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  • FIRST POST
    • GrumpySO&SO
    • By GrumpySO&SO 17th May 17, 10:05 PM
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    GrumpySO&SO
    Getting Out of an Estate Agent Contract (or not)
    • #1
    • 17th May 17, 10:05 PM
    Getting Out of an Estate Agent Contract (or not) 17th May 17 at 10:05 PM
    Basically... we were really really naive and stupid and somehow got ourselves tied in to a 26 week contract for sole agency. When it came up I expressed some doubt as to the length but she said all airly "Oh don't worry you just need to give us 28 days notice and you can cancel it" which I suppose is true but that means we can't go instructing some other agency doesn't it? They made the whole 26 week thing seem pretty standard - no other option.

    They (Connells) have done basically !!!! all. We had a small flutter at the beginning and it has tailed off into nothing. They are just so... urgh useless! No communication, nothing. And when we phone up to discuss things we feel we are just getting brushed off. We get barely any feedback and when we do it is because we've asked for it. I mean frankly we might as well be doing this ourselves the amount of effort they're putting into it.

    We're 8 weeks into this thing and the last 3-4 weeks we have had a grand total of 1 viewing. It's the first time we've had to sell a house and I thought we went into the process quite well prepared but then it turns out we weren't. We saw a whole bunch of estate agents and I frankly didn't like any of them so felt really deflated so we ended up for some reason choosing this one based on the fact they have quite a few sold signs in the local area.

    So I'm feeling really really depressed.

    Admittedly we did get one offer but it was about £11k below asking price. Maybe we do need to lower the price a bit but frankly with the little help and support we're getting at the moment I kinda wonder (paranoid-ly) if Connells want us to do that. They were more keen than any of the others at wanting a quick sale when we wanted to wait and get a better price.

    I'm not against waiting - but they really do seem kinda rubbish. Maybe our expectations were too high. We've learnt a few things from this.

    Any help or advice or basically you're screwed?
Page 1
    • Mathias123
    • By Mathias123 17th May 17, 10:09 PM
    • 39 Posts
    • 15 Thanks
    Mathias123
    • #2
    • 17th May 17, 10:09 PM
    • #2
    • 17th May 17, 10:09 PM
    Connells are rubbish. We are currently buying a house via them (new build) and they are incapable of selling new builds and also lie a lot! Communication is rubbish and they don't seem to know their stuff.
    • Cliveman Pieman
    • By Cliveman Pieman 17th May 17, 10:12 PM
    • 81 Posts
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    Cliveman Pieman
    • #3
    • 17th May 17, 10:12 PM
    • #3
    • 17th May 17, 10:12 PM
    You are not being paranoid - of course Connells want you to lower the price. If it shifts for 11k less, they lose what, £110? £220? What they want most of all is to get you on their books, that is worth thousands, and they have already achieved that!

    99% of these threads point to the asking price being too high.
    • Thrugelmir
    • By Thrugelmir 17th May 17, 10:33 PM
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    Thrugelmir
    • #4
    • 17th May 17, 10:33 PM
    • #4
    • 17th May 17, 10:33 PM
    We had a small flutter at the beginning and it has tailed off into nothing. They are just so... urgh useless! No communication, nothing. (
    Originally posted by GrumpySO&SO
    They cannot force people to view come round and your property. Why did the party that offered £11k under walk away? Though out of interest what's your selling price. As 11k needs to be put into context.
    “ “Bull markets are born on pessimism, grow on skepticism, mature on optimism, and die on euphoria. The time of maximum pessimism is the best time to buy, and the time of maximum optimism is the best time to sell.” Sir John Marks Templeton
    • G_M
    • By G_M 17th May 17, 10:51 PM
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    G_M
    • #5
    • 17th May 17, 10:51 PM
    • #5
    • 17th May 17, 10:51 PM
    Unfortunately you tied yourself (voluntarily) into a 26 week contract. What contract periods were offered by the other agents you invited round? What was the response when you said you'd sign connells' contract if they reduced the minimum contract period to 8 weeks?

