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    • Nadeshkarine
    • By Nadeshkarine 5th Mar 18, 9:44 AM
    • 31Posts
    • 15Thanks
    Unreasonable to ask for another viewing/assurances
    • #1
    • 5th Mar 18, 9:44 AM
    Unreasonable to ask for another viewing/assurances 5th Mar 18 at 9:44 AM
    I've just recieved a response from our EA that has me pretty frustrated and I wanted to check if our request is unreasonable?

    We viewed and offered on a house in October, it was accepted and we took my parents around for a second viewing in early November after the survey pointed out some issues and we wanted to see if they were dealbreakers for us. We've done all the prep from our side but the sale stalled as our solicitor wanted some paperwork from the council to confirm the legality of an extension, applied for in November. Everything else is ready, solicitor has our signed contracts & deposit.

    This paperwork has still not come through (it had to be resubmitted in Jan for reasons I won't go into) and the vendor actually moved out in Jan (thinking the paperwork would have come through by then, they planned their move in advance).

    Given the recent weather and having heard absolutely nothing in two months I reached out to the EA to confirm the house was still being heated, and suggested a follow up viewing at some point. Also our mortgage offer expires in 7 weeks so I wanted to just get some sort of sense of update.

    In response I got a one line saying the vendors are away for the next 3 weeks, he is sure they wouldn't have turned off the heating (he was also sure the paperwork would be in by Jan and was quite aggressive trying to get us to hand in our rental notice which we ignored) and that any further viewings before exchange will not happen as it would be 'a waste of his time if things didn't proceed'.

    Is our request unreasonable and just silly FTB angst?
    Should we
    1) Stop worrying
    2) press the matter with him
    3) Bypass him and route the question/ request through the solicitors

    We've seen a lot of reports of burst pipes, flooding and broken boilers in South London recently and the property being vacant over the whole period concerns us. The initial survey mentioned damp and I'm also thinking a cold, unheated house could be a lot worse now.
    Thanks for the advice in advance.
Page 1
    • luckypotato
    • By luckypotato 5th Mar 18, 9:53 AM
    • 27 Posts
    • 16 Thanks
    • #2
    • 5th Mar 18, 9:53 AM
    • #2
    • 5th Mar 18, 9:53 AM
    We are in the process of buying a property and are due to exchange and complete this week.

    Our property is also vacant and what with the weather, we wanted a viewing so secured one for Tuesday (I called this morning.) I don't anticipate being there for longer than fifteen minutes. I'll simply be checking the boiler, turning on the taps and making sure the roofspace is sound.

    I think it's unreasonable for the estate agent to decline your viewing request given the length of time your purchase has been dragging on. It's always wise to view once more prior to exchange. Are you due to complete while the vendors are away or can you view on their return? I'm sure the seller would be pretty cheesed off if they heard that the estate agent was willing to risk their sale just because he couldn't be bothered to organise a viewing simply for your peace of mind.
    • es5595
    • By es5595 5th Mar 18, 9:54 AM
    • 74 Posts
    • 87 Thanks
    • #3
    • 5th Mar 18, 9:54 AM
    • #3
    • 5th Mar 18, 9:54 AM
    I!!!8217;m assuming you don!!!8217;t have the vendors details? I!!!8217;d contact the EA and request your details are passed onto the vendors to contact you !!!8216;at their earliest convenience!!!8217;.

    I!!!8217;d also make explicitly clear that you!!!8217;re not prepared to exchange until you!!!8217;ve viewed the property again. If there has been a water leak, or similar, you don!!!8217;t want the hassle of finding that out only when you get the keys.

    The thing that gets my back up is the !!!8220;waste of his time!!!8221; comment. The EA could have expected the sale to complete by now and factored it into his expected commission etc, hence why he!!!8217;s now a bit grumpy, or you could have caught him on an off day. Point out that another viewing could save them losing the sale and remarketing the property. Or losing it to another EA.
    • david1951
    • By david1951 5th Mar 18, 9:57 AM
    • 394 Posts
    • 449 Thanks
    • #4
    • 5th Mar 18, 9:57 AM
    • #4
    • 5th Mar 18, 9:57 AM
    It is unlikely that the boiler won't have a frost mode, but I would just insist on a viewing before exchange to check everything works.

    Whether it is "unreasonable" or not is irrelevant. Say you will not exchange until you get one.
    • ReadingTim
    • By ReadingTim 5th Mar 18, 10:12 AM
    • 2,660 Posts
    • 3,798 Thanks
    • #5
    • 5th Mar 18, 10:12 AM
    • #5
    • 5th Mar 18, 10:12 AM
    If the vendors are away, what do you expect the EA to do? And before you suggest 'go in and try and turn the heating on', consider how you'd react if the EA/your landlord did that to your home.... And even if a pipe had frozen and burst, what would you do then...?!?

