For all potential house buyers!

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WimbledonWomble
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For all potential house buyers!

Postby WimbledonWomble » Mon Jan 11, 2021 6:10 pm

In the past week, our estate agent has called to arrange no less than six viewings of our property. All six of them were booked in to come during between 9am until 6.30pm, Mon-Fri.

Five of them cancelled on the same day they were due to come, the last one being today, only 1 1/2 hours before they were due.

I would love to think that there was a good reason for this incredibly inconsiderate behaviour, but the estate agent tells me that one couple simply “changed their minds”, one man only bothered to do his research on Google Earth after he had made his appointment and decided it was “not the right location” for him after all, one couple said that they had “just booked in too many viewings in a day and would come back within the next couple of days” (but they never heard from them again!), one man “got completely lost on his way“ (which, in this day and age, is a bit of a pathetic excuse), so I was stuck in the car at the end of the road for over an hour and a half before giving up ... and today’s cancellation didn’t even bother to give a reason.

In the light of the current pandemic, whenever I leave my house for a viewing, I simply drive to the end of the road and wait for the viewing to finish. As I am in my 60s and vulnerable as an asthmatic, I don’t want to walk around the park where there are lots of people, nor do I want to go and stroll up and down my local High Street for the same reason. I am taking the advice to stay at home, so I simply sit in a very cold car until the viewing is over.

If you are a potential buyer, please bear in mind that particularly during this latest mutation of the Covid virus, many of us are very reticent about going out at all.

To facilitate all the viewings in the past week, I have rearranged my work diary five times so that I can be away from my desk for an hour and a half, giving the agent time to show potential buyers around the property, and also give me time to come back in, opening all the doors and windows for 30 minutes to clear the air, wipe down light switches and banister rails with sanitiser before heating up the house again and returning to my desk.

So, if you are making arrangements to view someone’s property, perhaps be a little more considerate before you pull the plug on the visit. Research the property thoroughly beforehand, have a think about whether a downstairs bathroom is “not for you” Before booking a viewing; consider whether I have the right the size kitchen/sitting room by looking at the floor plan measurements and for goodness sake look at Google Earth and decide whether a main road/railway line/primary school/airport or whatever is a deal breaker before putting so many people to so much trouble. If you want to be within a 10 minute walk of Wimbledon station, it is hardly a surprise that you might hear trains in the distance!

As for last minute cancellations without good reason, they are hugely inconvenient for the vendors and an utter waste of time for the estate agents who have also to arrange their diaries to get from A to B to attend these viewings.

I will end by politely asking anyone who is looking to buy, to try to be mindful and considerate, especially in the midst of this Covid crisis when people are trying to get their heads around working from home, homeschooling older children whilst trying to keep preschool children entertained, keeping their house clean and tidy and planning meals around your visit!

Thank you 😊
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Scientist
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Re: For all potential house buyers!

Postby Scientist » Mon Jan 18, 2021 8:26 am

I couldn't agree more, thanks for this overdue and concisely written post. We have had the same problem when selling a house in the past, viewings cancelled repeatedly at the last minute. I have a cousin who is an estate agent and after talking with him, I feel a mixture of sympathy for agents (and to an extent, their customers), but also believe some extra training is in order. 

The sympathy results from listening to his gripes about how most of his time as an agent is thoroughly wasted - by window shoppers, apparently "serious" buyers who just disappear, buyers who run away from offers or counter-offers, owners who ask ridiculous prices or suddenly take their properties off the market when the agent has done a lot of work etc. It must be so frustrating.

Also, as agents are largely commission earners in a service industry, they are under pressure to 'be nice' to all their customers and indulge their whims. Often, he says buyers insist on seeing properties at very short notice, in a tight time window, before the agent has had a chance to vet and qualify them. This leads to the kind of experience you have suffered. 

He thinks the only answer is for agents to make it compulsory that buyers are taken through a thorough Q&A session before they are allowed to view any seller's property - in which a deep understanding of their requirements, history, financial capability etc is obtained. This would probably reduce the fall-out rate significantly. 

My one sympathy for buyers is that many of them are working, hard and long hours. I suppose their ability to view properties at hours which suit the sellers and agents are limited. 
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