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Is this usual estate agent behaviour?

(22 Posts)
Paranormalbouquet Mon 13-Nov-17 08:51:56

We viewed a house at the weekend. FTB, decent deposit, in London where the money doesn’t go far. We loved it and were clear that we were interested. The agent then said there is an offer in above asking which hadn’t yet been accepted but she wouldn’t tell us how much the offer was for. She offered to refer us to their “preferred mortgage broker” to see if we could get a bigger mortgage (in fact we know we could but do not want to overstretch ourselves).

We were suspicious as the house has been on the market for a while (recently reduced)- would imagine that an offer above asking would have been grabbed with both hands. Also wondering why we couldn’t know how much- how are we to know what to bid against so?

We politely said that we weren’t interested in getting into a bidding war, and to contact us if offer fell through. At which point she stated they would only do so if we made an offer first.

Is this standard when considering buying someplace?

SilverSpot Mon 13-Nov-17 08:56:12

Pushy behaviour, I had that with an east London EA in Wanstead who wouldn’t let me put an offer in until I’d seen their in-house mortgage advisor. Then they were pressuring me to offer higher since ‘I could have a bigger mortgage’.

Thank god the house I liked best wasn’t on with them because I really didn’t want to use them after that!

SquashedInTight Mon 13-Nov-17 08:58:10

Don't know about London, but not elsewhere. Some estate agents do try everything to get you to use their in-house financial adviser though, as they get money from them if you go through them. We have had 'you can only offer on this house if you meet with the builder's financial advisor' and 'we offer £1 off fees if you use our financial advisor'. Persistent too!

SquashedInTight Mon 13-Nov-17 08:58:37

They won't tell you someone else's offer though. Not anywhere.

johnd2 Mon 13-Nov-17 09:23:00

All the estate agents seemed to want us to see their advisor when we viewed, and all we would have had to pay for and all but one didn't seem too good.
The house we eventually bought we ummed and ahed for a while, then when they had another offer the estate agent told us all the details, amount, their need to sell their place in a chain and that they only had one viewing because they were moving from elsewhere.
Anyway we decided to match it and got the house. Then the survey knocked off 10k anywaygrin
I think you've found yourself a high pressure salesperson and you would probably treat accordingly! Good luck.

Ttbb Mon 13-Nov-17 09:25:00

I've had this a few times. You just have to act on the assumption that there is no other offer.

ThroughThickAndThin01 Mon 13-Nov-17 09:38:20

They shouldn't tell you what the other offers are. It's their vendors business only.

Paranormalbouquet Mon 13-Nov-17 09:56:46

Thanks all, I felt it was very pushy. We were actually put off making an offer because of it. We are not in a chain and have mortgage ready to go so could move quite quickly. Certainly don’t want to go to a broker and try to maximise a loan!

They’ve been in touch already this morning so I’m assuming there is no acceptable offer in.

blueskyinmarch Mon 13-Nov-17 09:59:08

Don’t play their games. If you like it put in an offer you think is reasonable then leave it and see what happens.

Lottie509 Mon 13-Nov-17 10:03:37

Estate agent sounds really pushy, I have never encountered an estate agent like that although I do hear alot of London estate agents have a bad reputation.
I wouldnt put in an offer over asking, Especially in London in these current times and being a ftb.

CotswoldStrife Mon 13-Nov-17 10:08:41

I would put in an offer if you want, decline their kind hmm offer to meet with their financial adviser. I would not expect them to tell you the other offer that is in at the moment - if the vendors had previously accepted an offer and the sale had fallen through then the EA may say 'they've accepted a higher offer than that previously' but they still might not say the exact amount.

Paranormalbouquet Mon 13-Nov-17 10:21:40

We definitely won't go in over asking. Market is funny here at the moment- not much coming to market, not much moving which means it's overpriced still. We know what we can comfortably pay each month and have stress tested that with pay cuts, one of us taking time off, higher interest rates etc. We are naturally cautious and though I'm really keen to finally own my own place (we have been saving for a long time!) we won't be bullied into making an offer we aren't comfortable with.

