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Buyers - what's your experience of EAs been?

(13 Posts)
spiralqueen Mon 09-Nov-09 10:16:55

We're relocating in the new year and are cash buyers. I've emailed all the EAs in the new area with a description of what we are ideally looking for, plus what we would compromise on and what we can't compromise on.

Only one EA actually sent out a set of details but clearly hadn't looked at our requirements as one of the properties was £90K over budget, and the others only vaguely resembled what we needed. I went back to them as requested with our thoughts on each property and haven't heard from them since.

I've set up a number of viewings of properties I've seen on Rightmove but this hasn't prompted any of the agents to suggest other properties we might be interested in. One house went before the viewing and the agent just said to get in touch if we spotted anything else on their website.

We've been monitoring the market since we knew of the move and there hasn't been much movement at all so I had expected that the EAs would have been much more proactive in trying to get a sale. If I was a vendor in the area I know I'd be hacked off if I knew the agents were sitting back and expecting the buyers to do all the legwork.

What's your experience been like?

GrendelsMum Mon 09-Nov-09 10:25:18

We had much the same experience - told the EAs what we wanted, but didn't get anything sent through to us or recommended. But, in their defence, the house we bought was not much like what we were describing to them. I can imagine that in reality, people do tend to change their priorities quite radically when they buy houses.

Scottie22 Mon 09-Nov-09 19:55:15

That amazes me tbh! Sounds like they have gone back to the old ways of the boom time when they didn't have to lift a finger to sell anything!! If I was an EA, I would be biting your hand off as cash buyers but hey - I work for a living smile

If you know which area you want to live, you could try leafleting a few streets yourself? Some EA's might --pull their finger out--respond better if you could go in in person or phone??

Reallytired Mon 09-Nov-09 19:59:16

As a cash buyer you would be able to strike quite a hard bargain in this climate. It may not be so silly to put in a really low offer on a house that you like.

lifeistooshort Mon 09-Nov-09 20:01:33

estate agents (in my area) are awful muppets. Hate them hate them hate them (with lots of reason but too little time to list them all) and we are cash buyers too

lifeistooshort Mon 09-Nov-09 20:05:58

oh and arrogant too. Did I mention arrogant?

Rant over

CMOTdibbler Mon 09-Nov-09 20:09:08

IME, EAs are, for example, twunts. Generally they seem uninterested in showing you the types of houses you want - criteria such as budget and absolute must haves seem to go by the by.

Relocating this time, we did have more success actually going into the EAs and sitting there asking for details with the 'we are in this area for 4 days to view, what do you have that we can see' line. One set, when told our (v good for the area) budget said 'oh, we are a bit high end for you' - which, by the properties on their website was a lie. We didn't darken their door again !

The agents we bought through in the end, were excellent though, and we will certainly use them when we sell eventually

JimJammum Mon 09-Nov-09 20:50:54

Don't get me started.....we have sold and are desperate to find something before exchange in mid December and completion in Jan, with a 2 house chain and a cash buyer at the bottom. Have told all local agents our requirements and budget. Recently asked if it was worth viewing a house £40k over our budget that has been on a while, and was told yes, they should be open to negotiation. We fell in love with it, and offered our budget limit, only to be refused and asked if we had any more money to spend......Doh! They then have not suggested anything else suitable. A couple have been good at sending stuff out, others have sent details on 2-3, only for us to find ones we prefer in our price bracket and requirements ourselves. Others just send everything on their website that is within price bracket. Finding that we are having to do 90% of the work finding properties ourselves.

Leeka Tue 10-Nov-09 13:40:57

As an ex estate agent...

I almost always found that buyers DON'T buy what they had said that they wanted in the first place, often the opposite. Obviously a buyer knows where they might be prepared to compromise (price, location, large garden, whatever), but as we don't it is often beneficial to include a much wider selection of properties than specified by the buyer's initial requirements.

I have recently done some freelance property searching for someone, who has now agreed a purchase on something £150k over her absolute top budget, that is a cute country cottage not the eco-home I was told it MUST be, and without the 'over one acre' garden I was told it MUST have.

So don't just blame the estate agents - it's hard working with humans and their emotions!

NoseyNooNoo Tue 10-Nov-09 15:54:49

We're renting with a substantial pot of case waiting to buy a house. I did my weekly call around of EAs today. I asked how we get to the top of their list of people they ring and the general response was that they have too many buyers to phone anyone - they just e-mail out and whoever calls them back that day gets the house. I could accept this if I wasn't already rightmoving 3 times a day with hotmail always on and still not getting to be first in the queue.

spiralqueen Wed 11-Nov-09 11:53:14

Scottie - we live over 150 miles from where we are relocating to so keeping popping in to the EAs and mailshotting isn't an option for us. Spoke to the only local EA who has been helpful who said that there are always houses that never initially get advertised on their books. Info given to "hot prospect" buyers only and will only appear on Rightmove/papers if they can't sell to the top buyers. He's keeping me in the loop but no-one else is.

Leeka - the EA who sent me the details of the house £90K over budget said the same thing - people don't buy what they tell you they want. When I asked him if the owners of the property were likely to accept an offer £90k below asking he was horrified and said no way. So I asked again why had he sent it to me when it was clearly a non-starter but he couldn't come up with a reason.

stillfrazzled Wed 11-Nov-09 13:34:50

We found that EAs on the whole are lazy twunts who still think it's the boom and people will fight each other to pour money into their pockets for any old tat.

There are exceptions - the nice ones we sold through and bought from, and obv Leeka since she has the good taste to be a MNer smile. But that was our general impression.

We bought EXACTLY what we said we wanted - 3 bed Victorian semi in small range of streets and below budget. You wouldn't believe how many enormous wedges of particulars for flats and massive modern houses on estates for £100k more than we could afford etc etc etc we were sent. There was no attempt to filter or cater to our requirements whatsoever.

Come the revolution they'll be first up against the wall mutter chunter etc etc etc...

Speckledeggy Wed 11-Nov-09 18:37:21

Absolutely rubbish.

Mind you, arranged a viewing through an estate agent I hadn't dealt with before and she was very helpful. Asked me what we were looking for then emailed me a property. It wasn't in catchment of any decent schools so she then emailed me another house which is within catchment of an excellent school. It made a welcome change!

Generally, they don't seem to give a crap. Thank god for Rightmove and the Internet is all I can say! Mind you, some of the don't even reply to messages sent via Rightmove, their own website or email.

If everyone started advertising their houses privately they'd have to start getting their fingers out.

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