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How cynical should I be with our (so far useless) estate agents?

(21 Posts)
Itchyandscratchy Thu 20-Sep-12 20:38:01

Am very unhappy with the agents we're using to sell my late father's house. A number of very unsatisfactory things have happened so my db and I decided to bin them, change agents and we've put our notice in. Suddenly they're falling over themselves, 4 viewings since notice given & we've had an offer.

First offer was £18k under asking price; now they've upped it to £12k under. We've said we'd sell for £8k under but top offer is now -10k.

Agents are beside themselves telling me what a good offer this is, winter's on its way, the sellers won't go up, etc.

I think they're just desperate not to miss out on the sale before we swap agents. House is completely refurbished & in a lovely spot. It's only been on market since June & under offer twice before (both buyers pulled out due to not being told it has a septic tank by the agent which we had made very clear).

Am I just being unrealistic though? I've never sold a house before. I feel really pressured.

maxmillie Thu 20-Sep-12 20:41:11

hmmm 10K below asking price sounds pretty standard to me these days - depends how realistically it is priced I guess and whether you are happy to wait to next spring possibly.

Were the other 2 offers at asking price?

MrsCampbellBlack Thu 20-Sep-12 20:43:13

What's that % wise? And what's the market like round you?

Itchyandscratchy Thu 20-Sep-12 20:49:00

Market's ok round here. Previous offers both only £5k under.
It's on a £210 and very comparable to others that a similar, but it's a bit if a one-off.

Think I'm also being sentimental. My dad bought the land and had the house built for him & my mum so we're the only people who ever lived in it. They're both gone now and I have to let it go. I'm ok about it but would hate to undersell it.

Itchyandscratchy Thu 20-Sep-12 20:49:45

Please excuse iPad typos

Itchyandscratchy Fri 21-Sep-12 10:19:55

Any other thoughts please? I need to get back to agent today. Thanks

fourwalls Fri 21-Sep-12 10:41:54

An offer of £200k against an asking price of £210k seems very fair and probably what you would reasonably hope for in this market (depending on location) - less than 5% off and you probably knew you'd have to drop a bit - sounds fair enough.

You seem to be implying EA thought they were getting the boot and so 'manufactured' extra viewings? To keep you on board.

Are you suggesting the offer may be manufactured too?

It does seem highly unlikely that they would simply 'turn up' a new buyer out of the blue - through 'phoning around their clients' - this just doesn't happen in real life.

So either it's a genuine offer or something the EA has cooked up with a 'pal' and will fall through in a couple of weeks.

have you met the buyer? Do you trust them?

Itchyandscratchy Fri 21-Sep-12 12:18:52

Eeee hadn't even considered that. shock
The agents are lazy and complacent but wouldn't risk their overblown good reputation by being so underhand would they???!!

Anyway I've rung back and said we only want 202. I've been quite polite about it. If the buyers back out now, we'll see if it's genuine. They were very keen. It helps that my db is being pigheaded about it as I feel more easily-swayed.

Both offers we've had previously were higher and that was only 2 months or so ago.

alabamawurley Fri 21-Sep-12 12:45:55

"Its been under off twice before". But as you say, these were based on the EAs false representation of your property (by omission) so you can't use these 'offers' to compare - essentially they were for a different 'package' than that you are actually selling. An offer at 5% off asking (assuming it is genuine) in a market where 7% off is the average is not bad at all.

wendybird77 Fri 21-Sep-12 13:37:49

Agree, think that 2k isn't much to haggle over. It is a difference of 1k (free inheritance money) to each you and your brother? Could you get the 2k for fixtures and fittings? Seems a gamble to turn away a buyer for so little money IMO.

Rangirl Fri 21-Sep-12 14:56:18

I think the key point is what is the purcaser's position i.e are they chain free cash buyers or do they have to sell their own house /and get a mortgage.This is linked to how 'real'they are .I would not put anything past some agents.However if it is genuine and they are in a position to proceed I would probably go for it.There is no guarantee you would get any more,when you might get it, winter is fast approaching etc

GreenEggsAndNichts Fri 21-Sep-12 18:50:02

The previous offers were based on not knowing there was a septic tank. That does make a significant change to the property; I know I wouldn't want to deal with one, and evidently, neither did the previous two potential buyers. You can't compare their offers to this new one, as they were made without knowing the full details of the property.

