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I want to moan about the current property 'market'...

(59 Posts)
angel1976 Sun 27-Feb-11 23:32:09

Argh! Whether you are selling or buying, come and moan with me! This market is s***! I am so sick of it...

Our situation: Our house went under offer a few weeks ago. We bought at the peak of the market and we have a 'first-time buyer's house' - two-bedroom terraced house in a nice part of a mostly fairly crap area in SE London. House went on market in September and it was pretty awful - lots of viewings but no offer. As you can imagine, in the current market, the first-time buyers just don't exist. Finally got an offer and it was LOW. We are selling at a slight loss but DH and I are willing to take the hit as this is a cash buyer and we really need the space (have two small boys) and it puts us in a great position to buy...


So we have been looking for months, even prior to putting our house on the market, we had been looking at RM. We are buying in a fairly small area because of our criteria - good state schools nearby and easy commute into London. We have been to see quite a few too and keeping track of what's selling and how much for. The one house we love has been on the market for THREE MONTHS. We have made 3 offers on it, the last offer being the top of our budget and just less than 6% off the asking price. The other houses in similar price range have sold and we have a good idea of for how much so we know how much houses are worth around there. This house is definitely over-priced at its asking price. Even the agent admits that it's the reason it hasn't sold as it's a fab house otherwise.

But the vendors won't bulge, after months of not much communication from the sellers, they have finally admitted they wanted close to asking (don't we all? grin) and will now settle for X amount - the X amount being £10k off our final offer). And they haven't even had any offers close to that amount. We actually made an offer for them to meet us halfway, and upped our offer to £5k more than our max offer on the condition they take the house off the market that day and cancelled viewings that weekend. They wouldn't and I made it very clear to the agent that it was a one day offer and our offer goes back to the same amount after the weekend.

So now we are in a stalemate. In all honesty, we are now prepared to walk away. The house isn't perfect but I love the position of it. Their agent is actually one of the better ones in the area but he has told us some porkies (the chain-free 'would-be' buyer than turned out to be in a complicated chain; the 'would-be buyer' talking to his mortgage company about funding for the house - all our competition for the house that never seem to eventuate!).

So yesterday we practically got an email from him begging us to up our offer again and he will try his very best to get us the house and we said no, we are sick of playing games.

I am sick of EA bulls***!
I am sick of this market that seems to be on the edge of recovery or crashing big-time depending on who you talk to.
I am sick of 'unrealistic' vendors.
I am sick of looking at the same houses on RM day after day.

We don't want to 'make money' on our property, just somewhere nice for us to settle into as a family and my boys to grow up in.

mylovelymonster Sun 27-Feb-11 23:51:30

Have you talked to the vendors directly? Sent your offer in writing through their front door with a bit of context about your buying position and phone number?

Might help to see whether the problem/block is with the vendor - or actually with the agent.

You have my every sympathy. Best of luck.

angel1976 Mon 28-Feb-11 00:00:48

Thanks mylovelymonster. I just want a rant. DH and I are so sick of talking about it. It's a good idea what you are suggesting. I might just do that tomorrow.

We have had so many conversations with the agent and TBH, we think the problem is with the vendors. The have had the house for 15 years and they have obviously done it up to a very high standard for themselves and according to the agent, 'they want to move but not for less than what they think the house is worth!' So I think they are emotionally quite attached to the house.

Last we heard, the have lost the house they want to move to due to their inability to sell for 3 months. From my last conversation to the agent, he is absolutely desperate to sell to us as supposedly there was a 3rd viewing on it this weekend but from someone in a 'complicated chain' (initially it was from a 'chain-free' buyer!).

How do you think we should word the 'letter'? I am just so confused as quite a few agents we are registered with have told us the market will pick up in March and on one hand, I think we will be better off waiting as we are in such a strong position now. On the other hand, the position of this house is hard to rival (a really long garden than backs onto a lovely park) so we can eventually extend without losing too much garden space, it's a premium in London!).

mylovelymonster Mon 28-Feb-11 00:20:30

Agents will always talk up/be positive about the market won't they. Especially now when there are jitters and volumes are down.
You just have to do what's best for you, and an agent can't (shouldn't) tell you that.

