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To say that estate agents outside of London are incredibly lazy and lack initiative?

(42 Posts)
FizzAfterSix Tue 09-Jun-20 17:56:18

I know it’s a cliché to bash estate agents but I’m at the end of my tether.

For 18 months I have been registered with a clutch of estate agents in Surrey. Despite being a cash buyer with a very comfortable budget and nothing to sell, they all seem half asleep.

Many don’t even respond to enquiries via Rightmove; if they do they just email you the same information that is on all the property portals. None follow up with a phone call to check out my requirements.

2 weeks ago I saw a beautiful house and emailed the agent via Rightmove for more information. Days later I received a desultory email sending me the same pictures that were already online and that was it. No follow up phone call, no suggestion of viewing. When I telephoned I spoke to a disinterested person who knew very little about the house – when I asked about viewing she said that due to lockdown restrictions this wasn’t possible. But now the property market has reopened – albeit with restrictions – I have heard nothing back from her suggesting I view – even just a walk around the garden would give me an idea. This house has been online for 8 months, with such a hopeless agent I’m not surprised.

While property portals make the sellers and buyers life much easier in many ways, they have also had the unfortunate result of making agents even lazier. Before the internet they had to be proactive, calling up prospective buyers and matching house to buyer but now they can’t even be bothered to put a brochure in the post.

I viewed a house last week that I was interested in. The agent followed me around closely, even around the garden – so closely that I wanted to say, “tag me now and get it over with”, (did she think I was going to run off with the garden gnome) annoyingly announcing “this is the kitchen”, “this is the bedroom” and opening cupboards I really didn’t want to see inside. Note to agents: I am not going to buy a house because I like the vendor’s airing cupboard.

After manifestly ignoring any social distancing at all (nurse!) when I asked for a brochure at the end of the viewing, the hapless agent said they weren’t handing out brochures due to corona restrictions. I asked if she could send me one and she reluctantly agreed – a week later and nothing has arrived.

Nothing beats a proper colour brochure that acts as a constant reminder to actually pick up the phone and arrange to view. But agents simply hate having to send them out. Sometimes they pretend they can’t do this as they want to `save paper’ - a likely story.

And then that evening, I saw that this agent has launched 2 other houses in my price range and just what I’m looking for but didn’t bother to even let me know or take me round when I viewed the first.

I’ve found London agents work much harder than country ones. It’s so frustrating that outside London they expect the seller to do all the work. I can’t think of any other industry which is so entirely reactive and doesn’t bother to follow up leads.

OP’s posts: |
Marpan Tue 09-Jun-20 18:01:49

Estate agents don’t need buyers, they want sellers.

Plenty of Cash buyers around, most of whom aren’t bothered about viewings and brochures containing information that is online.

Disquieted1 Tue 09-Jun-20 18:02:20

After 18 months and being registered with a clutch of agents you still haven't found a place to buy. Check to see if you're on their timewaster list.

Bobbybobbins Tue 09-Jun-20 18:02:47

When I was selling my first house, I went round quite a few different estate agents before choosing who to employ. In one, the three agents were sitting round having a cup of tea and a chat. I didn't think it was a very driven environment and didn't choose them!

FizzAfterSix Tue 09-Jun-20 18:05:39

@disquieted1 are you an estate agent? Lol.

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fartyface Tue 09-Jun-20 18:07:27

It is such a depressing experience I agree. We had some valuations a few weeks ago. One hasn't bothered even quote in writing.

We've tried to view houses that have been on the market for ages and the answer is yes, if you can supply your own ppe, show a mortgage in principle and have sold your house. Okay fine, but we don't need to borrow more, we don't keep a supply of ppe, andarnet you actually trying sell it.

A week later it is off the market because of lack of interest due to corona. OK, but I did actually want to buy it... I asked.

Sometimes I feel like cutting out the middleman and only dealing with homeowners.

SnackSizeRaisin Tue 09-Jun-20 18:08:15

Estate agents don’t need buyers, they want sellers

Erm? So do the sellers all just pay them even if the house doesn't actually get sold?
The rest of your post is equally nonsensical...most buyers don't have cash and will want to view

Gabrielknight Tue 09-Jun-20 18:08:16

There may be a time waster list.....18 months is a very long time ..

HereTodayHereTomorrow Tue 09-Jun-20 18:11:09

We are selling. We have had our agents cancel more than one viewing since the easing because they’ve sussed out people are time wasters.
Lots of people viewing for something to do, apparently!