Now you have an offer from someone who does. I'd personally take that offer seriously. It depends on how long you want to have this house on the market (it's already been on for two months- the price isn't going to go up) and how active your current market is.

MoreBeta Fri 21-Sep-12 18:57:56

Ask for the name of the person who made the offer and how proceedable they are along with proof they have funds.

Tell the EA if their 'buyer' actually turns up with the money you will pay their commission - but you are still swapping agents.

GreenEggsAndNichts Fri 21-Sep-12 19:00:16

Good idea, MoreBeta.

throckenholt Fri 21-Sep-12 19:02:01

We are in a similar situation - selling my mum's house - only our family have ever lived in it. We have just accepted a low offer, but it is a difficult house to sell in a not ideal area, and needs work doing to it.

I guess it comes down to how quickly you want to sell (we need to meet the terms of the will). Do you want it empty through the winter ? How much hassle is it for you to look after it ? You could consider renting it out until the market picks up.

I would be tempted to go with what you have - no certainty the market will get any better in the next few months. That is assuming they are a good buyer (ours is a cash one with no chain). I think probate sells always sell a bit below price because they know you need to sell it (if you see what I mean).

The toughest thing is having to deal with this at an emotional time - and trying to remain objective. And getting siblings to have the same viewpoint.

Itchyandscratchy Sat 22-Sep-12 13:44:14

Thank you for all this valuable advice. EA rang yesterday afternoon with same offer but said they'd reduce their fee by £500, so I said I'd think about it.

I rang them back 45m later and said I thought the offer was a good one but that I thought the fees were NOT reasonable, given their shoddy service so far. Ended up giving them both barrels (in a polite & reasonable way believe it or not).

She ended up taking £1k off their fees and I agreed to the offer. Am pleased really.

Rang to tell my db today though and it hit me that (if it goes through) very soon will be the time I leave that house for the last time which felt awful. Feels like facing up to the funeral all over again. sad

throckenholt Sat 22-Sep-12 16:42:07

That is the feeling I am facing as well. My dad built our house - I lived in it from the age of 7. Mum has lived there for over 30 years. It going (whilst I am grateful not to have to look after it any more) is a bit like the final goodbye to both my parents. I am not looking forward to my final visit to the house sad

Glad you got a good deal with the estate agent in the end.

GreenEggsAndNichts Sat 22-Sep-12 16:47:51

Itchy that sounds very good. And VERY well done you for letting the EA know how you feel, and getting a reduction in fees. Their mishandling of the septic tank thing really didn't help you in that all-important period when the property first came on the market.

rock sad I can only imagine. My grandparents had a cabin they purchased when my mum and her brothers were small, and I spent all of my summers up there. It was very basic (in New England, classic log cabin type place) but we have so many memories from there. We had to sell it this year, and I was surprised at how attached to the place I was. So as I say, I can only imagine how much tougher it would have been if I'd lived there. Good luck.

MoreBeta Sat 22-Sep-12 20:36:26

Itchy - get that in writing. Some woman on the phone making promises to keep your business will may not 'remember' when the bill gets sent out.

Itchyandscratchy Sun 23-Sep-12 12:51:33

Good idea MoreBeta. They are ringing me tomorrow. I will insist on a written agreement of fees and dh said this morning, we also need confirmation that the buyers are aware of the septic tank and access rights to the property, which we have been very clear about but which, again, we cannot be 100% sure the agents have passed on.

I will be very very surprised if this ends up going through, tbh. But I'm not panicked: it will sort itself out in the end.

GreenEggsAndNichts Sun 23-Sep-12 18:46:37

More great advice from moreBeta.

Yes, don't get too anxious about the whole thing. It will be great if this is a real buyer, but if it's not, you have a fallback plan (to change EAs and re-market). Let us know how it goes.

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