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I thought estate agents were being nice to buyers at the moment?

(55 Posts)
WhyIsItRaining Fri 03-Oct-08 09:55:30

Hmm. Apparently not in London. I just called a couple of places to enquire about arranging viewings for tomorrow. We are chain free, mortgage in place, good deposit. Our budget is reasonable although we are looking for quite a lot from it (e.g. two bathrooms etc). Having scoured the internet, this is achievable (just, if houses are achieving their asking price. Or comfortably if they are going for less than the advertised price).

Two agents I have just called have done the sucking their teeth 'ooh you won't get much for your budget' trick on me.

I thought it would be easier this time around but looks like the London market is still ok?

lalalonglegs Fri 03-Oct-08 11:19:49

It's insane. I am genuinely shocked by their attitude. Phone them back and remind them that (a) new mortgages are down 98% year on year (b) turnover is down almost 85% (c) that City vendors are soon going to be moving away in their thousands (d) at least half their salary comes from commission so could they please stop arsing you around and do their job.

If vendors don't want to sell at current prices that's up to them but it's laughable that agents should pretend that it is anything but a buyers' market.

amess Fri 03-Oct-08 11:25:32

I'd laugh at them while saying - that's not what the others have told me! Get them worried/thinking lazy ........... so and so's.

WhyIsItRaining Fri 03-Oct-08 12:01:54

OK so I'm not deluded then? They were making out that credit crunch was a problem outside London but that here the market was still strong. I had kind of assumed we would be dream buyers; we're both in jobs which should be safe and all ready to move.

I really want to find somewhere here because otherwise we will end up buying in the States (where H is from). Estate agents are all over us there and are really chasing a sale saying that no offer is off the table...

WhyIsItRaining Fri 03-Oct-08 12:03:43

But of course, I don't want to move to the States. Hence the need to find somewhere here quick!

hertsnessex Fri 03-Oct-08 12:04:13

you are dream buyers - hope you find something soon.

rolledhedgehog Fri 03-Oct-08 13:28:45

Maybe it depends on what part of London. I live near London and the market is through the floor. All the estate agents are letting staff go and holding on by the skin of their teeth.

GrabShellDude Fri 03-Oct-08 13:29:11

shock What an unbelievable response from them. Maybe they are still in cloud cuckoo land like some vendors.

LovelyDear Fri 03-Oct-08 13:31:15

sw london has people who are very keen to sell and are accepting significantly under asking price. you could get 3 beds 2 baths for less than 400 round my way.

Miyazaki Fri 03-Oct-08 13:31:23

Oh, I would just laugh at them...

They work for the sellers not you, so are always going to do this.

WhyIsItRaining Fri 03-Oct-08 13:39:22

LovelyDear but I'm looking in SW London and that's within my budget and am being told no chance... Whereabout are you?

I know they work for sellers etc but how do they expect to sell if they won't even show houses?

critterjitter Fri 03-Oct-08 17:02:37

I'd be interested to know if one of the estate agents you've been dealing with is also one of the agents I have (very big in London and have a reputation for overpricing). I won't say their name on here, however they seem to have totally taken over a particular area that I am interested in, and are particularly intransigent.

One of the staff actually told me that they'd all been on a course the previous day and now understand that house prices are set to boom any week now!! I did point out to her that the head of a major London agency was predicting 25+ falls etc and had sold his agency just in time! However, no, no, no, apparently the government is just about to buy up all unsold properties on the market (really?) and then there won't be any stock left on the market, so prices will shoot up! hmm hmm Don't ya love 'em?

yomellamoHelly Fri 03-Oct-08 17:24:06

Seems like nonsense to me.
We need to move and I've been keeping an eye on the websites. I still think a lot of the stuff on there is priced speculatively and should be discounted heavily. There will be people out there who need to move and who will be beginning to see that they need to adjust their expectations. They're the people whose houses you need to find.
Fwiw I know 2 people with their houses on the market. 1 has had no viewings since it was put on the market 4-5 months ago (needs to move). The other (on market since summer) has had a handful of viewings and only 1 offer at 30% below the asking price (doesn't need to move, would just like to - bigger garden etc.).
The person without any viewings knocked £20K off the price. It's had no effect and he said even if he knocked a further £50K off he doubted it would have an effect. They're now looking into renting it out instead.
We're in Kingston.

