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Lost dream house due to advice of estate agents

(108 Posts)
Jade348 Thu 28-Feb-19 18:53:42

I recently found the perfect house me and my fiancé are currently living with his parents and have been desperately saving to buy our first house together. We wanted a specific area and the perfect house in our price range came up. We went to view the house which needed work doing to it. We put in an over just slightly below the asking price to start off. We was sent an email to advice that there were other people interested on Monday and to be patient with the estate agents as the seller was away. I asked the estate agent if they would make me aware if our offer had been out offered as we was willing to increase a substantial amount. The estate agent advices me to hold off as this was very likely to go to best and final offers as all party’s were very similar positions and similar offers. I went into the estate agents on Wednesday and told them I was feeling very nervous because I really wanted the house I asked for advise on what I should do they advised me to wait and they will be in contact after the seller had been into the office Thursday. Today was the day I waited for a call it got to 1pm I had not received a call, I made a call to the office to make sure they didn’t want me to put the offer in then they said they had the seller in front of them and would be in touch. 4:30pm I received a call to advise that the seller had chosen not to go to best and final offers and picked one of the offers on the table. I am heartbroken I feel I was misadvised we was willing to offer a lot more but they didn’t give us the opportunity, now they are just saying it’s not their choice but the sellers! I understand that but I asked on two occasions for advise on what to do could they not have told me to increase offer if I was willing to do so? Anyone else been in a similar situation. I am not feeling very positive this is the second time we have lost out, we have a 3 year old and we need our own space. We contacted the estate agents explained he asked what was we willing to go to which I told him. he said he would put it to the vendor ( which tells me it must have been higher than what was on the table) the seller said thank you very much but he’s old school and doesn’t want to let anybody else down. I will certainly be learning from this.

Fluffyears Fri 01-Mar-19 14:38:32

You have to realise if you love it then there are probably several viewers who slsonlove it. Therefore to be in with a shout you need to put out best offer straight away.

Mishappening Fri 01-Mar-19 13:52:06

An EA once advised us to take our house off the market when a good offer was made. I did not want to as I had my doubts about the buyer, but EA insisted it was the right thing to do. Turned out the buyer had three others houses with offers on and did not pick ours.

In order to still get the property we wanted we had to take out a bridging loan - I was furious!

Darkstar4855 Fri 01-Mar-19 13:45:02

Did you have a mortgage agreement in principle? If not get one and show it to estate agents when making an offer. It may be that the other buyer offered less but had a mortgage in place or was a cash buyer and seller preferred the extra speed/security.

When I found my dream house I offered the asking price on condition that the EA took it off the market and didn’t arrange any more viewings. It worked and I got it.

KingLooieCatz Fri 01-Mar-19 12:57:48

It might feel to the vendor like when your insurance company tell you your renewal is £700. You try somewhere else and get a better deal, say £500. You ring your current insurers and say you're not renewing as you've got it cheaper elsewhere. They then start pulling better offers out the hat, say £480. By this stage you're just pissed off with them and ask yourself why they didn't offer you their best deal in the first place if they wanted your custom. It sticks in your throat to accept it so you go with the £500 insurance. You took a gamble and it didn't pay off.

I think sometimes in Location x 3 Kirsty and Phil will say if there's a lot of interest you need to stretch yourself to your best offer at the outset, if you really want it. We did for our current home, with which I deliberately did not fall in love as there was loads of interest. I didn't even look that closely and didn't even notice certain features still final visit day before we moved in.

Some people choose to buyers on what might seem to you like crazy criteria, it helps if you click if you meet at viewing stage, after you've been through a couple of sales/purchases and know how tricky it can get you'll want buyers that seem capable, honest and keen to get on with it.

Other crazy criteria I have known - will take care of the garden that has been lovingly tended for years and not cut trees down and pave it over, will continue feeding the birds, will keep an eye on the elderly neighbor that the vendors are fond of, will use the train and not add to the crazy village car parking problem, will not piss off the neighbours, with whom the vendors are close friends and would like it to stay that way after they move, will be patient as the vendors find and buy their own dream family home.

Good luck with it and never believe it's yours until the keys are in your hands.

Patr1ckJane Fri 01-Mar-19 12:25:53

I think you just got really unlucky. When I sold mine I had 3 offers all at full asking prices and the estate agent basically said you can go back to all of them (and the lower offered) and say best and final offers or you can just pick someone.

I asked my estate agent the pros and cons of all the offers ie had the lower offer know there were some at asking prices and were they 1st time buyers and their positions etc.