    Your options now are

    * reduce the asking price
    * stick to the current asking price and wait out the 26 weks (remember to give 28 days written notice after 22 weeks), then try another agent

    Next time, insist on 8 weeks minimum contact with 14 days notice. As WELL as negotiating the commission fee down.
    • GrumpySO&SO
    • By GrumpySO&SO 17th May 17, 11:30 PM
    • 6 Posts
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    GrumpySO&SO
    • #6
    • 17th May 17, 11:30 PM
    • #6
    • 17th May 17, 11:30 PM
    The asking price is 270k for an ex new build. The person who made the offer wasn't willing to budge an inch. It's not as if we're not willing to negotiate but that was his one and only offer.

    I'm going to be honest and say that frankly - it is on the high end for what's around here. A bit less than other new build houses going in the area. This immediate estate is nice - but go a bit outside it and it's a bit run down and honestly I'd rather pay more to avoid that but hey-ho. But then of all the EA we saw - this was actually the lowest quote we got.

    The other estate agents offered... can't remember them all but like 12-16 I think. Honestly I think the 26 week thing just came as a surprise at the time (I think after seeing a load of EA we must have forgotten to ask about that at the time- stupid!) and the way she made it out when we asked was that we could just get out and no consequences. And I asked. No consequences, clean break etc and she said yes. Which was ultimately a big fat lie.

    So I guess we're stuck with the useless people for the next 18 weeks.
    • G_M
    • By G_M 17th May 17, 11:45 PM
    • 40,147 Posts
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    G_M
    • #7
    • 17th May 17, 11:45 PM
    • #7
    • 17th May 17, 11:45 PM
    ....
    ... A bit less than other new build houses going in the area. This immediate estate is nice -.......
    Originally posted by GrumpySO&SO
    Given 2 similar properties on/near the same new estate, one a brand new build and one 2nd hand, no one is going to choose the 2nd hand unless there is a significant saving.

    It's just like cars - drive a new car off the dealer's forecourt and it immediately losses 10 - 15% value.
    • eddddy
    • By eddddy 17th May 17, 11:51 PM
    • 4,826 Posts
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    eddddy
    • #8
    • 17th May 17, 11:51 PM
    • #8
    • 17th May 17, 11:51 PM
    ... and the way she made it out when we asked was that we could just get out and no consequences. And I asked. No consequences, clean break etc and she said yes. Which was ultimately a big fat lie.
    Originally posted by GrumpySO&SO
    If the EA genuinely said that, you might have grounds for rescinding the contract on the basis of misrepresentation.

    But the written contract they should have given you would have made the terms very clear...

    ... and the EA might well deny saying that anyway.

    So you might have a very hard time arguing that.
    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 17th May 17, 11:54 PM
    • 22,627 Posts
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    Davesnave
    • #9
    • 17th May 17, 11:54 PM
    • #9
    • 17th May 17, 11:54 PM
    They (Connells) have done basically !!!! all. We had a small flutter at the beginning and it has tailed off into nothing.
    We're 8 weeks into this thing and the last 3-4 weeks we have had a grand total of 1 viewing.

    Admittedly we did get one offer but it was about £11k below asking price. Maybe we do need to lower the price a bit....
    Originally posted by GrumpySO&SO
    There's usually a flutter at the start when the house hits Rightmove etc

    However, just before an election, with the uncertainty of Brexit and some signs of rocky water ahead, its not a great time to be selling. Some buyers are beginning to think there might be lower prices 6 months down the road. This makes them cautious.

    So maybe an offer of 4% below asking was actually pretty decent in the circumstances. Depends on your area, but it doesn't sound like a high-demand hotspot.

    Signing up with a well-known, poorly-performing agency for customer satisfaction might not be the worst thing you did....
    'A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they'll never sit in.'
    • GrumpySO&SO
    • By GrumpySO&SO 18th May 17, 1:59 AM
    • 6 Posts
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    GrumpySO&SO
    There's usually a flutter at the start when the house hits Rightmove etc

    However, just before an election, with the uncertainty of Brexit and some signs of rocky water ahead, its not a great time to be selling. Some buyers are beginning to think there might be lower prices 6 months down the road. This makes them cautious.