    Personally, I think your fears are completely unfounded and you seem to want a solution which is completely unworkable anyway, which is probably why you received a fairly terse reply. I would say 'chill out', but perhaps that's not quite the right form of words given the situation....

    However, putting aside the poor justification, a follow up viewing immediately prior to exchange isn't completely unreasonable, so simply insist on that, otherwise there won't be an exchange.
    • davidmcn
    • By davidmcn 5th Mar 18, 10:16 AM
    • 7,645 Posts
    • 7,779 Thanks
    • #6
    • 5th Mar 18, 10:16 AM
    • #6
    • 5th Mar 18, 10:16 AM
    A viewing immediately prior to exchange makes sense, but I don't see the point in doing one now - what if something happens during a further delay?
    • kittie
    • By kittie 5th Mar 18, 10:27 AM
    • 11,971 Posts
    • 74,831 Thanks
    • #7
    • 5th Mar 18, 10:27 AM
    • #7
    • 5th Mar 18, 10:27 AM
    I`ll be doing a third viewing immediately prior to exchange. Haven`t bought yet but that is definitely my plan
    • hazyjo
    • By hazyjo 5th Mar 18, 10:48 AM
    • 10,514 Posts
    • 13,679 Thanks
    • #8
    • 5th Mar 18, 10:48 AM
    • #8
    • 5th Mar 18, 10:48 AM
    My guess is the vendors (and/or EA) are panicking you're looking for a reason to drop the price. It's taken 5 months(!) which is a long time (I appreciate it can take that long, I also had one take 5 months) and they're probably just worried you're going to try to hold them over a barrel this late in the day.

    Maybe directly ask if the EA is still holding keys. They could maybe meet you at the property.

    I think you are right to be concerned, but I can also see it from their POV too. I would also be reluctant! Maybe a bit of reassurance saying you're not looking for an excuse to drop the price, hadn't entered into your head, etc - you just want to know it was in the same condition as when you offered. There could be 20 squatters in there for all you know by now if nobody's checking on it...
    2018 wins: Single Malt Whisky; theatre tickets; festival tickets; year of gin(!); shoes
    • Amanda_Cm
    • By Amanda_Cm 5th Mar 18, 10:49 AM
    • 166 Posts
    • 200 Thanks
    • #9
    • 5th Mar 18, 10:49 AM
    • #9
    • 5th Mar 18, 10:49 AM
    Had similar question few weeks ago and got really good advice here.
    Someone told me to say the EA - Solicitor advised me to view before completion.
    • ScorpiondeRooftrouser
    • By ScorpiondeRooftrouser 5th Mar 18, 11:14 AM
    • 2,530 Posts
    • 4,039 Thanks
    The estate agent is nothing to do with it. The transaction is between you and the vendor. If the estate agent is being a pain, simply bypass him. The people who matter are yourself, the vendor, and your respective solicitors. The EA could be helpful, but if he isn't being helpful tell him you will ignore him in future and talk through your solicitors or directly to the vendor.
    • Nadeshkarine
    • By Nadeshkarine 5th Mar 18, 11:15 AM
    • 31 Posts
    • 15 Thanks
    Thanks for all the responses.
    To add some more detail, I asked for a viewing at some point before completion, not right now, and it was he who the dismissed it happening before exchange.
    I didn't realise the vendors were away, and actually it's true that he can't really give anything apart from vague reassurances on the heating whilst they're away. He does have the key though, his objection to the viewing was because it's a trek for him to the house, not because he couldn't access it.

    I agree that they're probably getting angsty about the price/us pulling out. Every single time we've talked he says "no price negotiation" and I point out that's not why I contacted him but it doesn't assuage him. We offered under asking initially and I think they are still annoyed about not getting full price. We're FTB so they thought it would be a v quick sale so they're also irritated about it dragging on.

    I guess I'm getting tired of their lack of trust and the tone he takes, that this delay is all our fault because we insisted on the paperwork and they're doing us a favour by still selling to us (he has said this repeatedly). We handed over the deposit to the solictor in Jan as a show of how serious we are, which calmed him down then but that seems to have faded. I'm not sure what else we can do? We paid for the surveys etc, brought my parents around (!) and have waited 5 months.

    The solicitor already advised us in our initial meeting to view it close to exchange and all our previous contact led me to think it was going to be contentious, we only decided to do it because of the weather recently. EA/sellers thinks our solicitor is "pedantic" due to him wanting that paperwork before exchange. I don't think bringing them up gets us any leeway tbh.