I ended up choosing an at asking price FTB who had a Mortagae in place because I wanted a quick sale (to secure my dream house) but also because they reminded me of me when I brought! My estate agent did advise I could have got more money if id pushed but that wasn’t for me

SDTGisAnEvilWolefGenius Fri 01-Mar-19 12:20:48

"1) I have never made an offer on a house before so yes I did think the point was to put a starting offer in and work your way up."

Well - if you watch programmes like Location, Location, Location, @Jade348, you'll have seen Kirsty and Phil advising people to do exactly this - and quite often getting the property for under their maximum budget, so I don't think you were wrong to do this at all!

And whilst the agents are working for the vendors, not you, if they knew that you were willing to up your offer if necessary, I am surprised that they didn't come back to you and say that there was a higher offer on the table, and give you the chance to put in a counter offer - because that would have been in their client's best interests.

It may be,though, that there were other factors about the other offer that made it attractive to the vendors - maybe they were cash buyers or had chain free, and were in a better position to move quickly than you were.

I hope that you find your perfect house, and it all goes smoothly for you next time.

Arnoldthecat Fri 01-Mar-19 11:14:40

Maybe the EA had a buyer in mind already....

Confusedbeetle Fri 01-Mar-19 11:04:37

No, the vendor is correct, there is a morality here that a lot of greedy people ignore. The Ea is not your advocate he works for the vendor. If you were so set on this house you should have put in a higher offer at the beginning, Bidding wars are quite wicked and very stressful on all sides. Do not ask this honourable vendor to renege on his deal. People do this sometimes and then the deal falls through. Serves them right for being greedy, Accept that you didn't get this one. There is always another house. Choose your tactics carefully. Sometimes you might offer high and pay over the odds to get the house you want. Thats life, but dont get into gazumping, its wrong.

MorningRichie Fri 01-Mar-19 10:50:07

Op, when you go to Sainsburys for your groceries, do you make a bid at the till and work your way up closer to the asking price? If not, why not? That's what you've tried to do to the vendor.

I work in an industry where people think it's acceptable to do that and it's annoying in the extreme. If you want it, pay for it.

Fairenuff Fri 01-Mar-19 10:19:53

That hasn't been my experience of house-buying. But it's a rapidly rising market where we are, and bidding wars are the norm.

Maybe some agents do this but it's not good practice. They shouldn't be showing their hand as it's not in the best interests of the vendor who they represent.

For example if Buyer A offers £300,00 and Buyer B offers £295,000 the agent should tell Buyer B they have received a higher offer.

Buyer B then needs to decide how much they are really prepared to pay, rather than just offer a little more than Buyer A.

If the agent tells them that Buyer A has offered £300,000 Buyer B is not going to go much higher than that.

However, I accept that maybe some agents are not representing their client that well and are treating it more as an open auction.

The trouble with EA is that they are so keen to make the sale that they don't always work for their client. I've known EAs tell a purchaser that they think the vendor will come down on their asking price even before the buyer has made an offer.

Starch Fri 01-Mar-19 10:10:30

The vendor has already said thanks but no thanks.

MatildaTheCat Fri 01-Mar-19 10:07:47

For gods sake just get on the phone and offer your maximum price with a date to exchange ASAP. The EA legally has to pass it on. Most vendors will bite if it’s a substantial increase.

The winners may be already at their absolute maximum. It’s not nice to do this but as you are learning it’s not a nice competition and the other offer was only just accepted. Do it now and get back to us. You will kick yourself later if you don’t.

Cel982 Fri 01-Mar-19 10:00:53

Cel982 they don't usually tell you what the other people have offered. They just say there's been a higher bid, to give you the chance to bid more. They shouldn't give a figure. They are working for the vendor and want to get best price.

That hasn't been my experience of house-buying. But it's a rapidly rising market where we are, and bidding wars are the norm.

LakieLady Fri 01-Mar-19 07:32:42

If you liked the house and the area, and are ready to proceed (got deposit etc and mortgage approved in principal, then why not drop a note through ALL similar properties in the area and say you're looking to buy and are ready to go, and see what materialises.

That's what the people across the road from me did. The leafletted this road and several others nearby.

The elderly lady who lived opposite had not long died and her daughters were her executors. They had a probate valuation done and sold it to the leafletting couple for the amount of the probate valuation, which was around 25% under market value by the time the sale went through.

