they can to get the price up.

No it's not a simple yes or know. If you have made a low offer they might be having to think about their onward purchase. Maybe they are having to face the reality that their house is not worth what they thought and may need to consider staying.
Of course if were asking price it is a simple yes or know, but your post indicates you have not.
You need to be patient.

nobutreally Wed 15-Jan-14 10:47:59

Hummm, I think I'd expect a reply within 48 hours, so yes, that is a bit of a while. My best guess would be they've had someone who viewed on Sat & want's to come back from a second viewing, so they've waiting to see if they are going to offer.

If you want to know, nothing to stop you saying you need to know by x time as you've seen somewhere else you quite like/ are having a second viewing on - jedi mind trick right back at them!! Our buyers put in an offer that was conditional on us taking the house off the market/cancelling further viewings the next day...

2014newme Wed 15-Jan-14 10:51:57

Most offers are conditional on taking house off market and cancelling further viewings, that is the norm

MummyKanny Wed 15-Jan-14 10:56:34

Thanks for your replies - yes our offer was conditional on cancelling future viewings and taking the property off the market.

I should have mentioned that the property is currently rented out so there is no issue with a chain, etc.

The offer was close to the asking price, which the EA knows is below our budget. But we have offered slightly less initially to reflect the fact that the house needs work.

But agree that I need to be more patient. I have a pile of decorating magazines waiting to be devoured! smile

2014newme Wed 15-Jan-14 11:17:01

Ring the estate agent for an update

Pendeen Wed 15-Jan-14 11:39:45

"... he was discussing it with his partner"

There's your answer! smile

JassyRadlett Wed 15-Jan-14 11:48:39

If it's been this long it does feel as if they are trying to crowbar in another viewing in the homes of pushing up the offered price through competition.

I'd do what others have suggested - put a deadline on your offer. If you refrain from looking at other properties while they are messing about you might miss something so you need to be clear that you are not open-ended about this.

lalalonglegs Wed 15-Jan-14 11:48:57

Ring the agent and ask to see another house on their books. That will give a clear signal that you are not hanging around on this place and also puts the ball in their court to get an answer from the vendors.

MummyKanny Thu 16-Jan-14 13:03:45

Thanks all. Still no response. confused We're continuing our search in the meantime. The EA is clearly screening our calls - she didn't answer when I called from my mobile but answered when I called 15 minutes later from a withheld number (ha!) so I smell a rat..

She said she is leaving the vendor 4 messages a day but no reply. If that's true and we do get the property, it doesn't bode well for the sale!

I imagine they have another viewing and want to start a bidding war. Not much we can do except wait..

Seabright Thu 16-Jan-14 14:43:03

Don't forget - the agent works for the seller, not for you. They act all pally & friendly, but all they are interested in is getting as higher fee as possible, and since they are paid on a percentage basis, the more you offer, the more they get paid.

dannydyerismydad Thu 16-Jan-14 14:58:13

I suffered similarly with a big, well known agency. "Couldn't get hold of the vendor" and several similar excuses.

After a bit of detective work, a junior member of staff admitted to me that once my offer was on the table they lined up a load of other viewings (and yes, my offer was subject to the property being removed from sale and no further viewings).

True to form, they tried to push me into a bidding war, despite the fact I had been very up front that I was going in with the full asking price as I didn't want to get involved in silly games.

I walked away. Found a better house. Would never touch that agent as a buyer or seller.

MummyKanny Thu 16-Jan-14 16:41:42

Dannydyer, that is very interesting! I wonder if it is the same agency??

We've pretty much resigned ourselves to the fact that they are stringing us along and we are continuing our search. B*****d estate agents, they don't help themselves do they?!

BuzzardBird Thu 16-Jan-14 16:53:30

Have just realised that the initials for Estate Agents are the same for Emotional Abusers. This is a coincidence...I think? hmm

dannydyerismydad Thu 16-Jan-14 17:10:35

The agent I hate was named after a global empire, around the time of Jesus...

Frozenatchristmas Thu 16-Jan-14 17:45:55

Blimey, I'd never get away with that kind of behaviour in Scotland! Stick a note through the sellers door.

dannydyerismydad Thu 16-Jan-14 17:50:49

And the actual arse agent who messed me around so much has his huge gurning face on an advertising hoarding that I have to drive past every day when leaving my lovely house that they didn't sell me. I have to fight the urge to drive into it. angry

Seabright Thu 16-Jan-14 18:50:45

Try ringing and saying you are interesting in the property, ask if there has been much interest, any offers etc.

I bet you get a different story if you pretend to be a brand-new buyer

MummyKanny Fri 17-Jan-14 10:02:55

Ah I think I know who you mean, dannydyer

Another day, another twist in this tale. we finally heard back yesterday and the vendor said he wants to sell to us (chain free, etc) but will only accept the asking price. We agreed and said we'd wait to hear back, assuming it was a simple case of accepting.

Today, we learn that he now wants us to wait until the middle of next week! Apparently he is very busy and can't think about this right now.

I'm starting to smell several rats now...

mabelbabel Fri 17-Jan-14 11:54:00

That does sounds odd, could it be that he's not really sure about selling full stop rather than anything more sinister?
And as for EA upping offers, to up their fees: Yes it's true but not to the extent you might think, because ultimately they would have to expend a lot of extra effort for a relatively small increase in the amount that they get, and usually they would prefer to just close a sale quickly and pocket the cash. (eg if they manage a 10% uplift in the selling price of a £200k house then assuming 1% fees they would get £2,200 rather than £2,000, but they have to work hard for the extra £200, wait longer for it, and increase the risk too). Plus the property has been on the market for ages, so it's unlikely they're going to be able to find extra viewers and generate offers where none existed before, or certainly not without lots of extra effort, which (as above) is not worth their time.

I suspect in this case it's the vendor who's causing the problem, not the EA.

dannydyerismydad Fri 17-Jan-14 12:31:11

The particular agent that messed me around charges 2.5%!!! They tell prospective sellers that the increased fee represents the fact they pride themselves on getting offers of or over the asking price.

I wouldn't buy from them if they were offering Buckingham palace for £1. They are exactly the kind of slippery agents who give the profession a bad name.

mabelbabel Fri 17-Jan-14 13:01:48

They do sound horrid, glad you found something better!

JRmumma Fri 17-Jan-14 13:04:54

Iy could be that the house is being sold as part of a divorce and so other solicitors etc need to be consulted?

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