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How much should an estate agent do to market your property?

(26 Posts)
Mendi Tue 09-Apr-13 12:50:56

Serious question as I'm not sure if I am expecting too much.

Property went on market for £270k on Friday. It's a 3-bed mid-terraced house. All 3 bedrooms are large doubles.

There are 3 'competition' houses on the market in my road, all currently at £250k. Two of them were originally at £275k but have been on for months and have dropped price twice.

All three competition houses are listed as '3 bedrooms' but actually have 2 proper bedrooms and a box room. In contrast my house has the loft converted into a large third bedroom.

Because of this I said to the EA before signing that a floor plan was essential - so viewers can appreciate the difference in bedroom size and that my house is larger overall. I was assured I would have a floor plan.

Property went on Rightmove with no floor plan. Several emails from me met with 'it'll be on tomorrow', then today 'there must be an IT problem, it should be on, we'll follow this up.'

On Saturday the branch manager responded to one of my email enquiries, saying 'I will amend your listing but have a busy day with lots of Rightmove leads which I'll be following up to arrange viewings.'

Yesterday the younger agent said there were no viewings lined up. So I forwarded him the branch manager's email asking if they'd followed up all these 'Rightmove leads' yet. He replied 'I'll have to check with [branch manager] as I'm not aware of the position with any Rightmove leads'.

They're talking shit, aren't they? Surely their main job is to follow up leads? How can it be that only the branch manager would know? There are only 5 of them in the branch.

There are lots of other things they haven't done, or have done but shouldn't have. I really need to sell quickly but I can't afford to sell for £250k and I don't think I should have to as my house is bigger and has more usable space than the competition houses.

So, AIBU in expecting the EA to have bloody well sorted out the floor plan and made an effort to follow up on Rightmove leads, or alternatively, not lied to me about leads if there were none?

Or is this just par for the course?

As background I am only on 2 weeks' notice so am wondering whether I should just get another agent in ASAP. But don't want to BU.

Mendi Tue 09-Apr-13 16:26:43

<bores everyone to death>

stayathomegardener Tue 09-Apr-13 16:33:58

I would threaten to move agent if the issues are not dealt with promptly.

Our rental property went up for sale 6 weeks ago whilst we were on holiday,the agent was meant to email details over for me to OK but didn't.
On our return I expressed my displeasure....agent has been fantastic ever since,beyond accommodating.
3 offers and just accepted a cash purchase at 5% less than asking price but I suspect if I had not been so "demanding" initially I would not have received the same service

Mendi Tue 09-Apr-13 16:59:54

Congratulations stayathomegardener on having sold!

The particulars drafted by my EA were crap too - I had to completely re-draft them and then the younger guy put them on Rightmove. Next day, the branch manager rang me to say the particulars would have to be changed because under the Property Misdescriptions Act they were not able to describe properties as 'beautiful' or 'lovely' in case a buyer disagreed.

I am a lawyer so I set him straight on what the PDA does and does not permit. He agreed to change the particulars. Next day, he hadn't. I emailed. He apologised and said he would change them. They did then change.

Then the thing with the floor plan.

This afternoon he's emailed in reply to my request for info re viewings through the Rightmove leads, saying that all leads have been chased and he'll let me know when there are any viewings.

I think that's bollocks. If you click on 'request details' on Rightmove, you have to fill in a form with email address and phone number to 'get details' or 'arrange viewing'. As a buyer I would only click on that to arrange a viewing, as obviously all the details are already on Rightmove.

So, if this guy told me there were 'lots of leads through Rightmove', that must mean lots of requests for viewings. Which now transpire to result in... no viewings. So he was lying, right?

Or is there another explanation?

lalalonglegs Tue 09-Apr-13 17:37:31

I agree with gardener, send a letter complaining about service so far and giving notice - you're probably tied in for the next x weeks but make it clear you want to leave a the end of this period. It will mean that they will probably raise their game considerably and, if they don't, you can go elsewhere at the earliest opportunity.

Crutchlow35 Tue 09-Apr-13 18:18:15

Are you in Scotland? If Scotland it is not unusual to ask for more information, ie the home report.

Your floor plan would take someone 20 mins or so to prepare if using a package such as metropix. Ask them what floor plan package they use. Do other properties they sell have floor plans?

Mendi Tue 09-Apr-13 19:34:52

Not in Scotland crutchlow35. Agent did the floor plan when he took the photos. Just hasn't uploaded it to Rightmove. Keeps saying it will be on there tomorrow hmm

Crutchlow35 Tue 09-Apr-13 20:01:14

Ok. I am a bit meh about the lots of rightmove information requests then because generally people call particularly as rightmove have changed from 0845 numbers to local numbers. CAn you check your area for that?

Emailing to arrange a viewing takes time. Viewers tend to want to know what, when and where as generally people view a few together iyswim

Your area might be different to mine though. Have you sent a fake information request yourself from another email account? Just to see what they say?

Mendi Tue 09-Apr-13 20:21:26

I thought about doing that but the problem is that both email and phone number are required fields on the form you fill in and I don't have a second phone number.

