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Warning! I beg you, try an online estate agent!

Recently I had the unfortunate job of dealing with estate agents. Now this is no dig at estate agents in general… Just the ones I dealt with.

So basically I got 4 out to come and value a property we were selling. It had just been renovated to a really nice high quality spec. Needless to say each estate agent was taken aback by it… It was just me that wasn’t taken aback with them. So long story short I received 4 valuations, one did have to go back and ask his manager as he didn’t know how to value it (Not a great start).

Estate agent 1: He came out, Looked around the property spent 15 mins and then whipped out printed sheets of local properties that had sold. Now this might have been fine if the property was on an estate and had similar properties sold nearby. But it wasn’t, it was unique and every property he showed me nearby was completely different. I really couldn’t understand it. He then came out and said he’d value it at £399,995. I’m sure he could tell I wasn’t happy with that, probably because I told him 😀 He asked what I wanted for it and I told him what I thought. Suddenly he thought we’d be able to get £425,000 for it?! Where did that £25,000 come from all of sudden? Haha either way I think that’s enough of him.

Estate agent 2: Now this estate agent was much better, a lot more polite and took his time to look round the property. It’s nice when someone actually appreciates what you’ve done. He was here for around an hour. It’s a large property so I’d expect around 40-60 mins to look round properly and really value it. He asked questions about the property where as the first one didn’t. After all of it he said he wasn’t able to value it, it was too unique and he wouldn’t like to say. At least he was honest and didn’t make up a figure but still not great for an estate agent who values properties for a living. He called me a few hours after and gave me a valuation of around £600,000 but potentially dropping to £575,000. You could imagine my surprise after the first valuation.

Estate agent 3: So on to the next one. Now this one must be friends with the first estate agent as he showed many of the same traits. Rude, not interested and I’ve never seen a person look round a property so quick, I honestly thought he might be the police doing a secret house search (However he didn’t search it so well so maybe the police should skip this potential officer in the making). The worst thing about this, other that his cocky arrogance is him trying to sell me another project, some land they had for sale with planning permission for 8 houses or something, I thought well I’m trying to sell this house at the moment?

We did have someone else from their estate agency come out a few months before while it was still being worked on and nothing had been installed, scaffolding still up etc. All he said was I’ll have to agree with the owner (owner of estate agency ‘his boss’) who came out a few months ago and put it at £400,000. Oh well, I’m glad you came out then… Pointless sprung to mind. He wasn’t there more than 10 minutes.

Estate agent 4: Now this is the one we went for. Very similar to estate agent 2 but even more professional. Honestly if you were just going to grade an estate agent on the valuation this was the way to do it. Spent over an hour looking round, getting dimensions, asking questions and more. She was that good she fooled me into signing up with them… Which now I regret haha. She valued it at £600,000. I thought it was very high but she seemed very confident so we thought why not. I had previously used them to let my flat and they were very good, little expensive but let it out straight away. So we signed up, then hell starts 😉

The valuations came in at two saying £400,000 and the other two saying £600,000. Please explain how you can be £200,000 out on a property valuation compared to others? Either two were extremely under selling it or two were extremely overselling it. Definitely not impressed. (Just for your idea, I valued it at around £450,000 – £475,000).

I’ll post more soon of what happened next. Also I’ve recently had to get new tenants and seemed reasonable to use the same estate agents again for my flat… Very wrong choice indeed. Stay Tuned!

Comments

I’ve dealt with a lot of estate agents Scott and I know how you feel. I currently use quite a good one though so maybe I’m lucky. I do want to try an online estate agent next time I need one, mainly down to the saving cost! Do you know any good ones?

I do look forward to hearing the rest of your experience 😀

Hey Greg, No I don’t know any online estate agent that I can recommend as I’ve not used one. I am looking at IamtheAgent at the moment mainly down to them be the cheapest. To carry on with my story before:

So as you know, We signed up to market our property with Estate Agent 4. They booked to come out again, this time along with a photographer to take the photos and also help create the floor plan. Everything went fine and I was overall happy. They told me that they would email over the photos to take a look and when the floor plan was ready they would also send that over. They wanted to try and get it advertised before the weekend which made sense but would send me everything before putting it on Rightmove etc for me to confirm.

A few days went past and I never heard anything, It was coming close to the weekend and still no photos, description or floor plan to approve. On Friday they sent me over a couple of bits, I think the photos. The majority looked alright but some were very dark, especially the front of the property. I sent an email about what I thought and waited for a reply.

Over the weekend a friend told me he has seen my property advertised on Rightmove… I of course was a little confused as I didn’t even know it had been put on. I ran to the computer to take a look. Well the photos they used were either too dark or of something that was completely useless seeing (Like an empty fourth bedroom). They had left out some of the other nice ones. The description was incorrect and misleading causing me to have to almost re-write everything they had put (They didn’t even mention the double garage but filled it full with the ridiculous waffle they use to describe a place, they same stuff on every other house). The 2D drawing was wrong, they had on-suites coming off the wrong bedrooms, Calling walk in wardrobes, cupboards!? I could carry on, Basically everything they had done I had to sort out. I was doing the viewings so it’s not like they had a lot of work to do, the bit they did have they did wrong.

I’m going to cut the rest short, reading through my first post even bored me a little. Basically the first estate agent that I saw who was part of the company (Estate agent 4) I never saw again. The person I was impressed with and said they could sell my property and filled me with confidence fell off the face of the earth. I did ask to speak to her however apparently she’s very busy with other valuations etc. I was fogged off to other people in the office that didn’t know me, didn’t know my property, constantly ringing me about things I had told them 3 times before… It was just a nightmare. When I did finally get a viewing, the potential buyer asked about whether the estate agents got in touch with us about a question they had asked, I said “No, sorry I’ve not been asked a question by them at all”. Turns out she wanted to know a few things about the property and they said they would get in touch with me and get back to them straight away. Poor service once again.

I’ve sent them the notice required to cancel them marketing the property and will try and online estate agent, If anyone is interested I’ll post my experience with them (IamtheAgent). Also I did let my flat with the same estate agent (Estate agent 4) successfully but not without issues so if anyone wants to hear my story about that I will share.

Thanks for letting me rant a little and I hope anyone looking to market their property soon will be careful on who they choose and consider using an online estate agent 🙂

Yikes. That sounds like a heck of a headache to deal with. Sorry, you had to put up with a lot of all that as a headache. Hopefully, it worked out for you in the end.

It wasn’t great. Sold the property using the online estate agent for only £399 inc. Which when compared to the percentage fee the local agent would charge it’s a great saving! However I’d spend a little more and try another online estate agent, possibly House Simple or Purple Bricks etc. The one I used (I am the Agent) had a few problems.

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