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flb

Estate agents are useless

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We had a valuation done (we're considering selling and moving).

So a couple of EAs popped around the house, looked around, took measurements, the whole damn thing. This is a pretty nice house, so I figured I'd make it look even better - everything was in order, everything was clean/shiny etc.

We decided to go with the second EA - she seemed to be more careful about her work ("seemed" being the keyword here). It didn't take long to realise that she was just as useless as the first one.

- she measured the rooms, but she didn't put those measurements in the ad. Who cares about room sizes, right? (or even the size of the house in general)

- she sent "a professional" to take pictures. I sh!t you not, a 50 y/o woman showed up a couple of hours later to take pictures using her 6 y/o smartphone. You can barely tell what's in those pictures. It's not that I expected someone to walk in with a new DSLR, but the woman had nothing in common with the profession. She'd photograph 1/3 - 1/2 of each room, someone who never walked in here couldn't tell whether they were looking at a picture of a 3 sqm room or a 13 sqm room.

- they didn't even bother to add the EPC, because why would they?

- no description of ... anything, really, other than the fact that the house is in the catchment area of blahblah.

- the area is known for leasehold houses. Ours is freehold. She forgot to mention it. We asked her to rectify that, she sort of agreed (but didn't do it), as she didn't think it was really important (????)

- we asked them to add the room sizes - either to the floorplan or to the ad. They said they'd do it. One week later, it's still not done.

- they don't understand "what difference does it make?" if you add something right from the beginning or if you correct it 3 weeks later (fyi, a lot of people are just looking at ads posted in the past 2 weeks in order to filter out stuff that sold in 2010 or whatever). 

In the end, my wife got angry and just decided to cancel it - she'll just use one of those websites that post ads to rightmove/zoopla for 99 pounds instead (as opposed to the 3000 the EA expected on completion). 

I kind of expected EAs to be incompetent, but this...this surprised me as well. We're not in a hurry, we don't even need to sell, but we probably will when/if we get an offer and, well, I'd rather keep 3000 than waste it on these knobs. I'm just posting this because I found it funny af. They can't post an ad the right way, they can't take pictures,  but they want 3000. Yeah...how about no...

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I used an online-only fixed fee agent when I sold my house 7 years ago. Worked like a charm. I took all the photos and wrote my own particulars etc. saved 6 grand, however a good agent would probably have got a bit more in the negotiations so it's swings and roundabouts.

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1 hour ago, InlikeFlynn said:

I used an online-only fixed fee agent when I sold my house 7 years ago. Worked like a charm. I took all the photos and wrote my own particulars etc. saved 6 grand, however a good agent would probably have got a bit more in the negotiations so it's swings and roundabouts.

I'll update this when/if we sell it.

At the moment, I'm convinced that the EAs would've wasted our time. They expect to get some money, but they're not willing to do any of the work (seriously, it would've been 30-60 minutes tops). The idiots can't even be bothered to respond and to update the ad.

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7 hours ago, InlikeFlynn said:

I used an online-only fixed fee agent when I sold my house 7 years ago. Worked like a charm. I took all the photos and wrote my own particulars etc. saved 6 grand, however a good agent would probably have got a bit more in the negotiations so it's swings and roundabouts.

For 6 grand you could surely put yourself on a top flight "how to negotiate" course

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The EAs have so many houses on their books they don't have time to faff around with pleasantries like room sizes and decent photos!

Oh wait... 

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I was expecting the same crap that you experienced when we sold up two years ago, flb. But the EA we used was polite, efficient and, yes, professional. Measurements and a floor plan were standard, the photographer was a real photographer (with decent kit) who understood how to show rooms and the outside of the house at their best, everything that happened was relayed to us by email and followed with a letter the next day. We were sent draft copies of the brochure first for approval.

The survey showed the need for a check by a damp specialist in one room, which in turn showed the need for some repair work - the old damp proof course had failed. When the damp guy recommended that, he told the EA first. They then let us know, and their email included quotes from 2 local firms for the work that they'd already organised for us. Likewise when the buyers' solicitor raised the question of an electrics check, they immediately sorted quotes for that too. 

Made me realise how utterly useless the previous ones had been when I saw how it ought to be done.

 

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On 04/06/2018 at 14:47, InlikeFlynn said:

 good agent

You dont usually see these two words in the same sentence. There is no such thing.

They are all crooked and scheming to get their commission.

Its not hard to buy and sell if you can see both the bid and the sell side books of any market.

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On 04/06/2018 at 12:19, flb said:

- she sent "a professional" to take pictures. I sh!t you not, a 50 y/o woman showed up a couple of hours later to take pictures using her 6 y/o smartphone. You can barely tell what's in those pictures. It's not that I expected someone to walk in with a new DSLR, but the woman had nothing in common with the profession. She'd photograph 1/3 - 1/2 of each room, someone who never walked in here couldn't tell whether they were looking at a picture of a 3 sqm room or a 13 sqm room.

 

Considering the money you pay and how easy taking photos of a house should be with practice, you would expect someone good to take photos.

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I can only assume that they see no upturn in conversions from offering a decent service. Friend on the other side looking to (cash) buy, lodged her details with a few ea's to be notified if any properties were coming to market within her spec. Nothing complicated. 3 bed, drive way, large garden

 

Never head a thing from any of them

Edited by afly

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It always makes me laugh when new properties get put on Rightmove with the bare minimum of info when they're trying to sell them for anything upwards of £250,000. I've seen million pound houses with a road name and price with 'More info to follow' and a placeholder picture. As though getting it on there early, rather than waiting a few days for the extra info, might make somebody jump at it.

From our experience the EAs we dealt with when renting were reasonable, although they didn't really have much to do. The one we dealt with when buying was quite good but they all seem to fail on a) passing on message and b) calling you back. We also had errors from the solicitor and surveyor when buying, the ones you want NOT to make any mistakes.

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On 05/06/2018 at 22:09, GreenDevil said:

You dont usually see these two words in the same sentence. There is no such thing.

They are all crooked and scheming to get their commission.

Rubbish I have used some excellent agents who got me more than I was expecting

I have also come across some hopeless ones - usually imbecile millennials 

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There are good and bad agents.  The last agent we used was superb and had it not been for his tenacity the sale would certainly have fallen through.  Sure he was incentivised but then so is everyone else. The solicitor was working on no sale no fee, the lender makes nothing if the new mortgage isn’t issued - and the same is so up and down the chain.  Yet the only party in the transaction who seemed to care about it completing was the agent who chased everyday, picked up documents and generally injected pragmatism into the whole process.

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