All you can say is Dear such&such, we loved your house and want to make it our home. We can offer an absolute maximum of £X, have an offer on our own house from a (chain-free?) cash buyer, finance in place (is it?), our solicitor will be y, and we can aim to complete in such&such timeframe. Can you please get in touch with us regarding acceptability or otherwise of our offer. Our contact details are z. We look forward to hearing from you. best wishes etc etc.

Leave the ball in their court.

We want to move also. I know what you mean about vendors being emotionally chained to their house - we're looking at mainly older people downsizing who have lived and raised their family in the house and it is an enormous emotional wrench. Doesn't help when agents are pricing so high. £400-£450 per sq. ft. currently. A personal touch might help. At least you'll know if the situation is real. Not much you can do if it is, apart from waiting a few more months & see if the situation changes.

Fiddledee Mon 28-Feb-11 08:17:38

Vendors are probably thinking the market may improve over the spring and get a higher offer. Or else the EA is being an idiot, definitely highly possible. EA probably promised the vendor that you can up your offer.

I would call their bluff put in your offer, say its on the table for 24 hours then you walk away. Also with the same agent book to see some other properties after ths 24 hour period.

VivaLeBeaver Mon 28-Feb-11 08:26:33

I think booking to view other properties with the same agent is a very good idea. And go back for a second viewing on one of them (a cheaper one than the one you like) and seem keen. I know its not very fair on the vendor of the 2nd house if you're only viewing it to put pressure on the other vendor but you have to put yourself first. Anyway you may suprise yourself and actually find something you like more.

When we bought current house we put in an offer and they dragged their feet. We went back for a second viewing on a house that was 5k cheaper and went back and told the agent that now we thought we liked the 5k cheaper house better, etc and were going to put an offer in the next day. We had a phone call within 2 hours from the first vendor accepting our offwer.

mylovelymonster Mon 28-Feb-11 08:46:15

If it were me, I would leave offer open a couple of weeks, rather than 24hrs. 24hr deadline seems a bit aggressive. A couple of weeks appears more accommodating, is considered & business-like, and gives them a decent amount of time to seriously consider/dwell on.

Couldn't agree more about viewing other houses. If the agent loses the impression that you must have the first house or nothing, a bit of reality & more professional attitude may follow.

Do keep us posted! Hoping for a positive outcome - eventually!

mylovelymonster Mon 28-Feb-11 08:51:19

View other houses with the same agent during the 2 week offer period - sorry, forgot to say. Don't stop viewings while your offer is being considered.

Go and see things you may have discounted at first - can be very different to how you imagined, and you might find something else you like as much/more.

Ciske Mon 28-Feb-11 09:24:19

I would suggest you view houses with other estate agents as well. The estate agent will not care whether you buy house A or B from his stack, but he will care if you take your business elsewhere.

Regarding the market, yes, it sucks. We just accepted an offer well below the asking price of our house, which hurt, but after 9 months it had to be done. However, our estate agent was great and she helped negotiate a good deal on the house we wanted to have. We took a loss, our sellers took a loss, but she will now help our sellers to get a good deal on their next property as well. So I think as long as everyone in the chain is willing to accomodate, the market will continue to move.

That said, it's very well possible that your sellers simply cannot budge: they may need X amount back for their property in order to keep a deposit to move on to the next house. Or they may not be under pressure to move and literally have the luxury of time and be able to turn down reasonable offers to wait for the perfect one. It's a risky game but it's their right to play it. Apart from making it clear that your offer isn't gonna be around forever, there is nothing you can do.

ChasingSquirrels Mon 28-Feb-11 09:30:20

For whatever reason they don't want to sell their house at the price you are offering - and that is up to them.