If I give a fake phone no and correct email address, I strongly suspect they will just give up when they realise the number doesn't work.

AliceWChild Tue 09-Apr-13 20:22:18

Sounds likes load of lies to me. When I was looking a houses I got told various contradictory stories. They sound like they're doing a crap job. If the floor plan wasn't there from the off people might not go back to look. YANBU

Crutchlow35 Tue 09-Apr-13 20:26:02

I can do it for you if you want feedback. Pm me if you like.

Mendi Tue 09-Apr-13 22:10:21

That's a kind offer crutchlow35, thank you. Have PMed you.

formicaqueen Tue 09-Apr-13 22:59:36

tell them you plan to give notice if the floor plan isn't on by x date?

rockinhippy Wed 10-Apr-13 00:40:35

My DPs had similar problems with Rightmove, they were useless so bad they took photos of the end of a room that had furniture piled up ready for clearance - the photographer was so bad they managed to make all rooms look tiny, dark & dingy - the outside was under a dark sky & looked like something from a horror movie hmm

I'm the other end of the country, so all I could do was download the awful photos & photoshop them to look sunnier & not so foreboding - they weren't brilliant, but a big improvement on the original shots - 6 weeks later they still ain't swapped the photos - slackershmm

PastaBeeandCheese Wed 10-Apr-13 08:04:00

I think that's poor service. I'm thinking of using housenetwork so fully expect to write my own description, conduct own viewings etc but for the money you will be paying a 'real' agent I'd expect them to be working much harder.

Rightmove generates data for the agent on how many people have viewed and saved the property so i'd ask for that too.

ixos Wed 10-Apr-13 14:39:09

Sounds like the EA is particularly rubbish. But I think you are going to REALLY struggle to get above £250,000 because of the Stamp Duty Threshold. It's a tough nut to crack - even if your house is significantly better than the competition. Good luck though!

bonzoed Fri 12-Apr-13 18:05:26

is there any progress yet?

Crutchlow35 Fri 12-Apr-13 18:16:03

Hopefully the OP will be back with an update. I did some fishing around for her.

Mendi Fri 12-Apr-13 18:35:32

Yes crutchlow35 v kindly posed as an interested potential buyer for me and fortunately the agent did make the right sort of noises about my house. There was a viewing arranged for tomorrow but today he called to say the couple couldn't come after all as they had double booked tomorrow. So I said I could do a viewing on Sun if that was more convenient for them (I have already said to the agent that I'm happy to do evening/Sunday viewings if people want) and he said he would check and let me know. He hasn't rung back.

I guess I just have to wait.

So annoying this house selling thing. Like trying to get pregnant. You're not in control.

Mendi Tue 16-Apr-13 15:42:17

Update: house has been on for 10 days and has had ONE viewing. By an individual who was obviously never going to buy it as she wanted a doer-upper and my house has already been extended, loft converted, etc. All of which is clear from the photos.

I'm panicking. If no one's even viewing it then no one will buy it. I expected at least a few viewings in the first couple of weeks but there are no more lined up. The agent says my village is 'not that popular' and 'we have to persuade buyers to view properties there'. Funny they didn't mention this before I signed up with them.

Do I just sit and wait for someone interested to turn up, or is there anything the agent could be doing that perhaps they're not? How long should I leave it before I get a second agent on? (I can do this on 2 weeks' notice.)

Crutchlow35 Tue 16-Apr-13 18:16:49

Mendi. It has been 10 days all of which have been in the Easter holidays. Calm down a bit.

I have villages that I sell in that are tough sells. Yes, you should have been told that along with the agents strategy before you signed up but if it is a difficult area then moving agent isn't going to miraculously bring new viewers.

Mendi Tue 16-Apr-13 20:30:11

I guess. I have never sold a house through an agent before, which obviously shows!

I am not going to change agent, I'm just wondering if having the competition of a second agent would make the first agent work harder.

But I will leave it for another couple of weeks and see what happens.

Crutchlow35 Tue 16-Apr-13 20:43:28

But they struck me as working hard for you when I asked the questions last week.

Agents can't make people view. They can try their hardest to get feedback but if people don't want to (and this happens often) and they refuse to call or email back there isn't much an agent can do as we have to be careful of harassing potential buyers. It can be a fine line.

I spent yesterday calling viewers for feedback from my weekend viewings. 37 in total. I have managed to contact a tiny fraction of those people so far. The rest are voicemail and awaiting email responses.

When you say work harder for you, what do you want them to do?

Crutchlow35 Tue 16-Apr-13 20:45:07

That said I assume you have spoken them to establish what enquiries they have had (me?), what they did with their mailing list and what follow ups they have done with those?

Mendi Wed 17-Apr-13 19:58:14

Hi, yes I take on board absolutely what you say about not calling people again and again. And yes I have asked the agent what they are doing and they did say they ring round all their buyers every week but that they'd had a lot of answer machines.

<shuts up and sits on hands>

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