    So maybe an offer of 4% below asking was actually pretty decent in the circumstances. Depends on your area, but it doesn't sound like a high-demand hotspot.

    Signing up with a well-known, poorly-performing agency for customer satisfaction might not be the worst thing you did....
    Originally posted by Davesnave
    Yeah, agreed it hasn't been the best of times to sell. But we'd expect - or like I suppose, more communication. What we can do or what they can do rather than be brushed off. And estate agents must do something other than just wait for people to come off from right move/Zoopla.

    Bleeding Teresa May and her election ruining my housesale.

    If the EA genuinely said that, you might have grounds for rescinding the contract on the basis of misrepresentation.

    But the written contract they should have given you would have made the terms very clear...

    ... and the EA might well deny saying that anyway.

    So you might have a very hard time arguing that.
    Originally posted by eddddy
    Yes, we probably will. Ultimately I know it's our own damned fault in the end though. However, I did read through the contract and taking into consideration what she said I guess I didn't really understand it completely. She obviously does know the contract and all that it means. We should have researched more into the ins and outs of the different contracts into more detail beforehand.
    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 18th May 17, 6:14 AM
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    Davesnave
    What we can do or what they can do rather than be brushed off. And estate agents must do something other than just wait for people to come off from right move/Zoopla.
    .
    Originally posted by GrumpySO&SO
    They probably aren't going to change much, unless you start offering cash incentives to sell by a certain date, but you can do things to get more people through the door yourself.

    Firstly, you can find the opposition and look at how their agents have presented their properties. Decide on strengths and weaknesses, especially in the photography. The lack of a floor plan is a big turn off too.

    Then, look at your own Rightmove offering as dispassionately as you can and do the same. Remember you are selling a lifestyle as much as bricks & mortar. What are your property's strengths and are they reflected? Badly made beds and scrappy-looking, colourless gardens jump off the internet pages in many of the ads I see, for example. Clutter often makes properties look small with no storage space.

    Do the strengths of your house stand out? Have you capitalised on the strengths of the locality? For example, is there an Ofsted 'Oustanding' school nearby, and is it mentioned?

    Or, if you are really brave, stick your house ad on here and people will soon tell you what's wrong with it! Harsh but fair, that's us......OK not always fair either!

    Work towards an idea of a better ad, then re-launch with new photos, and better blurb, maybe with a price reduction, because you want to stand out above the opposition, rather than just matching them.

    I ended up writing the blurb for my last property and I even shot the lead photo and Photoshopped it too, because I was around when the weather was best. Yes I know that's the agent's job, but many EAs arent terribly bright, and demarcation disputes have no place in this.
    'A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they'll never sit in.'
    • harrys dad
    • By harrys dad 18th May 17, 8:50 AM
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    harrys dad
    Where are you moving to? The only consideration is the "price to change", how much more you pay for the house you buy than you receive for the house you sell. Given your description above an offer of £259000 on your asking price of £270000 sounds pretty good to me. Couldn't you have made a reduced offer on what you were buying?
    • ReadingTim
    • By ReadingTim 18th May 17, 9:24 AM
    • 1,686 Posts
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    ReadingTim
    It's a long contract, but I don't know why you think any other agent will be any better - they're all much of a muchness.

    Put up a link to the property if you want people to critique it, but the main reasons places don't sell is because they're overpriced. I suspect the EA appealed to your ego and vanity by suggesting they could get an unrealistically high price for your place, suckering you into a 6 month sole agency contract. They'll probably want you to drop the price, but claim their fee as a percentage of the price originally listed, rather than actually sold....

    Given you've been languishing on the market for a couple of months now, suggest you need to immediately drop £10k and hope for more interest, or if you're keen to go, drop £15k and hope a bidding war develops.

