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Crawley – Connells mortgage or no sale! Extreme Lying Caught Out!

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Crawley – Connells mortgage or no sale! Extreme Lying Caught Out!

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in House Buying, Renting & Selling
16 replies 3.8K views
bektinbektin Forumite
3 posts
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in House Buying, Renting & Selling
I just want toshare my shocking experience with the estate agents Connells Crawley branch. Basically, myself and my husband viewed aproperty and put in an offer of the asking price. We were told by Connells that this was theprice the seller wanted, they would not take a lower offer and were notinterested in asking for a higher offer as they did not want to mess around,they really wanted a quick sale. Connells pressured us to try to talk to their in house financial advisorto obtain a mortgage from Connells; we refused and were told we could “lose thehouse” if we did not attend. We saidthat we were happy with our own financial advisor. We had various telephone calls with Connells thatday, in which the estate agent we were dealing with (initials AP) said hereally wanted us to get the house and wished us all the best but we HAD to attendand speak to Connells Mortgage advisor. Connellsagain called and confirmed that the seller was happy to accept our offer, andrefuse any more viewings on the property, but we needed to attend the office tohave our financial information verified. My husband was at work all week, so offered to take a day off work toattend Connells to do so. Connells saidthey didn’t have any appointments for a week although when they thought we wouldtake a mortgage with them we could go in the next day or whenever we were inthe area. I spoke to the in house financialadvisor over the telephone and asked for his email address so I could send overall the documents needed to confirm our financial viability, so the sellercould be assured of our viability to proceed with the purchase. I sent this email, and was happy that theseller would be provided with the required reassurance.



Four days laterthe property we were supposedly buying was newly listed on the Connells websitefor sale, I was assured this was a formality and nothing untoward was going on.



The day beforewe were due to attend Connells to finalise the paper work AP called me to informme that a cousin of the seller wanted to purchase the house and the sellerwanted to sell to their cousin and not to us. AP specifically said he could not proceed with selling the house to usunder the seller’s wishes. I was informed that the cousin would be attendingConnells 5 days later to see if they could get a mortgage with them, if notthen we could buy the property. I suspectedthis was a lie and asked AP if he was delaying my purchase so someone taking amortgage with Connells could buy the property, to which he replied “not at all”. My husband spoke to the manager of ConnellsCrawley (initials JS) who confirmed what AP had told me even adding a few extradetails (cousin wanted the house as a buy to let). Due to the fact I suspectedConnells were lying to me, with a bit of internet research I managed to findout the name and number of the seller who we contacted and confirmed Connellshad LIED, their cousin was not interested in buying the property and did notexist! The seller contacted Connells the next day and spoke to JS who admittedhe had lied and did not know why he lied! Although, when AP called us he said he got the property mixed up withanother one! It just so happened thatthere was another offer made 13 days after our initial formal offer, which thebuyer accepted in the end, I suspect with the full backing of Connells. I am glad we caught Connells out, and wereable to confront them (albeit over the telephone). I just want to warn anyone who is thinking ofbuying a property with Connells, please be aware of their bad practices. Connells obviously give incentives to estateagents to sell Connells mortgages, and it seemed that was the only way possibleto buy a house Connells were selling, was to obtain a Connells mortgage. Connells are run by a mortgage company withonly 15 mortgage providers available. They may be able to offer a competitive mortgage but you would be a foolto discount the numerous other mortgage deals elsewhere. Do not be bullied by Connells hard sellingtactics to get the house you want as you may end up paying thousands more ontop of the selling price for the privilege. We were told that the property was as good asours and were left very disappointed. But my biggest disappointment is being deceived in such a dishonest and devious way.
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Replies

  • knightstyleknightstyle Forumite
    5.6K posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts
    ✭✭✭✭
    As has been said many times, estate agents are like politicians, if their lips are moving they are lying!
  • SG27SG27 Forumite
    2.8K posts
    Welcome to the world of house buying. This is pretty much what you should expect from all estate agents. The entire industry is a total joke.
  • k0shk0sh Forumite
    80 posts
    As has been said many times, estate agents are like politicians, if their lips are moving they are lying!

    Funny? Us Estate Agents also say the same about buyers!!!

    Seriously, complain to the The Property Ombudsman.
  • k0shk0sh Forumite
    80 posts
    But first ring Connells and ask what their complaint policy is. You should complain to them first to at least give them a chance. They are owned by the Skipton Building Society and so will have a formal escalation policy.

    If you do not make a formal complaint, then do not complain here as you are letting them get away with it.
    I do not wish to be associated with such EA's as evidenced by the other posts.
  • twink22twink22 Forumite
    239 posts
    One large chain EA we have viewed a house with keep phoning (at least 3 times now) have written and emailed us requesting we use their mortgage services, must get large commissions from them to make it worth so much effort! It has put me off using them.
  • bektinbektin Forumite
    3 posts
    k0sh wrote: »
    But first ring Connells and ask what their complaint policy is. You should complain to them first to at least give them a chance. They are owned by the Skipton Building Society and so will have a formal escalation policy.

    If you do not make a formal complaint, then do not complain here as you are letting them get away with it.
    I do not wish to be associated with such EA's as evidenced by the other posts.

    Oh I have made a formal complaint, don't worry about that! I will not take this lying down. I have told them that if I do not receive a satisfactory resolution then I will forward my complaint to the Ombudsmen which I believe is the correct course of action.

    I have also had a rant to the manager JS but not the estate agent AP, and as I have now lodged a complaint with Connells I do not think it would be appropriate to do so now. I just wanted to warn others that this could happen. I am probably naïve but did not think anyone could be so devious and tell such outright lies, or maybe it is because I do not associate myself with such people that it is such a shock to me.
  • I know this is an old thread, but I just wanted to post the outcome of my complaint.

    I initially went through the Connells internal complaints procedure and surprise surprise they said it was an honest mistake, and no intentional wrong doing had taken place. I then took my complaint to the Ombudsman, who at first said that there was not a lot that they could do about it as it was "we say, they say". I requested that the case be looked at again. In the meanwhile I was contacted by a well known consumer rights programme who were interested in covering my story, and took down the details for the Ombudsman covering my complaint. Low and behold, a few weeks later, I had the result of the second review of my complaint, agreeing with me, that Connells were dishonest and told outrights lies to me in order to prevent me from buying the property.

    I was awarded a small amount of compensation, but most of all I feel relief that I have had my own little bit of justice :T
  • thequantthequant Forumite
    1.2K posts
    Fantastic, wish more people who come on here complaining follow through with their complaints. Compensation is usually available, that should be incentive enough! These companies don't care about complaints, but they do care about their profits and this is the only way to stop them. i.e. hit them in their pockets. I had a complaint against a company, everyone told me not to bother. I won £5k and hit them with £10k costs in the end.
  • edited 19 January 2014 at 4:34PM
    kBHXkBHX Forumite
    81 posts
    edited 19 January 2014 at 4:34PM
    Had a similar experience several years ago when buying a property via a Connells branch in the Midlands. They refused to accept my offer if I didn't use their mortgage advisor and legal provider. This despite the vendor already accepting the offer I made and me already having an AIP / solicitor in place. I informed the vendor what was going on and he rang the EA. Just to add it was the Branch Manager who I was dealing with.
  • Very similar here. I saw the mortgage person, it was the worst "verification" ever. I told her I was porting our mortgage (the truth). She said she wouldn't try to beat that, and didn't even ask how much, what deposit etc. So much for the spiel they give sellers about making sure every offer is proceedable. Then the other offer, which I suspect was made up, the people failed the verification stage - surprise surprise
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