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  1. I've done it, put an offer on a property and it got accepted! Immediately the EA's conveyancing firm jumped in before I had the chance to contact a solicitor myself and I took the easiest option and went with them. I just found out that this company also acts for the seller of the property, they just use another office. In the case of a conflict of interests I would need to get another solicitor. Now I'm wondering how exactly a conflict of interest is defined. If I got the result of the survey and would need to reduce the offer, would that be already a conflict of interest? When I spoke with the company (it was impossible to get through to the solicitor - and they didn't call back!), the friendly, cheerful customer service person unsurprisingly couldn't give me proper advice. To be honest, I'm already fed up with them and would feel better to work with a small local solicitor. I haven't signed anything yet but already had to pay an initial fee, so I hope it won't be too difficult to get my money back. Any advice or similar experiences? Thank you!
  2. Thanks for all your answers. To answer Mildura's question, no the EA is not part of this Countrywide group. But still a chain, at least in my area... Regarding the conveyancing, I'm wondering if a conveyor connected with an EA would be able to have a neutral approach. How independent are they really? Regarding the mortgage, I certainly trust my bank much more whose adviser takes their time to talk with me about their mortgage options in detail. And the savings through a broker don't seem to be worth taking the risk. I tried not to get too attached to the property in case things wouldn't work out, although the property is lovely. So I'm prepared to walk away if someone plays tricks I don't agree with.
  3. I've got a question. I put an offer in for a house some days ago. It was not accepted right away, as the vendor was hoping to receive a better offer. Now, just a few days later, the EA called me and said the price was accepted, but there had been another offer for exactly the same price and the buyer would be in the same position as me. They must have realised that I'm not increasing my offer, so they didn't suggest this, but the agent was very pushy about marketing their own conveyancing company and their mortgage broker to me. He made it sound as if taking their services was a condition to get my offer accepted. Is something like this common practice? I hinted that there are more houses for me to view on the market, of course. Are there any advantages for me as buyer to go with the EA's services or am I in general better off taking my own solicitor and bank? Does anyone have some insight into this? I don't trust EA's, so why should I go with their recommendations? Thank you in advance.
  4. After I have tried and given up buying in recent years, I am now looking again to buy in the Brighton area. The situation is certainly better than it was at peak. Nice houses at sensible prices still go away quickly, but it looks like people don't jump in and buy the overpriced stuff anymore, so lots of property on the market gets reduced due to a lack of interest. Prices are still (too) high of course, but I'm just too fed up with my situation as a tenant and the low standard of rental flats to wait much longer and buying makes sense for me personally. And here a nice little EA anecdote: I overheard an EA speaking on the phone with a seller the other day - very interesting indeed. The EA dampened the seller's expectation regarding the asking price and told him or her they "wouldn't achieve that much in the current market". Good times!
  5. I was born in Germany and can confirm everything you said, the market couldn't be more different. Renting is the norm and buying a house is not a hobby, it is done once, maybe twice in a lifetime. It is kind of funny that the Brits in Germany rushed to buy houses at "bargain prices" with the intention to make a profit... The lack of EAs in Germany and non-existence of property porn programmes on tv should have made them suspicious though.
  6. I think the fact that the EA are paid by the seller, not the buyer, is part of the problem we have with the house prices in the UK. I can give you an example of Germany, where I have been trying for the last year to sell a 2.5 bedroom house. Over there, the EA is paid by the buyer so the buyers have a very different attitude. In my experience they deduct the EA fee from what they can/want to pay so that the seller ends up indirectly paying for the EA anyway. But the EA doesn't work in the way of talking prices up in favour of the seller. Now, why has my house been on the market for so long? Because of the high price? The asking price is 79K Euros, about 67K GBP and still potential buyers want to pay less. The house is in a rural small town, lots of amenities around, detached, with a large garden and needs some renovating - and unfortunately has tenants living there which by law can't be evicted because of a house sale. So this makes it harder to sell a place and reduces its worth further, as also the buyer won't be able to get the tenants out immediately, they usually have to wait at least a year until they can give the tenants notice. In the current situation, I will have to take still less, something like 65K Euros, if I want to sell. Now I wonder what I could get for 55K GBP over here? It's very frustrating to witness this crass contrast between the two countries. Why are people over here so happy to pay houndreds of thousands of pounds for sometimes really substandard houses? Why are EA continuing to talk prices up? Why does the media never report in the interest of FTBs? It's a miracle and not like this in other countries. Like so many others here, I can't wait for house prices to come down. And I hope that people will start to get some sense and realise how much money it is they pay for a house.
  7. I should be used to it by now but I still keep getting shocked when I see how the media attempts to manipulate us. Propaganda in the name of property. In the Evening Standard an article of a house price rise of a 30something percent in posh London areas in the next years - how on earth...?!?
