Thinking of selling your house? Please read this!

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kishi
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Thinking of selling your house? Please read this!

Postby kishi » Mon Aug 19, 2013 10:28 pm

A very first world problem - and I'm not generally into laying into local businesses - but I thought I would share our recent experiences of selling our house (just off Lavender Hill) with Featherstone Leigh Estate Agent.

My husband and I have had incredibly poor service from start to finish. We were grossly misadvised about what price to put the house on at and what our prospects were, viewings on the house were haphazard and conducted very passively (and in some cases by us when the agents failed to show up), and when we did finally go under offer (three months after putting the house on the market), the management of the transaction through to the exchange of contracts was laughably mishandled at every point. Many basic parts of the agent's job, like ensuring other parties were actually spoken to, and ensuring the buyer's survey and mortgage were being finalised, were not even fulfilled. We are totally convinced that if we hadn't managed to get in touch with our buyer directly and push through the sale with her it would never have actually happened as our agents were so totally ineffective.

We duly complained to the Head Office who basically rubbished all the points on which we had negative feedback (the thrust of their counter argument basically seemed to be: it's too late to complain, buying a house is always stressful, you didn't really suffer that much!). I managed to get a phone call with the head honcho lady there last week who was very unwilling to accept that we had any cause for complaint and actually said to me "Estate agents can't actually do anything. We don't actually make anything happen!" which I thought was hilarious.

As I say, nobody died, but we were incredibly disappointed and flabbergasted at how unseriously they have taken our complaint in such a competitive marketplace (we are now complaining to the Property Ombudsman). I just thought I would pass on our experiences so that anybody else choosing an agent can look for one with reasonable expectations about what they're actually going to do for the vast amount of money you pay them!
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Jen66
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Re: Thinking of selling your house? Please read this!

Postby Jen66 » Mon Aug 19, 2013 10:51 pm

Why, if they were so hopeless, did you not get rid of them and go with someone else?

Like you say it's a competitive market - not like there's a shortage of estate agents in SW11 !!

Not being facetious just wondering why you stuck with a company you felt were unprofessional from the off?
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alisonismail
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Re: Thinking of selling your house? Please read this!

Postby alisonismail » Mon Aug 19, 2013 10:54 pm

We were under contract I'm afraid or we certainly would have done!
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Jen66
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Re: Thinking of selling your house? Please read this!

Postby Jen66 » Mon Aug 19, 2013 11:02 pm

oh ok - didn't know how it worked - have only ever bought a place, never sold.

Thanks for clarifying
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jafina
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Re: Thinking of selling your house? Please read this!

Postby jafina » Tue Aug 20, 2013 6:22 am

Thanks for the heads up, I will definitely avoid using them when we sell our house.

Also just wanted to say that we rented a house through Morgan Randall (Balham) last year and they were truly terrible. They were not only unhelpful, but also incompetent. Some of these agencies get money for nothing in my view. Please avoid Morgan Randall if you want to keep your sanity!
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NYE31
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Re: Thinking of selling your house? Please read this!

Postby NYE31 » Tue Aug 20, 2013 10:52 am

Realm Estates are rubbish too, we rented out our old house through them & rent our current house through Realm.

We have recently sold our old house through James Pendleton on Old York Road who were brilliant, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend them & we are buying our new house through Knight Frank who also seem v.good so far.
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kishi
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Re: Thinking of selling your house? Please read this!

Postby kishi » Tue Aug 20, 2013 10:58 am

That's good to hear. At the moment I feel the last 7 months have aged me too much even to consider moving ever again, but it's good to know there are some decent options out there if I ever do!
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firsttimerSW11
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Re: Thinking of selling your house? Please read this!