WhyIsItRaining Fri 03-Oct-08 17:41:27

Critter - I know who you mean and no I haven't been to them. I won't on principle (have an irrational hatred of them and their overpricing...)

The one agent that did express interest promised the email me a list of properties today so that we could decide whether to view any tomorrow. That was at 9am and I still haven't heard from him (now nearly 6pm). Ho hum. No wonder houses aren't selling.

I'm glad you all agree they are talking nonsense. Not sure where to go from here though...

critterjitter Fri 03-Oct-08 18:26:14

WhyIsItRaining
The thing about that agency though, is that every single house that they are selling in the area that I am looking at, is unsold aand heavily marked up. Whereas, some of the smaller agencies are marking down to 2006 levels now.

I'm shifting the area I am looking at because they have an almost stranglehold on prices in my original area.

PortAndLemon Fri 03-Oct-08 18:33:26

WhyIsItRaining -- I'm in SW London and IME in my area prices don't seem to be dropping yet; stuff just isn't selling at all, at any price, and there seems to be less on the market than there was at this time last year (based on extremely unscientific "how many estate agents' boards do I see when I go out" methodology).

There seems to be something of a "sit tight and wait it out" mentality going on. I guess it depends on what proportion of sellers really need to sell as to whether it's a buyer's market yet or not (if it isn't then it soon will be, but that doesn't help you).

I'd be inclined to say something like "that's interesting, a couple of the other agencies had several properties where the owners were getting desperate to sell and would be open to offers".

noddyholder Fri 03-Oct-08 18:38:28

Nationwide today said prices are about march 2006 level and will probably reach 2004 eventually.So although it looks like prices aren't falling it is just that sellers haven't accepted this yet and no matter how long they sit on it their house will be worth less than last summer no matter what they do.No one is going to pay more in a falling market and the banks will not lend and I think we will see serious low valuations now that surveyors have a definte guide as to where prices are going.

FAQ Fri 03-Oct-08 18:40:52

we had our house valued today and was told it was 2005 levels really. Quite impressed by her actually (think DS3 worked his charms on her - as she was telling me about her 2yr old grin) as I mentioned a house just down the road from us (very similar - except they've turned it into a 3 bedroom by doing a loft conversion) whereas ours is a "normal" 3 bedroom, that was on at 135 - she looked at me, said "yes it's a lovely house, but it's overpriced".

She was very honest and said that we'd probably sell it for the same price we bought it for 4yrs ago.

captainofthemummies Fri 03-Oct-08 18:46:54

Whyisitraining - why don't you go onto one of the websites? Then you can see what's available and the prices? Rightmove, fish4property, individual estate agencies will have their own sites...

noddyholder Fri 03-Oct-08 18:47:28

FAQ that sounds right because march 2006 completions would have been 'sold' at teh end of 2005.

FAQ Fri 03-Oct-08 18:49:32

ND - that's true - we're really not bothered - just want to get it sold tbh - so the fact that we've made no money on it all is of no consequence

KatieDD Fri 03-Oct-08 19:04:28

Foxtons are so full f shit aren't they lol I can't wait to buy one of their repossesed mini's grin

WhyIsItRaining Fri 03-Oct-08 19:56:07

Thanks for all the replies. I've been onto rightmove etc and that's how I got in touch with these agencies in the first place. I phoned asking about specific properties and then asked about any others they have on the books. Response in both cases to my specific enquiry was; well that one already has an offer on it and is seriously underpriced (because of water damage/ repossession etc) so you won't find anything else for the same amount. Normally it would be worth 200K more etc,etc.... (Which 'Normally' is that then hmm)

The sad thing is that we are looking for a family home. We want to buy something that we can stay in for the next 40 years. So I'm not that bothered if we buy somewhere that drops in price over the next couple of years as we are in it for the longhaul. Not the case for people who are looking to sell - for them further price drops can only be bad news surely? Better to sell now I'd have thought?

TheFallenMadonna Fri 03-Oct-08 19:58:45

I think it's a conditioned response. They've been doing it so long they just can't stop themselves.

DRAGON30 Fri 03-Oct-08 22:33:17

I recommend propertysnake.co.uk, which lists how much prices on particular properties have FALLEN. (there is a postcode/area search).Brace yourself if you're selling, it's terrifying.
Print it out, and send it to your agents!

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