Estate agent head start scheme? Sounds dodgy to me...

(6 Posts)
miggles33 Thu 20-Oct-16 11:26:16

I am in the process of looking to buy a house. When talking to an estate agent they said I can join their headstart scheme. I would go to the office for a 45 mins 'check' of my finances and position to see I am ready to proceed. After this they can show me houses by vendors before they go online. That sounded fine. But then she said they would leaflet for me in streets I like. Okay. Then would look on rightmove at houses sold by other estate agents 'to see if ive missed anything'. I felt pretty annoyed at this as I'm not a fool and can look at house details myself. What are they up to? She mentioned then contacting the owner. Sounds like trying to steal business from other agents. Oh and supposedly this is all just to be 'helpful' to me. Because we all know estate agents are in the business for kindness 😉. Is this a done thing and should I sign up? It just sSeems dodgy to me but I'm very very cynical about estate agents and what you get told being truthful. Anyone heard of this scheme?

IHeartHoumous Thu 20-Oct-16 12:26:42

Is it a free ‘scheme’?

Heard of paid for schemes where EAs grant you access before others registered with them to properties on sale, wanted you to put down a deposit of something ridiculous (over £4k for properties up to the value of 350k) which was paid back to you upon completion. Ran a mile from that one.

Connells asked us to come in to do a financial check; we agreed as a property we liked on with them had buyers fall through twice as they couldn’t get a mortgage when crunch time came. As a result, the EA would only show prospective buyers who had been financially checked by their in house broker. We only brought in our mortgage in principle, 1 payslip each and ID (about 1/3 of the paperwork they asked for) as felt it quite invasive given we had our own, independent broker already. Connells were happy enough with that paperwork however. So, there’s a place for ‘checking’ of finances by EAs to be added to a ‘select list’ but do what we did, bring in minimal paperwork and say you have already submitted everything to a broker who has confirmed what you can borrow. Have you approached a broker yet or got a mortgage in principle?

With regards to the leafleting, it’s quite popular in our area to get glossy A5 leaflets through the door from local estate agents saying they are looking for properties similar to this to sell and recent sales have been for £XXX,XXX so that sounds normal to me.

Their offer to go on Rightmove for you (obviously something you can do yourself) probably won’t happen – unless they’re a business covering a tiny area with not many clients and extra time on their hands. I imagine this was just said to make it seem like they will offer you more of a service than the EA can. Good luck with it all!

IHeartHoumous Thu 20-Oct-16 12:29:25

*I imagine this was just said to make it seem like they will offer you more of a service than the next EA can.

minipie Thu 20-Oct-16 12:40:45

I think it probably is all just trying to sound like you'll get great service from them... leafleting is quite normal as pp says. But I don't like the mention of contacting owners of sold properties you have "missed" - sounds like gazumping territory which is not on.

YelloDraw Thu 20-Oct-16 12:47:22

But I don't like the mention of contacting owners of sold properties you have "missed"

Chains fall through and properties come back to market all the time tho - so I don't think this is too off.

After I had gone thru financial qualification for an offer on a property (basically a hard sell by their mortgage broker), I didn't get the property, the EA said I was now part of their 'gold scheme' or something and they woudl do similar to what this EA is saying. AS it happened, I found something else with another EA so never got to see if they woudl do anything useful.

minipie Thu 20-Oct-16 13:20:33

Yes, fair enough Yello, I guess if all they do is say "my buyer would be interested if it ever comes back on the market" then that's ok.

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