    So really the question isn't about whether you should move estate agent. It's whether you really want to move house? If you do, you know what you need to do - drop the price. Your call.
    • penguingirl
    • By penguingirl 18th May 17, 10:20 AM
    • 1,360 Posts
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    penguingirl
    How did other EAs value you? It sounds like 11k under was an OK offer, can you afford to accept it? It may just be that the potential buyer doesn't like negotiating, and would rather put in one sensible offer rather than start lower. Did they seem keen? Did you give a counter offer e.g. 263k?
    • Thrugelmir
    • By Thrugelmir 18th May 17, 10:25 AM
    • 54,363 Posts
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    Thrugelmir
    The asking price is 270k for an ex new build. The person who made the offer wasn't willing to budge an inch. It's not as if we're not willing to negotiate but that was his one and only offer.
    Originally posted by GrumpySO&SO
    If you didn't counter offer. Then the potential buyer probably thought it better to walk away. As far as the EA is concerned you've set your marker. Little point in sending prospective buyers round if they aren't going to spend £270k. Selling property is a compromise.
    “ “Bull markets are born on pessimism, grow on skepticism, mature on optimism, and die on euphoria. The time of maximum pessimism is the best time to buy, and the time of maximum optimism is the best time to sell.” Sir John Marks Templeton
    • GrumpySO&SO
    • By GrumpySO&SO 18th May 17, 11:09 PM
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    GrumpySO&SO
    All right then... here goes.
    rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-47374419.html

    (Sorry, you'll have to copy and paste - as a newbie I can't post actual links)

    We haven't exactly said £270 or nothing that'd be dumb. The person who made the offer basically wasn't going to go above what he was offering by a penny even though I suggested to the EA that we'd have considered 265. So he could come back and said 263 but there was nothing. Either we take it or leave it. Maybe in a few months we'd have considered it... once my patience truly wears thin.

    We've contacted Connells (again) asking them (again) to make a few changes that we asked them to do 2 weeks ago but they didn't bother doing. I don't expect them to magic up viewings out of thin air, but at least actually respond to us or do what they said they were going to do in the first place. I mean if they aren't responding to us, what about the viewers?

    I got to talking recently to people at work who seem to be in the same situation with the exact same branch of estate agent. They get locked into this contract (our of our own stupidity) and they do sweet F A.

    Saying all this, some of the individual agents who have come around to show the house do seem nice enough. At least personable.
    • GrumpySO&SO
    • By GrumpySO&SO 18th May 17, 11:34 PM
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    GrumpySO&SO
    They valued us 5k more even going up to 280 which is daft as the 4 bedroom house a couple of doors up went for 290 I believe... or 287.

    I think part of the problem is that - this is pretty much the nicest area in what is a crumbly area. And there were several other houses that I saw had gone up at the same time at a lower price or at the same price that at least at the face of it - look a bit bigger. And then the other new build estate which has just 2 more houses on offer are priced £275k which obviously they'd get help to buy with that. Although frankly - far as I'm concerned I'd have chosen ours over there's. Ours is slightly better positioned being south facing, not overlooking car parks and not too near the Tesco express. But then I guess that's a given seeing as we live here already!
    • steampowered
    • By steampowered 19th May 17, 12:18 AM
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    steampowered
    You need to read the small print in the T&Cs to understand what you have signed up to.

    Even if the contract term is 26 weeks, you might still need to give Connells a formal termination notice to get out of the contract.

    You also need to be aware that - if you sell to somebody who was introduced to you while the Connells contract was active - you'll be liable to pay the fee to Connells, even if the sale does not take place until after the 26 weeks are up. This could be in addition to the fee payable to your new estate agent if you aren't careful.

    By the way, I love the cat walk!
    Last edited by steampowered; 19-05-2017 at 12:21 AM.
    • Lespaul1960
    • By Lespaul1960 19th May 17, 7:14 AM
    • 14 Posts
    • 8 Thanks
    Lespaul1960
    I think you need to drop the offers in excess of,from the asking price. In my opinion it just puts people off. Well it does me anyway !!
    • AdrianC
    • By AdrianC 19th May 17, 8:20 AM
    • 14,710 Posts
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    AdrianC
    Link - http://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-47374419.html

    Well, there's not much wrong with the details... The back garden would not hurt with being turfed - easy, cheap project for this weekend for you.

    So, really, that can only mean one thing...
    Let me put this here - http://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-46547760.html
    We don't know the area at all - why would you say your place is worth £30k+ more than that one?
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