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Realistic NI EA

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  1. Thought I would add to this thread with an update of how life as an EA is treating me these days. Unfortunately I have nothing very interesting to announce as sales transactions are still very low and at least 75% are repo sales. Thankfully there is less fighting with vendors to put their house on at a realistic price which gives us a fair chance of selling their property. I guess that 5 years of hardship have left even the most optimistic house owner with a sense of bleak realism that their house is only worth what someone is willing to pay right now. Buyers have the power but there is still too few of them around our way. I often wonder why none of our competitors have gone out of business as there simply aren't enough sales to sustain all of us in this area. Then I look in one of their windows as I was passing one day and I see that they have posters selling concert tickets and cashing cheques. Diversification at its best!! I have decided to take a leaf out of their book and sell cheap cigs from my receptionist's desk. Business is booming, estate agency is back!!
  2. I'll come out and say it - I'm not overly fussed on the appearance of the new propertypal website. The homepage is far too spread out and you have to scroll down for ages to see all of it. I like to click on the tabs on the bottom and go to homes for sale, then click on my area but this takes a while when you have to scroll down each time you go to the homepage. I also think the site has far too many banner adverts on it especially on the property results page as they are at the top, side and bottom of the page. I know they are a source of income but I feel they cheapen the site and distract the viewer from the important stuff like property info and photos. I also miss seeing estate agent logos beside the property in the search results page as this instantly told you how your rivals were doing as far as listing new properties. It was also a way of estate agents being seen by the public but now it's gone in this part of the website. Now we simply have the company name in plain text under the property address, very boring. I think I also preferred the old picture viewer as it was clear and simply. Now the property address appears across the first photo on the list which is annoying. There are many good additions to the site but it's by no means an attractive looking site now, sorry.
  3. Totally correct as we tried to recruit a new staff member last month offering above minimum wage in an area where there is high unemployment and we received the grand total of 3 applications! I was totally gobsmacked but one recruitment agent told me that he had been told by countless people it wasnt worth working 40 hours per week when you could sit at home and have the rent paid, free dental and benefits for you and the kids.
  4. So they went from closing to wanting locals to take on individual branches under the Reeds Rains name. I know nothing about their business model but the couple of times I ever dealt with one of their branches I received a very sub standard service. I really can't see too many business people or former estate agents wanting to buy into their name when they had openly said they were pulling out of NI, admitting that it wasn't a viable business. On the subject of EAs closing, I have not yet seen one close in our area which is strange as there are at least three too many to handle the amount of properties on the market and the sales being achieved would only keep two agents going, let alone six. With no improvement on the horizon I expect to see a few more close in 2013.
  5. I don't know about the legalities of it but it doesn't make much sense if they did. Why would they spend money running a public notice in the paper when they had no offers on the property? I don't think it's going to make the general public rush into making offers on the property if it has been on the market for a while with no previous offers on it. To answer your question on another thread, each new buyer has 28 days to exchange contracts so if someone outbids you, they become the new buyer and the clock is reset so to speak.
  6. Offering full asking price will get the sale agreed if there are no other offers but why pay full asking price when you may get it cheaper. It seems this EA is playing you so that he gets over asking price which may earn him a higher commission if the fee is on a performance basis that some repo companies work on. I wouldn't let that stop you offering 10% under asking price to start with. A repo company won't hold it against you or get offended like a private vendor so go in low to start with.
  7. I don't know where to start with this as there are so many obvious inconsistencies from the EA. Firstly, you need to find out how many previous offers have been placed on the house because if the current offer is the only one and is actually above the asking price then it's a sign the agent is talking rubbish. Why? because a repossession company always ALWAYS accepts the full asking price if the buyer is in a proceedable position, ie cash buyer or mortgage in place. I've never seen anyone come in with an offer over asking price if no one is bidding against them. A repo company doesnt give special merit to cash offers ie if you offer the same as a buyer who requires a mortgage you wont get the house agreed to you, you will be equal and the house will go to the highest offer irrespective of financial position. The EA however will want a quick sale so they should be taking you seriously and not playing silly games. The public notice does not have to appear on PPal, PNews etc but it has to appear in print in a local newspaper. It could have appeared a week or 2 ago without you seeing it if the current offer is genuine. Don't assume that the EA is making up the offer because the public notice is not on propertypal, most of our repos dont display the notice on ppal as we aren't asked to do it by the repo companies. Ask the EA if a public notice has run yet in the paper and if you find it you will know the offer is genuine. If no notice has run then there is probably no offer above asking price as I already explained that a full asking price offer would have been accepted by now. Speak to the agent with the above knowledge in your head and let us know the outcome.