I've met other agents who were far less pushy (but I expressed no interest in the properties so maybe that's why!).

RandomMess Mon 13-Nov-17 10:22:31

Remember they are working for the sellers and themselves!!

With this sort of agent I’d put a final offer in for what you are prepared to pay in writing, telling them it is your only offer and you require them to put it in writing to the vendor along with your status of x y z!!

They are obliged to pass on offers but these are the sort of agents that will play the backwards and forwards game. Sounds like an area where prices are stagnating/in decline or at the very least it was overpriced.

Paranormalbouquet Mon 13-Nov-17 10:30:11

Prices definitely in decline- that's why we've started looking! But still crazy really- nice leafy area of north London, with good schools. We do love the area though and DD will be starting school next year so would be lovely to finally settle somewhere. We have a good deposit which will hopefully act as a buffer against any short term price drops.

JT05 Mon 13-Nov-17 10:37:31

Some EAs really overstep the mark and are not acting in the vendors best interest.
We recently bought, having viewed the property went to the EAs office to make the offer and were told we couldn’t make an offer until we saw their Mortgage advisor.
We were cash purchasers, but the ( young) EA couldn’t understand that we didn’t need a Mortgage and refused to put our offer forward.
We were just about to go back to the house and speak to the vendor about the EAs behaviour when a senior partner came out and sorted the situation.
We did buy the house, but the Senior partner was very keen to be the only person to speak with us.

KyloRensLightsaber Mon 13-Nov-17 10:52:38

EAs seem to be doing this more now. As far as I know you absolutely don’t have to use their mortgage provider or and financial advisor or solicitor or anything else.

They may want proof of deposit, but this and an agreement in principle shows you have the funds. No need for anything else.

You sound very sensible! As there is so little coming onto the market - if you like this one I’d make an offer that you are happy at, they legally have to pass this on.

The vendors might well not know about the EAs “strategy” games and might be happy to accept!

RandomMess Mon 13-Nov-17 11:53:23

Legally don’t they have to pass on your offer? I can’t believe they are pulling you have to see our FA stunt!

GETTINGLIKEMYMOTHER Mon 13-Nov-17 12:52:35

I'm quite sure some less scrupulous agents do invent other offers, in order to make you feel a bit desperate/up your offer. I will admit to once giving into what I was pretty sure was this tactic, against my better judgement.
On a later occasion we stuck to our guns and did eventually win.

It's hard, but all you can really do is call their bluff - if it is bluff - and say you can't go any higher. I've heard of cases where the other offer magically falls through. You do risk losing the house, but remember that especially now, an awful lot of cases of 'sold subject to contract' fall through anyway.

And BTW it is not unknown for an EA to use various spurious reasons for an offer supposedly being rejected - because they have a mate or colleague who wants the property for less. I have personal experience of this - offer of something like £215k rejected for a reason that sounded ridiculous, but I had no choice but to accept - later found on nethouseprices that the property had sold very soon afterwards for about £186k.

cannotchange Mon 13-Nov-17 12:53:20

I have been told that certain estate agents make more money from selling the financial and legal services, so the actual sale of the house is least important.

Paranormalbouquet Mon 13-Nov-17 13:34:14

Going for a second viewing this week. If we still like it we will put an offer on the table and leave it on the table I think- not getting drawn into increasing it lots. Also going to view a few others nearby- not putting all our eggs in one basket anyway. We are renting very near to the house at the moment so not in a big rush.

Paranormalbouquet Mon 13-Nov-17 13:40:02

GETTING I hope the vendor heard about that- it’s appalling behaviour.

EssentialHummus Mon 13-Nov-17 13:45:49

If we still like it we will put an offer on the table and leave it on the table I think-

I tend to make offers with deadlines of a week or so, so you don’t get strung along as bait until a higher offer appears.

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