March 31st 2021
Because of my recent encounter, my first subject will be a review of my personal experience dealing with probably the most prominent and widely know estate agent along this area of the coast, who will be refered to as the prominent on this blog.
We were hoping to move from our house to a bungalow close by. The vendor of the bungalow informed us that he would get a valuation done by this prominent estate agent and we would have an opportunity to purchase the property. We waited two years for the property to be for sale. The estate agent valuation was £375,000, this was £65,000 below our expectation and what we had budgeted for, but hey ho, they had a "BUILDER" who was prepared to pay £25,000 above their valuation, plus agents fees.
We expected the property to go on the open market but that didn't happen because the agents valuation was immediately accompanied with what in our opinion, was an under valued pre-planned offer of £400,000. We then told the vendor that we would offer that and more. The vendor then told the agent that somebody close by had made a higher offer, (that was us) hence to entice the vendor the estate agent told the vendor that their client the "BUILDER", had made 2 sealed bids on other property's of £500,000 but was unsucsessful both times, hence was about to make an offer in that region that would blow us out of contention.
At the moment I don't know what that offer was until it comes up on Rightmove, but it was nowhere near £500,000, that I do know, anyway the vendor had apparently excepted the offer, but was asked not tell us what the offer was, so we were unable to make a further offer at that point. We did telephone the vendor and made an offer to pay quite a bit above the unknown offer that the estate agents "BUILDER" friend had offered, but were told it was too late as an agreement had been made with the "BUILDER".
After waiting for two years to buy this property we were so disappointed that maybe I have a bias view, but I think something stinks about the involvement of this prominent estate agent, as at no time did we have an opportunity to make an offer, and this agent obviously discriminates as to who is allowed to offer.
When we were first told that the bungalow was about to come to market, we asked the same prominent estate agent to value our house. The agents branch manager came and valued our house. He asked if we were staying local, and we said yes very local. We were told the commission rates, and were very suprised to find they had at least two different commission rates. This agent actually discriminates as to your standing. If you are a second home owner wishing to sell, the rate you will be asked to pay will be higher than if you are deemed to be a local like us. Locals will be asked to pay a lower rate @ 1.34%. The question is do builders get an even lower rate ?
Two weeks after the "BUILDER" agreed a deal with the vendor, the estate agent telephoned us and asked if we were ready to sell yet.
I said we were waiting for the bungalow to come to market. The agent then informed us that the property had already been sold privately but wouldn't reveal the sale price to me. I am surprised I said, as you valued the property for the vendor, I thought estate agents act on behalf of the vendor to achieve the best price, and you were the acting agent. The reply was "No" we were acting on behalf of the "BUILDER". This was a suprise to me, and something I've never heard of an agent doing. The result of this is that the agent wasn't attempting to get the best price for the vendor, but actually for the "BUILDER". The agent then informed me that they had nothing to do with the sale, yet they knew the sale price but I wasn't allowed to know. So does the agent gets no commission then ?, or is there an alternative payment method for "BUILDERS" ?
If you are putting your property on the market or buying property, please make sure the estate agent is working for you and not for one of their freinds.
I also got a valuation from Abbotts . They were exceptionally professional and friendly, and their commission rate was only 1% that would be a saving of about £1,300 on fee's charged by the prominent estate agent
Some estate agent in the area are listed below.
Purple bricks, we used them a few years ago , they were very good but there was work to do online. A one off fee of £800
Jackson-Stop, Never used this agent but have heard good reports
Abbotts As reviewed just above 1% commission
Bedfords, Not heard any complaints here
Sowerby Prominent in this area especially with "BUILDERS" 1.34% but varies for some people