Friday, 1 March 2013

It's all a question of trust......

We had a bit of a shock yesterday afternoon.

A shock so cataclysmic that we were forced to abandon our 'Mon-Thurs No Wine Rule' in order to steady our nerves.

Let me give you a clue......

Which professions would you say were the most untrustworthy?

Bankers must be right up there.  Secondhand car sellers? Politicians, Telemarketers, Double Glazing Salespeople.....?

What about Estate Agents?
"A recent survey by found 59% of respondents ranked estate agents as the least trustworthy profession."

I wonder why.......

Late afternoon yesterday, I was still at work, putting the finishing touches to our latest workshop offerings when PP called me through to the office.  She'd been clearing out some of her bookmarked favourites on the computer and there, on the screen, was the house we'd been hoping to buy, marked as SOLD!

Shocked and stunned doesn't even come close.....

After all, we had put in an offer on the property, which had been accepted, IN WRITING.  Obviously, as we couldn't proceed, the house remained on the market, which is fine, BUT we were absolutely assured that we would be informed straight away if there was any other interest.

I immediately rang the estate agent, who was initially rather cowed and defensive.  It transpires that an alternative offer was accepted several weeks ago and the sale is now well underway.

When pressed to provide an explanation why, as prospective buyers with an accepted offer we were not informed, he said he thought one of his colleagues had done so.


So we get a letter from the agents to confirm our offer has been accepted, pending the sale of our house, but we DON'T get a letter, or even a phone call, to let us know that the vendors have had a better offer and accepted it.

In fact we get bugger all information of any description and have to find out by chance on the internet.

When I, perfectly reasonably, asked why nobody in the office had thought to inform us, his initial defensiveness smoothly morphed into something more akin to arrogance.

Which, in my experience is the default setting of a large proportion of estate agents.

Having slept on it I'm making a concerted effort to be philosophical about things.  After all, it's not the end of the world, worse things happen at sea, 'que sera, sera', *insert similar meaningless platitudes here* etc.

I'm sure that something even better will come along in due course.  
I'm sure we'll soon sell our house (at least the pressure is now off to accept a ludicrous offer for a quick sale)
I'm reasonably sure that all the stress and worry of the past 5 months won't have any long-lasting side-effects other than an increased propensity for the odd glass (or three) of wine.

I'm also resolutely hopeful that on our house moving journey, we don't have to cross paths with Lampons of Eastbourne ever again..... nil points for effort and consideration on client care lads!


Jane Smith said...

That's a terrible business practice, I am sorry you had to go through it. With a terrible market comes shady deals and unscrupulous people.

Best wishes for your next venture in housing hon.

PastMastery said...

Precisely exactly the same thing happened to us Sandra!
We were gazumped!
Everything was going on smoothly, we had surveys etc done and then one day when I went into the estate agents to ask something, I saw that the file was on her table. I asked if things were ok and she sheepishly said that the vendors had accepted a higher offer. I cruelly asked the agent why they had even taken anyone else round when our offer was accepted and we had shaken the vendor's hand on it. She shrugged and didn't answer.
I can only think that they have an eye on a higher % - the one they will get for doing nothing! Commiserations. You are right though...something better will come up!

Robin said...

WHY am I not surprised???
I guess we've all had bad experiences with these'professionals'
I did once find a very good estate agent - just once. Nope you weren't meant to have that one - yours is still out there.

Karin F. said...

well that totally sucked!!! I'd be having a few drinks as well if I were you.

Not being from the UK, let me see if I've gotten this correct:
1. The buyer is the one to show the house.
2. Even if papers are signed it does NOT constitute a legally binding contract.
Sooooo if you could, pls explain to me just what real estate agents do to earn their money.

Sandra Morris said...

Thanks all....

It would appear that everyone has had a bad experience with estate agents at some point. No wonder they get such a bad press.... deservedly so!

Karin.... I'm with you.... I don't actually know WHAT they do. Everything is on the internet these days so it's not as if they even mail out sets of details to prospective buyers.
As far as I can see they phone us up to make appointments for viewings and that's pretty much it.
The English system for buying and selling property really needs a good overhaul.... the whole thing is a complete nightmare.


Karin F. said...

it will continue to need an overhaul until all you sellers and buyers stop using them.
Aren't there any internet sites for St Leonards where you could post an ad? Or in the local newspaper. Nothing ventured nothing gained.

I fully understand why people die, having lived in the same house they were born in.