If you don't want to buy it at their price - and again that is up to you - then there isn't going to be a sale.

You have made your position clear, walk away.

twosoups Mon 28-Feb-11 11:49:07

I'm struggling to nderstand this.

If they are in no hurry to leave and there's no work to be done on the house, I can understand them holding out.

We were in the same position with the house we just sold. We received an offer 20k below asking and we rejected it outright. The couple who'd offered it kept tellign us "we had to take a big hit on ours" and my reply was "That's not my problem." The reason they'd tken a hit was because (a) they had bought at the top of the market and (b) their house wasn't 'done up' like ours was.

They were livid that we wouldn't just do what they wanted.

Needless to say we sold it a couple of weeks later for very close to the asking price.

I do sympathise with you - the market is rubbish at the moment - but being 'in a position to buy' doesn't guarantee you a discount unless the vendor is 'needing the sale'. We had a couple of lower offers on our house and essentially, these people were viewing a house out of their price range. Unless you can definitely afford to go to the asking price, you should expect to be disappointed because not everyone is desperate to sell.

mylovelymonster Mon 28-Feb-11 15:12:22

twosoups - the OPs vendors are not obliged to accept the OPs offer at all. However, an asking price is a guide, not an RRP. Making an offer is not getting a discount in the usual sense. Being in a position to buy is a very positive point in negotiation.

Your experience is extremely valid, but not the only scenario being played out in the current market. You were able to hold on and wait for the right offer for you and that's great.

I think for many people looking to buy, the last time they bought a house it was the norm to negotiate 5-10% away from the marketed price. Is it not the current trend that homes are achieving 92-94% asking price at the moment even?
Is making an offer 5% below asking price unreasonable?

The next 6-12 months are going to be interesting.

bibbitybobbityhat Mon 28-Feb-11 15:19:54

Jeez! the problem is with the vendors not the EA. The EA will be desperate for them to accept your offer - if they don't he won't get his commission. And he is not going to be worried by his fee being a few hundred pounds less for the sake of a sale.

Vendors can be absolute arses. I worked in an Estate Agents for a while and we had a two bedroom house otm in SE London for £420,000. A buyer came along and offered £410,000, vendor turned it down. Buyer went up to £412,000 vendor turned it down. Buyer walked away. House stayed on the market for the next 6 months with no other offers. Houses like that are now selling for £375,000. Idiot vendor!

angel1976 Mon 28-Feb-11 18:04:41

Hi all, thanks for all your thoughts.

mylovelymonster Thanks for your suggestion. We worded up a letter very similar to what you suggested and put it through their door this afternoon.

I agree that we need to go out and see other places. It's a good idea Viva to suggest making appointments to see other places with the same agent. I will do that tomorrow! grin I've already made the agent 'sweat' a little by saying we are going to see a house on the weekend (we were but schedule too tight and we had to cancel). I know he is fairly desperate to convince the vendors to sell as he must be sick of showing a lot of people round after 3 months.

twosoups I know the vendors don't have to sell to us, it's within their right not to but it seems crazy to hold out for £10k as it's a very small percentage to the value of the house. Also, we did not make a silly offer, it's a good offer for that house, we have done our research.

We are not counting on getting this house. We are looking every night on RM, just nothing coming on the market and I really do not want to go into rented with two little boys! Argh! Thanks for all your ideas and thoughts...

mamatomany Mon 28-Feb-11 19:31:45

I bet people are waiting for Spring, which may well be tomorrow to put the houses on the market.

angel1976 Mon 28-Feb-11 19:41:34

mama I think so too! I really hope so, I am so sick of looking at the same properties day in and day out!

Speckledeggy Mon 28-Feb-11 20:22:56

It's not your house.

The same happened to us. Took us ages and ages until we finally found a house we loved. Another couple wanted the house and the EA was trying to get us into a bidding war. We backed out. The other couple's offer was accepted. Two weeks later we found a better house in a better location for less money. Our second offer was accepted. The sale of the other house fell through about six weeks later and they took it off the market.