Postby firsttimerSW11 » Tue Aug 20, 2013 11:40 am

Have to say Thorogoods are anazing, we've bought, sold and let property through them. Am sure some of the others are good too (the Hamptons guys seem nice) but Thorogoods are a real family outfit and they are a delight to deal with. I know it's too late for you now but they are not all bad, though most of them are, I'd have to admit. A lot of those ones up on Lavender Hill try to get the BTC market by vastly overinflating what you can achieve for your house.
I steer clear of the chains where possible and really take the likes of Thorogoods and Rampton Baseley most seriously.
(I caveat this by saying I am not an estate agent!)
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sammysmum
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Re: Thinking of selling your house? Please read this!

Postby sammysmum » Tue Aug 20, 2013 12:31 pm

Rampton Baseley are brilliant - wonderful to work with and (in our opinion) know this area like no other. We have had rather disappointing experiences with Savills, James Pendleton and Heaver recently.
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Audrey
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Re: Thinking of selling your house? Please read this!

Postby Audrey » Tue Aug 20, 2013 12:57 pm

One more recommendation for John Thorogood - we recently bought through them and they were very professional, keeping on top of the transaction on a weekly basis, trying to anticipate any issues and deal with them quickly. A very smooth transaction and we'll definitely use them if it comes to sell.

James Pendleton are also very good, even though at times I felt they overstretched themselves.
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kishi
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Re: Thinking of selling your house? Please read this!

Postby kishi » Tue Aug 20, 2013 9:00 pm

Audrey - like your description of John Thorogood - actually adding value to the process and taking responsibility for the final outcome, sounds like what (in my naive view!) estate agents should be doing! Thanks.
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Audrey
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Re: Thinking of selling your house? Please read this!

Postby Audrey » Tue Aug 20, 2013 9:10 pm

Also, be wary of any agent who is pushing a cash buyer on the account it would be a quick transaction - we recently used Hamptons for another property we own and it took probably the same time as someone with a mortgage would achieve.
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supergirl
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Re: Thinking of selling your house? Please read this!

Postby supergirl » Wed Aug 21, 2013 9:39 am

For us the worst besides Foxtons are Douglas and Gordon on Northcote rd. even when you come in to ask for the details of a property they are unpleasant.

We bought, sold and bought again with KFH on northcote. They were decent. But we firmly believe that our sollicitor did much more work for a lot less than the estate agents. So it really feels that estate get their money for nothing apart from putting a buyer and a seller together so agents are expensive and should respect that and treat their client properly.

I feel for you OP. Hope you manage to get an spology at least.

(I have no time for estate agents, for me it is like a mosquito bite: it comes, it hurts and then it goes and you forget it :lol: )
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firsttimerSW11
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Re: Thinking of selling your house? Please read this!

Postby firsttimerSW11 » Wed Aug 21, 2013 9:57 am

I second the last posters comment on Douglas and Gordon on Northcote Road.
We had them in to our house to value it for sale, value it for rent and also rented a property through them briefly. They were as nice as could be when they were in to value our house but when we rented through them, we were at best treated as an annoyance and at worst treated like a mosquito bite.
I'd have had more respect for them if they'd been nasty across the board, it's the fact that they gauge how nice they have to be to you depending on the service you're using them for that isgusts me.
It's they and their ilk that give all estate agents a bad name and I would never recommend them and actually go out of my way to tell people to avoid them like the plague.
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kishi
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Re: Thinking of selling your house? Please read this!

Postby kishi » Wed Aug 21, 2013 10:22 am

Thanks Supergirl, I like your mosquito bite analogy. Got into a bit of a philosophical debate with the Director at Featherstone Leigh about whether maybe selling a house was so stressful that it was impossible to think positively about one's estate agents (but I figure that if one can go through childbirth and still thank the midwife at the end then... :D )

Firsttimer - interesting about your experiences and whether maybe agents who are horrible across the board are at least easier to deal with. One of the reasons we went with Featherstone Leigh this time was that ironically, they were great when we bought with them 7 years ago. This time round, it felt like if anything, they were still (haphazardly) working for the buyers - all very nice but they're not the people who are paying a hefty fee (I agree that solicitors do a lot more for a lot less cash).

Anyway thank you all for your helpful thoughts/recommendations for the future.
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