Great result for my new neighbours, and the executors got a quick hassle-free sale and saved themselves the agents' fees.

listsandbudgets Fri 01-Mar-19 07:28:01

We didn't accept the top offer on our last sale. We accepted a slightly lower offer from a chain free cash buyer. We wanted to scale quickly and knew they would be best met. Sale went through in 6 weeks beginning to end

Ragnarhairybreetches Fri 01-Mar-19 06:44:12

We were the first to view our house (within a few hours of it going on) first to offer, (full asking price) next viewers did same. Vender chose us as we were first,
Sometimes the EA can't forsee what the seller will go for. They can only advise. I wouldn't blame the EA but next time if you want it so badly and can afford it, go in with a killer offer.

Fairenuff Thu 28-Feb-19 22:56:09

Cel982 they don't usually tell you what the other people have offered. They just say there's been a higher bid, to give you the chance to bid more. They shouldn't give a figure. They are working for the vendor and want to get best price.

The other thing to learn from this OP is don't tell the agent that you can offer more. The agent will just tell the vendor. It's their job. No vendor will accept an offer if they already know you are willing to offer more.

Just make an offer on what you are prepared to pay. If it's turned down you can consider offering more if you are able or you can walk away. If the vendor accepts an offer from someone else, that is their right.

Ariela Thu 28-Feb-19 22:38:28

If you liked the house and the area, and are ready to proceed (got deposit etc and mortgage approved in principal, then why not drop a note through ALL similar properties in the area and say you're looking to buy and are ready to go, and see what materialises.

SassitudeandSparkle Thu 28-Feb-19 22:35:13

Ignore anyone swinging the grammar hammer, OP!

I don't think you can count the first house though, if you didn't have a deposit and never put an offer in - no need to view that one as a failure, it was never an option!

The current property - with the owners being away at the time you offered, it seems that they had a number of offers to consider on their return. They picked one and tbh, it is to their credit that they are sticking with it. If they accepted a higher offer from you, then someone came along with a higher offer again - well, they'd go for the higher offer again! Fine to let the EA know that you are keen if the sale falls through for any reason.

Keep looking, it is always stressful.

TrainSong Thu 28-Feb-19 22:18:28

I'd drop the vendors a note. Explain that you acted as instructed but were prepared to raise your offer to X. I think it's also worth saying that you know house sales can be complicated and fall through for a number of reasons, and that if this happens please would they get in touch as you would still be keen chain-free buyers. You never know, the buyer mayhave to pull out.

SpringForEver Thu 28-Feb-19 22:17:45

Don't forget that sometimes an agent will be selling to a friend or family and not be entirely straight about all offers, going in favour of their friend.

Cel982 Thu 28-Feb-19 22:05:23

OP that's not how it works. You don't put in an offer and then ask the agent to tell you if anyone offers more so that you can raise your offer.

You put in an offer and if it is refused you can raise it. Unfortunately, someone offered more in the first instance and that offer was accepted.

But that is how it works, usually confused If there are multiple bidders on a property, the agent will generally keep them all informed of what the current high bid is, so that they can up their offer. That didn't happen in this situation, as it seemed the vendor just wanted a quick sale, but it is the norm, and I'm not sure why the OP is being slated for expecting it.

MonsterKidz Thu 28-Feb-19 22:00:45

Been there, done that here too I’m afraid!

When we were buying our first house, we had numerous episodes of loosing out etc.

Similarly, when we were selling our 3rd property, we had first time buyers offer nearly 40k more than asking just because they were pregnant, had lost out so many times they just wanted to get a house! Other offers were around asking price and those buyers were annoyed at someone going so far over.

It’s a terribly stressful situation. You just need to sit patient and when you find somewhere good, don’t get all loved yo about it, put your best offer forward and then wait and see...

AndItStillSaidFourOfTwo Thu 28-Feb-19 21:55:16

OP, tbh I'm intrigued that you see that (your post above re the previous house) as having 'lost out', even though you weren't actually in the 'game' to start with. It's a bit like saying you lost a game of football because you didn't have a ball. It does suggest you might be used to a certain degree of expectation of getting what you want, or difficulty with reconciling to the fact that life doesn't often work like that - a kind of belief that fixating on something means you're entitled to get it? I'm a bit astonished at all the PPs suggesting you write manipulative letters and glad you're not going to. But you might want to think a bit about how you're approaching this.

Witchend Thu 28-Feb-19 21:52:34

Just bear in mind that if you put a letter through the door and the vendors decide to go with you, they can equally well be swayed further down the line from someone gazumping you.

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