Reputations are hard to earn but take mere a fart in the wrong direction to come crashing down, estate agents are so full of hot air I am surprised there are any houses left standing, they are truly the big bad wolf. While there is a stereotypical image of an estate agent I chose to believe the best in them, nine months of dealing with them quickly corrected my skewed optimism. Estate agents are indeed crooks, thieves the detritus of society.
Sadly the English law when it comes to purchasing a property is pretty much … ‘anything goes’, and you will be rogered every which way till completion day. At any point an offer can be beaten, they may be honest and say so or come up with some excuse – they have taken the property off the market only to sell it behind closed doors, having kept you waiting for 6 months. It’s the estate agents best interest to get the most due to their commissions, they will even push the sellers who may be happy with the offer to create false interested parties encouraging stressful ‘last offer’ situations. They do not need to divulge the information, my attempts to do so did not go down very well. As such my tips on how to survive this ordeal:
- Buy a new build – easy no problems and the govt contributes towards your deposit, win mofo, win. Good luck finding any.
- When you put in an offer say you will go no higher and they have to take it off the market immediately!! That’s not a STC sticker in their window and rightmove – removed completely!!!
- Be the first to view a property and get your offer in early!
- Try and get the seller to sign a contract accepting you as the buyer, use the deposit as security and have a penalty should they drop out.
- Make the most of the fact you have the mortgage in place and are ready to move immediately! This can get you a property even if below offer price.
- Mention you are a first time buyer, most sellers don’t like investors snapping up properties, they have kids too!
- Stick to your guns, there is always another property, don’t be bullied.
- There are NO rules but you can complain – sometimes if you can’t believe the BS they pull off check the Ombudsman / governing body.
- Ideally you want a property in a chain and they are desperate for a buyer.
- Don’t use their survey / mortgage / financial adviser. Keep things separate, it may slow proceedings but impartial is the way to go especially if a relationship doesn’t work out.
- Location, location, location.
South facing garden, period, wood floor, fireplace were my only requirements – I ended up with a north facing ex council flat. However any rung on the ladder is better than none, lets see where we are in two years. House market is hugely over extended!