    So to conclude we will just say we need a viewing immediately prior to exchange to check it's not flooded and not ask anymore about the heating system. The EA has irritated me too much now so I'm going to let my husband who is way more patient takeover communication from now on...
    • agatham
    • By agatham 5th Mar 18, 12:07 PM
    • 29 Posts
    • 5 Thanks
    I think there is nothing wrong is asking for viewing again. It is the responsibility of the EA to let you view. Its your right.
    • pinklady21
    • By pinklady21 5th Mar 18, 12:22 PM
    • 561 Posts
    • 383 Thanks
    You don't need to tell them why you want to view. Just make it clear that you wish to view prior to exchange. I can understand why they might not want you to, as they don't want you to find a reason to either walk away or try and renegotiate the price.
    However, if they refuse to let you view, then you can equally refuse
    to exchange. Surely they don't want to cause any further delays in getting the deal done?
    • Smodlet
    • By Smodlet 5th Mar 18, 12:33 PM
    • 3,003 Posts
    • 6,034 Thanks
    This EA sounds like one of the worst of the breed. Perhaps ask yourself this, OP: Would you put up with that kind of service from any other company in any situation? I sure wouldn't.

    I suggest you go over the EA's head to the branch manager/head office and complain about his appalling attitude and make clear that, unless you get a viewing this week (yes) you might have to reconsider your position. How can s/he possibly know whether the heating is on or not if s/he can't even be bothered to go there? If a pipe has burst, don't you want to know now since the vendors are in no position to do anything about it?

    I would also, unless the viewing this week put me off altogether, want at least one more before exchange. Maybe I'm fussy but it's my money and I will do as I damn well please. No EA is in a position to tell you what you can and can't do though far too many try and seem to think they are the customer, not you. I think this one needs a serious reminder.
    What is this life if, sweet wordsmith, we have no time to take the pith?
    Every stew starts with the first onion.
    I took it upon myself to investigate a trifle; it had custard, jelly, soggy sponge things...
    • m0bov
    • By m0bov 5th Mar 18, 12:54 PM
    • 1,285 Posts
    • 871 Thanks
    Insist on a viewing just before exchange or walk, could they be hiding something?
    • AnotherJoe
    • By AnotherJoe 5th Mar 18, 1:13 PM
    • 9,392 Posts
    • 10,373 Thanks
    So to conclude we will just say we need a viewing immediately prior to exchange to check it's not flooded and not ask anymore about the heating system. The EA has irritated me too much now so I'm going to let my husband who is way more patient takeover communication from now on...
    Originally posted by Nadeshkarine
    You dont need to give that much information or indeed any.
    Tell them that not visit = no exchange, is he going to play ball or not.
    • Nadeshkarine
    • By Nadeshkarine 5th Mar 18, 1:15 PM
    • 31 Posts
    • 15 Thanks
    We've chatted with our solicitor, who has been ace, and he's suggested not doing anything more until the paperwork comes through and we are actually at a point to exchange. Then we demand it as a final step before going ahead. Which makes sense because this isn't the first time he's been like this and engaging any further with him right now, whilst vendors are away, is pointless.
    As davidmcn, pointed out something could happen between now and exchange anyway. Plus, I've just broken my leg so cannot easily leave the house at the moment! So a delayed viewing suits me fine.

    We'll make it clear that it's not to negotiate price etc, it's just to double check it hasn't you know, burned down or completely flooded inside.

    I am mulling over a complaint to the agency once this is all said and done, but I know the vendors like the EA (at least EA says they go way back) so for the sake of the house I'm biting my lip (except for this thread!).

    Thanks again for the contributions, having people who've been through this give their viewpoint has helped us work out what course of action to take that hopefully will see us move into our new home...finally.
    • Smodlet
    • By Smodlet 5th Mar 18, 1:43 PM
    • 3,003 Posts
    • 6,034 Thanks
    I, for one, am glad to have been of assistance. Sorry to hear about your broken leg; here's to speedy healing and a trouble-free move for you.
    What is this life if, sweet wordsmith, we have no time to take the pith?
    Every stew starts with the first onion.
    I took it upon myself to investigate a trifle; it had custard, jelly, soggy sponge things...
    • david1951
    • By david1951 5th Mar 18, 2:04 PM
    • 394 Posts
    • 449 Thanks
    The estate agent works for the vendor. You don't have a contract with them and aren't their customer so a complaint, whilst possibly cathartic, won't go very far.

    Don't let the comments get to you. Honestly, once you're in the house you won't care. And you know which estate not to use in the future, and who not to recommend to your mates.
    • cjdavies
    • By cjdavies 5th Mar 18, 2:09 PM
    • 3,294 Posts
    • 3,508 Thanks
    I would do the same and request a viewing.
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