  8. I've experienced this first hand, just once thankfully in the past year; Usual story, large country dwelling, very grand to be fair but the type of house that has a very very limited number of potential buyers. Vendors don't have to sell but would like to as they were relocating for work, obviously could afford to keep the house and rent elsewhere. Gave a very realistic valuation, backed up by my usual 3 or 4 comparables and a good dose of realism about the market. Got the expected response, 'We couldn't possibly sell it for that price, we won't be giving it away'. I left on good terms but saw it online a week later with TR at £100k above my valuation price. There are half a dozen similar properties on the market at a lower price with local agents including ourselves so I doubt anyone will be overpaying for a house just because the EA is a big shot Belfast agent. My photos are as good if not better than theirs anyway
  9. Geez mate, if you go through life worrying that every woman is going get intentionally pregnant, fleece you and run off, taking your house in the process you will die a lonely and sad man. I agree with your reservations about owning a house that is too big for you as a single guy as you will have to heat it and maintain it which will cost more than say a small terrace house. The problem is that you want the grandeur of a house that befits your top budget but admit that these houses are too big for you, basically you are getting too much for your money now Who would have thought that this would be a problem given the shoe boxes people were paying 250k for 5 years ago. You can get decent average sized 3 bed semis in nice parts of Belfast for well below your budget so keep looking and don't go in thinking you have to buy something at the top end as you can move up when your circumstances change in future.
  10. Good on you for buying a house that you will be happy in for many years at a price that lets you sleep easy at night. The old phantom bidder is a common occurence whether buying repos or by private treaty. I am not trying to make myself out as a saint but I've never made up a phantom offer to trick the other party into raising their offer. My feeling is that it could just as easily go the other way where they pull out so you are left with no buyers after trying to trick your only buyer into paying more. We deal in a load of repos so I know what you've been through but spare a thought for the good EAs like us who never know if the sale will go through or someone will come in before exchange of contracts with a higher offer, putting us back to square one and another 2 months from a commission on the sale. I would rather the house be agreed to the buyer who put in the fair offer and them be given exclusive rights to get to exchange of contracts within a strict time period, say 28 days otherwise it goes back on the market. It's the not knowing if someone will gazump you at the last minute that must give some buyers sleepless nights. Anyway, well done again especially for beating the EA at their game and buying a nice home at a cracking price.
  11. Kids are brought up in a society where it's not just ok to keep up with the Jones', instead you have to go to extremes to make kids happy with trips to Disneyland Florida etc as little Jimmy's parents took him to the one in Paris. Kids are brought up in a materialistic world so we have to accept that they will feel embarrassed among their peers if they don't have the latest clothing or go on a foreign holiday. That's not to say they should be entitled to it as I totally agree with Doccyboy that the best holidays I had as a kid were camping trips or days out to forest parks. My old man got a National Trust membership and by god did he get his money's worth as we visited every damn park and country house here and almost every one in Britain, lol.
  12. Hi and thanks for remembering about us poor old EAs in this woeful market. I would like to say that I have been ordering a new Jag XF and travelling to the Seychelles for my annual holiday but that couldn't be further from the truth. I probably shouldn't be posting this during the 2 quiestest weeks of the year due to July holidays as my post is going to be overly pessimistic. Ask me in September and I'll probably be feeling a bit more cheery but right now it's absolutely miserable. We have sold ALL of our fairly priced properties (mostly repos) and are faced with the fact that nothing is coming onto the market to replace what we have sold, putting us in a position of having a few overpriced properties and nothing much to sell. I know you all will say to get the overpriced properties off our books or force them to reduce their prices but you can't force some people to see sense and taking them off our books would leave us with empty display boards. People simply aren't selling their homes right now, either holding on until they see things pick up (like that will happen any time soon), or not finding any reasonably priced properties to move to, therefore staying put until more stock hits the market (catch 22). New repos have been few and far between, with the last one coming on 4 weeks ago and was agreed 3 days later. Repos are generally the only thing selling now but if they dont come on in larger numbers then most EAs wont make enough to survive. I mean those who don't currently diversify into lettings and surveying services and are solely sales focused. Lettings and surveyng keeps us going but sales are all repos and are dwindling. Who knows what the winter will bring but hopefully it;s more realistic new vendors and more repos.
  13. That made me really LOL I see so many of them still trying to talk up the market that I have to wonder about their business acumen. Our firm has proven that if you make vendors realise the full extent of the housing market crash then they will price their properties realistically or simply won't bother trying to sell, therefore not wasting anyone's time. It would be better for all EAs to openly accept where we are right now and make an effort to convince their vendors to reduce their asking prices or take their properties off the market, ending the deluge of overpriced houses on the market. They would sell more properties and make more money- simple eh? That's not going to happen though as they would have to admit that they were wrong with their astronomically high valuations that they gave just a few months ago in an attempt to sucker the vendor into putting ther house on the market with that particular EA. Regarding the topic of this thread, I agree totally with doccyboy that the NI part of the forum has been a great little community. It is the first part of the HPC forum I click onto when coming to the site and it has helped me understand the feelings of buyers that I come in contact with every day in my job. I would like to hear more real life expereinces from potential buyers to find out what they are coming up against in their part of the province.
  14. It will be an interesting morning at someone's workplace today. I caught this topic last night and am still laughing about it now. If it's genuine, which I think it is (in my opinion only), it's a brilliant job by the student to expose a dodgy letting agent or their employee.
  15. Judging by their last auction I think they are probably happy with the results. Depending on the source of the property, either asset manager, trustee or private owner, the fee is likely to be around 2% + entry fee. Their business model is quite effective in my opinion - do a limited number of open viewings, so no need to go back and forth across the country at all hours of the night to please people, and take most if not all the details including photos from the agent who previously tried to sell the property. They simply have to copy and paste the details into their own listing without doing any legwork in the beginning. Easy money apart from some issues associated with auction properties being in dodgy areas etc.
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