  8. After speaking with friends yesterday, it's good to have this opportunity for a little rant on here. They are a couple, own house (his house, she moved in later), mortgage-free and they are not against a hpc but simple refuse to believe that there will ever be one. They recently thought they could get a bigger house and had their property evaluated - he was a bit disappointed that the EA valued it lower than he thought it was worth. The uninformed approach they take towards buying a house for a third of a million shocked me when he said he would let the EA show him some properties because he can't be bothered to do research on the internet himself, and it would be 'the estate agent's job to do that anyway'. And the EA showed them a place he can't get rid of, of course, a big house in an undesirable area and my friends loved it - 'it's soo cheap'. I tried to tell them that it is "cheap" for a good reason and when I said 'bad area' I was called a snob... . Well, they might be surprised when they have not so nice neighbours anymore if they should go ahead and buy this house. Anyway, these clueless people think they can give me advice on buying. Unlike them, I'm renting and have been informing myself about the market for a long time. My budget is much more modest than theirs and I realised that I simply can't get a nice place where I live, unless a very tiny one, so I'll have to move further out of the city. 'But why don't you consider a less desirable area?', 'But think of the travelling costs and the way, it will take you 15 mins to get here by train', 'But what about your friends? Your friends are here.' Seriously, they said that, although I'm considering to move 10 miles away, and not to America. And they would never agree that house prices are insanely high, they just accept it like a given fact which is unchangeable. I agree with what people said here, it's better to avoid talking about this topic with sheeple. It's not good for my nerves... Rant over
  9. I can tell of the unrealistic expectations of vendors from my own experience. I have been looking to buy a place in the South East for the past months now and made offers on three properties so far - all of which have been declined. In July, my offer for a flat was 10% off the asking price - got declined, flat is still on the market. The vendors are investors who have done the flat up and apparently want to cash in with the sale, as the asking price is ridiculous high and 10% off would have been still a high price. An offer for another flat, only about 8% of the asking price was declined and the flat is sold now, the vendor got almost the asking price. Some weeks ago, an offer for another property got declined, a maisonette for 165k, I offered 155k. Only a week after my offer, the EA called and said that the vendor might consider my offer after all, in case she can find a reduced property herself. Might... Then I didn't hear anything anymore, another vendor who seems to play the waiting game. I feel completely stuck now. Considering we are in a falling market, I didn't offer much below the asking price and still the sellers won't budge a little bit. Unfortunately I haven't found any desperate-to-sell vendors yet it seems. I haven't had any viewings for the last three weeks or so and some EAs call me to ask if I'm still interested in buying. The situation can't be easy for them either, being in between cautious buyers and stubborn sellers, I almost start to feel sorry for EAs...
  10. It's a bit of a men's club here, isn't it? Ah, good old stereotypes. If you have a girlfriend/wife, she must be so lucky...
  11. Normal Brighton madness - people spend 300K and then have a narrow shoebox with hardly enough space to put all their stuff in. And have to be careful not to bump into passers-by when they step out of their door as their 300K house is built right next to the pavement. I can't be bothered with Brighton anymore, have been renting here for years but buying something nice here is impossible.
  12. Thanks Shell, good to hear that. With friends like mine, I needed some moral support... The EA told me (and I think that's one thing I can believe him) that he had many people from Brighton recently looking to buy in Worthing. More and more people will be driven out of Brighton and in the end Worthing will become the new Brighton! But without the crazy prices and the irritating hills. I'd love that. ;-)
  13. Hi, I was wondering if anyone here is actively looking to buy a property in Brighton at the moment, not just checking out the market? I have been looking for a flat in Brighton for the past months and the results were very disheartening. Trying to get a decent flat in a nice area for 160K? Forget it. Gloomy 1 bed basement flats, not in a good condition, which are offered for 180K even. The more I was looking, the more I realised that many areas in Brighton are quite grim actually. And staying here is just not possible with these insane prices. It seems to me that you can only be a first time buyer in Brighton if you either are very rich or you are not bothered about the conditions you live in. Brighton, I give up. I started to look at flats in Worthing instead, and wow, I didn't expect it to be so much cheaper. Basement flats seem not existant either. Nice, centrally located 2 bed flats in my price range. However, I received stupid jokes from friends who think it would be better to live in Portslade or Shoreham than in Worthing. Just because these places are closer to Brighton. I guess I will do a lot of travelling in the future but 25 min by train to Brighton is durable I think. Does anyone here live in Worthing? How are your experiences?
  14. Update: I put an offer in for approx. 7% below asking price and it got rejected. The argument of the seller was apparently that "she needs more money". Yes, that's a good reason, who doesn't? Oh well, somehow it's good that I can't afford to go up with my offer anyway, so that saves me of doing something unreasonable and over-paying for a flat that might be less worth in some months time. Maybe I'm lucky and the seller actually comes back to me when she doesn't get better offers but I think there are still too many people who will happily agree to pay the full asking price when they see the pretty decorative flower vases
  15. Thanks for all your recent posts and sorry that I just saw them today, I didn't check this forum a lot in the last weeks. Well, I have seen many low-quality flats at exorbitant prices recently and was close to giving up the idea of buying. Thinking about my different options, I also thought about buying a house in a less expensive town to live there with my partner, but as I'm not able to afford this on my own, we both would have needed to put money in. Huuuge committment as we haven't been together for even a year and although things are good now, I can't look into the future. My thoughts were all over the place, I've done a lot of thinking and fortunately decided that buying together would be a too big step to take. Anyhow, some days ago I saw the first flat which ticked all the boxes, although the rooms are small but that's kind of normal in the UK anyway, but the flat is immaculate. Very well maintained, the owner has been living there herself and clearly put a lot of effort in it. The flat upstairs is occupied by the owners, so I think they will have also an interest in maintaining the house well. The EA was very capable (no, I'm not joking :-) and knew amazingly many details about the place and even it's owner. Very different to the young boys in suits from the big chain EA's who often have no clue about what they are showing you. Buying a flat is always a bit worrying because of the dealings with neighbours, possible noise from upstairs etc, and I would buy a house immediately if I could afford it or get a mortgage. But for a flat it all looks very good to me and I'm quite excited about the second viewing tomorrow. I hope they'll accept my lower offer though, I certainly don't want to pay the full asking price or close to it in a falling market...
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