Some things are just not meant to be. Back off and see what happens, you may be in for a surprise!

traceybath Mon 28-Feb-11 20:31:21

Some vendors just don't really seem to want to sell in my opinion unless they get the magic figure in their heads.

We're paying 20% under the asking price on the house we're buying - took the vendor 3 months to accept our offer though smile

But she really wants to move due to circumstances.

Keep looking though - I've noticed a sudden influx of houses in the past week around here (bath) but it does depend so much on the area.

angel1976 Mon 28-Feb-11 20:50:51

Speckle That's encouraging! Thanks. grin I know there will be other houses. The thing is actually DH loves this house more than me. I can see there are 'faults' with it but also a couple of big pluses - the position being one of them (it backs onto a gorgeous park with a really long garden so when we do extend the kitchen in the future, it won't cut into the garden too much, it's the biggest garden we have seen so far and that will always be there). But DH has loved this one from day 1. And to be honest, he doesn't ask for much (and seeing as he is paying the mortgage!), I am happy to defer to him on this one. I already told the agent we are not increasing our offer, if someone else comes in and offer more, don't even come back to us to ask if we want to increase cos we can't and we won't.

tracey I agree with you! We had a figure in our head as to what we would have accepted for our house but in the end, we took a little bit less just to get things going but it took a while to come round to the idea! Will keep you all updated. Thanks for sharing your stories and support.

angel1976 Tue 01-Mar-11 20:42:23

Just an update, the vendor called today and we had a good chat. It seems like due to EA 'antics' there's been a bit of misunderstanding all around. They still have that '£10k' more figure in their head that is the minimum they want to move for, she reckons they need it for their next move. I told her that we do love the house but we are really on the top end of the budget and we just felt like after weeks and weeks of negotiation with the EA,we are getting nowhere but feel like EA is stringing us along by not turning down our offer and calling every few days with 'updates' of more viewings. So we wanted to put through the note to them, make clear our intentions but want them to make a decision one way or the other. She said she felt that was very fair and she said she was very happy to get the note as she realised how serious we were as through the EA, she was getting the feeling we were trying to 'play the game'. Anyway, we kinda agreed on meeting halfway and she will talk to her husband tonight. Fingers crossed. It will be a lovely family house for us if we do get it.

mylovelymonster Tue 01-Mar-11 20:52:34

Ah! People, when they get together, can just be so reasonable!!

biscuit on the subject of EAs....

Lots of luck!

Ciske Tue 01-Mar-11 22:09:13


And shame on the estate agent, you and the vendor just did his job for him after he nearly mucked it up.

angel1976 Tue 01-Mar-11 22:19:23

Ciske The thing is, would you believe this, he is actually one of the nicer agents in this area (which is saying a lot as in the 'village' near us, there's about 10 EAs there and I've dealt with them all at some point)!

The vendor was saying to me today how he told them, 'Oh, they have made this XXX offer but for one day only!' And how we had 'withdrawn' the offer the following Monday and looking at other houses. Eh, except that fact is he called us on Friday afternoon with this big talk about how there were 3 viewings over the weekend and how the vendors are so close to selling etc, did we want to make one last offer. So we did but we said they had to accept that day, take the house off the market and cancel all viewings. The agent promised to put the offer to them, and to call us back regardless and we did not hear from him all weekend or Monday. So on Tuesday, I sent him a rather 'straight-talking' email to say we are sick of being left waiting all weekend so we are not making that offer anymore.

So in reality, he kinda backed us into the corner to make an offer in that manner by calling us with that info on Friday afternoon, then twisted it round to make us sound completely unreasonable. shock I honestly thought he was the one decent agent around.

NoseyNooNoo Tue 01-Mar-11 23:53:06

He'll be furious to hear that you've been talking to each other.

mylovelymonster Tue 01-Mar-11 23:54:58

diddums grin

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