Is the estate agent screwing my mother?

(370 Posts)
dodgyestateagent Mon 12-Apr-21 20:06:49

DM, who is elderly, has just had to put her family home up for sale, she is moving to assisted living. She is 78 and has lived in this house for over 50 years - my father's recent passing has meant she can no longer cope with the house by herself. She has no idea about market value, valuations, selling a house, so we have been dealing with the estate agent ourselves.

The house went up for sale on Friday, and we were told it was inundated with interest. So much so that the estate agent held an 'open viewing' for viewings on Saturday, for one hour. We were told that over 200 people had come to visit the house!

We've just been told the highest offer, and it's below what would be expected for the area (we are South East, detached, 3 bedroom, large south facing garden). Especially since he said they'd been inundated with viewings and interest. When we queried the estate agent on how he got the offers, he told us that due to having so much interest, he was doing an anonymous 'best and final offer'. The highest offer (and best position) we've been given is supposedly the highest of all of the 'best and final'... However, when we enquired whether or not he'd gone back to any of the other interested parties to see if they'd like to improve on it, he said he hadn't to ensure 'fairness for everyone involved.' It doesn't seem like he has tried to get the best price for my DM. Myself and DH have purchased a couple of properties, and each and every time we've been told about other 'higher offers' and been asked if we'd like to improve on our offer... It just seems a strange way of doing things and I am worried the estate agent has got some sort of back hander going on... AIBU?

OP’s posts: |
BadgertheBodger Mon 12-Apr-21 20:09:32

The agent legally has to submit all offers in writing so no, I wouldn’t be having this for a minute. All offers, not anonymous, in writing to you with an idea of their position and finances. At this point, as he can’t possibly have done a binding best and finals, he needs to revisit all interested parties if you feel the offer isn’t high enough. I’d speak to someone more senior if possible, he sounds like a wazzock

MoveOnTheCards Mon 12-Apr-21 20:09:37

200 people. In one hour. During lockdown?! Yeah right. Tell him you’ll wait for a better offer. Or consider a different agent.

Wonder if they know the proposed buyer well...?! hmm

TinyBarista Mon 12-Apr-21 20:10:01

Sounds suspicious, surely the estate agent would want the highest possible price - assuming it is commission sale rather than fixed fee.

dodgyestateagent Mon 12-Apr-21 20:10:07

He owns the estate agents, so unfortunately there is no one higher to go to!

OP’s posts: |
Cherrysoup Mon 12-Apr-21 20:10:18

I’d go back to him and ask for a price you’re happy with. One of our local EAs is renowned for pricing properties low to get a quick sale. Go on Zoopla and see what similar properties in her street have sold for in recent years?

NoIDontWatchLoveIsland Mon 12-Apr-21 20:10:24

Sounds crap. Change agent.

CrumpetsForAll Mon 12-Apr-21 20:10:47

Not helpful to you but I only clicked on to see if they were having an affair...

Cherrysoup Mon 12-Apr-21 20:11:29

Posted too soon! If he disagrees despite evidence showing that similar houses go for more, tell him you’re going elsewhere.

AfternoonToffee Mon 12-Apr-21 20:12:02

That all sounds a bit fishy, were the offers below asking price?

AWamBamBoom Mon 12-Apr-21 20:12:12

They shouldn't have done a best and final without consulting your mum. Properties are selling so quickly in the SE, it's sounds to me they just wanted to move it on with little effort from them

SeaTurtles92 Mon 12-Apr-21 20:12:22

Change agents.

JassyRadlett Mon 12-Apr-21 20:12:37

Either that or he’s dizzyingly incompetent, or more likely has a huge amount of work on due to the market booming and it’s worth more to him to push the sale through quickly than the extra little bit on his commission by actually getting a higher price.

He shouldn’t take a sales strategy (eg sealed bids, best and finals etc) without discussing and agreeing it with his client, though. Tour mother is under no obligation to accept the bid if it’s not in line with expectations.

With that amount of interest and multiple offers a decent estate agent would be using them to achieve a higher price, not just landing on ‘well, they offered more first time around’.

drpet49 Mon 12-Apr-21 20:12:43

200 people? Surely you don’t believe this. I couldn’t trust anything he says anymore.

I would change agent if I was you.

HoneysuckIejasmine Mon 12-Apr-21 20:13:14

Had he got a mate who wants to buy it, by chance?

Slippy78 Mon 12-Apr-21 20:13:23

'Best and final offers' means exactly that.
There's no point in the EA calling it that if they are then going to accept further offers...

The EA has done nothing wrong, it's a common method of selling when there is a lot of interest.

SeasonFinale Mon 12-Apr-21 20:13:28

How much lower than the asking price is the offer?

Realistically too what is the house like? Does it need a lot of modernisation? My 78 year old Mum's house would need a complete makeover to command a decent price I am afraid. Nopthing too much but decoration yes as although I can see past decor not everyone can I am afraid.

Runway Mon 12-Apr-21 20:13:33

I only opened this as I thought you meant literally screwing her

AfternoonToffee Mon 12-Apr-21 20:15:20

Is there development potential on the plot? Have other house in the area been knocked down and two new ones or a block of flats been built on the land?

DuchessOfBuggerAll Mon 12-Apr-21 20:16:08

He's definitely chancing it - either buying it himself or his 'good friend' is. Well known EA scam although they regard it as a side benefit.

MoveOnTheCards Mon 12-Apr-21 20:16:27

Seriously though the 200 viewers sounds like total bullshit. I would put money on the agent knowing the ‘buyer’ and trying to get them a deal. Estate agent rates mean there’s usually very little difference in it for them when you’re talking a few ten-thousand if they have a number of properties moving through their books. A quick, cheap sale (especially for a mate/family member) is always going to be better value for them than more aggressively marketing for an extra few thousand.

MoveOnTheCards Mon 12-Apr-21 20:17:52

*an extra few thousand for the vendor. That’s only likely to be a few hundred for the agent.

Tinkywinkydinkydoo Mon 12-Apr-21 20:17:55

I’m guessing he’s friends with the person who has made the “best and highest offer”, find a different agent!

TurquoiseDragon Mon 12-Apr-21 20:18:59

200 people in an hour? No chance. Check prices for similar houses and make sure he's passing on all offers. He's either got a mate with a low offer, or he's trying to get it sorted for minimal work. Soounds suspicious to me.

ICouldHaveCheckedFirst Mon 12-Apr-21 20:19:08

200 people in ONE hour?

That just doesn't sound likely, pandemic lockdown or not. Did they arrive by the coach load? What does your mother say - was she there?

Also, did everyone interested really manage to make their 'best and final' offer today? Surely some people would need a wee bit more time, and something tells me that those who rushed may not be in the strongest position to proceed.

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