FizzAfterSix Tue 09-Jun-20 18:13:50

@Marpan "plenty of cash buyers around."
Erm. If you say so luv. Possibly less of them about after furlough ends and 4 million are unemployed, I would have thought.

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Hingeandbracket Tue 09-Jun-20 18:14:05

I can’t think of any other industry which is so entirely reactive and doesn’t bother to follow up leads.

I can think of fucking loads - accountants, lawyers, have you ever tried buying a "premium" car?

Hingeandbracket Tue 09-Jun-20 18:15:24

In one, the three agents were sitting round having a cup of tea and a chat. I didn't think it was a very driven environment and didn't choose them!

Tea you say? Bastards.

pigsDOfly Tue 09-Jun-20 18:18:29

Your title is rather sweeping.

Have you had dealings with every estate agent in every part of the country to enable you to know this?

FizzAfterSix Tue 09-Jun-20 18:21:29

@Gabrielknight 18 months is not so long when you are looking in a specific area for a specific type of property.
Easy to buy and rather harder to sell.
I've bought and sold about 12 properties/buy to lets in as many years and am getting older and want to settle down now.

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irisnotadaff Tue 09-Jun-20 18:24:11

Yep, you’ll be known locally as a time waster. Also, agents don’t make money from buyers, it’s sellers they’re interested in.

Turnedouttoes Tue 09-Jun-20 18:24:14

I think this can apply to estate agents anywhere. I’ve also found it impossible to get anything from them in the last couple of weeks but I’ve noticed houses in our area (South-East London) seem to be getting sold very quickly at the moment.

I used to live above an estate agents in central London and they were the laziest obnoxious bunch. I had to go downstairs a few times and ask them to keep it down as they were so noisy. Not to mention the coke they’d get in for their Friday afternoon parties hmm

RubyViolet Tue 09-Jun-20 18:25:08

I found it strange when looking recently that the floor plans have no precise measurements. I am talking about Cheshire. No square footage except on new builds.
Spoke to several agents and they said that there was no demand for it. I l have got used to calculating values per square ft in London. Confused me why this is not included.

FizzAfterSix Tue 09-Jun-20 18:31:10

@RubyViolet I feel the same about garden measurements. London agents always include garden measurements in the square footage but outside of London they fob buyers off with `spacious garden', `good sized plot' etc. It's impossible to tell from the pictures which can sometimes made a garden look huge... or a bad photo can make the garden look small. Just giving the square footage would be a real help.

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Adjeoebfwh Tue 09-Jun-20 18:34:43

They vary a lot in my experience.

There is one who never called me back after a viewing request because he was “too busy” even after I followed up.
There is one who didn’t want to arrange the viewing unless I talk to their “independent financial advisor” despite AIP in place
There is one who promised to call me back in half an hour, actually did so and booked me in for the viewing next day.
There is one who remembered our requirement, called back after viewing for feedback, and took us to see another house not yet listed because it would suit us better.

Guess via which agent we are buying now...

FizzAfterSix Tue 09-Jun-20 18:37:15

@irisnotadaff I've bought and sold 8 properties in the last 10 years - sold 4 million pounds worth of family property in this area that time - mind you, I drive an ancient car with the bumper strapped on with gaffer tape so maybe that is the problem.

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RandomMess Tue 09-Jun-20 18:39:03

Which bit of Surrey??? Our EA were bloody annoying, far too on the ball!

Try moving away from the SE if your experience in Surrey was poor!

ShastaBeast Tue 09-Jun-20 18:44:43

We tried to deal with an agent in Surrey and it was impossible. Tried another town over the border and they were great. I suspected it was a bit of snobbery and complacency as so many very well off Londoners make the same move they don’t need to do much to sell properties and can afford to be rubbish and put up barriers.

Lockeduporknockedup Tue 09-Jun-20 18:45:38

EAs in Surrey are particularly bad. We moved a few times in Guildford and they were absolutely shocking. Illegal and terrifying practices - flat out incompetent. We're now north of London and it's better but still not good. Honestly, EAs get away with just being God awful at their job because they have zero incentive to be any good at it.

Hingeandbracket Tue 09-Jun-20 18:46:31

Also, agents don’t make money from buyers, it’s sellers they’re interested in.
That's fucking hilarious - without 1 buyer per house, Estate Agent's business model is fucked.

RandomMess Tue 09-Jun-20 18:49:05

We were at the lower end of the market in an urban areasmile I wonder with the higher more rural end they indeed are lazy because they expect rich Londoners to come along...

Guildford always in demand for example where I lived wasn't "naice"

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