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  • FIRST POST
    • LittlePickleHead
    • By LittlePickleHead 12th Apr 18, 11:54 AM
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    LittlePickleHead
    Is this an Estate Agent trick?
    • #1
    • 12th Apr 18, 11:54 AM
    Is this an Estate Agent trick? 12th Apr 18 at 11:54 AM
    We are about to list our flat for sale in London. Had 4 agents round and have decided to go with the one that gave us a realistic valuation (slightly lower than the average of valuations), has the lowest fee and the biggest market share in our area.

    Just before we called them to instruct this morning, my husband had a call from a different agent (who we had discounted due to their sales patter and slating of the other agents) who said they have a cash buyer (for over half a million quid!) who they want to show at 10am on Saturday as a trial (no contract).

    This seems strange to me as a buyer wouldn't be loyal to a single agent surely?

    Is this a tactic an agent would employ? How would we even know if it's a genuine buyer? And if that person does exist surely they would be looking on RM etc anyway?

    Thoughts?
Page 1
    • hazyjo
    • By hazyjo 12th Apr 18, 12:06 PM
    • 10,777 Posts
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    hazyjo
    • #2
    • 12th Apr 18, 12:06 PM
    • #2
    • 12th Apr 18, 12:06 PM
    They probably do have someone looking, but, as you say, that person will more than likely be checking RM and the like anyway. They are just ringing round clients to see if it's something they're interested in (which one might be) in order to get their foot in the door via themselves rather than them seeing it on RM.


    Proactive, if you like. Not all EAs will be ringing their clients before you choose them.


    It is very common to have them fighting for business by saying they have clients interested. Not lying as such, they're an EA, of course they have clients interested in buying property...


    For the record - fees are usually negotiable, as is length of contract. Remember that before signing up. I'd not do more than 8-10 weeks max. My last contract was only 6 weeks at 1%.
    2018 wins: Single Malt Whisky; theatre tickets; festival tickets; year of gin(!); shoes
    • Surrey_EA
    • By Surrey_EA 12th Apr 18, 12:07 PM
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    Surrey_EA
    • #3
    • 12th Apr 18, 12:07 PM
    • #3
    • 12th Apr 18, 12:07 PM
    It's not a trick as such, it's a marketing ploy by EA1, who thinks you are about to give your business to EA2.

    How do you ever know any buyer is genuine? Let the viewing go ahead, see what the result is and go from there. Might be an opportunity to negotiate a low fee for a one-off viewing with this EA.

    As for cash buyers, I have people who have the ability to pay cash for houses at 2m-3m, so would not think it unusual.
    • LittlePickleHead
    • By LittlePickleHead 12th Apr 18, 12:11 PM
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    LittlePickleHead
    • #4
    • 12th Apr 18, 12:11 PM
    • #4
    • 12th Apr 18, 12:11 PM
    Hmm OK.

    So say we did go ahead with the viewing, what do we need to agree on in advance given that they have said they won't tie us into a contract first?

    We have already negotiated fees and they won't negotiate down any further (1.5% to achieve asking price and 1.25% for less). We negotiated down to 1.15% with the agent we were about to sign up with.

    I just didn't get such a good feel for them and was keen to get going with the other agent. How likely is it that if we don't do this viewing that they won't then come and view anyway once it's listed with a different agent?

    Or is it silly on our part to not give this a go (and potentially not have to bother with photos and listing it formally)?
    • Surrey_EA
    • By Surrey_EA 12th Apr 18, 12:17 PM
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    Surrey_EA
    • #5
    • 12th Apr 18, 12:17 PM
    • #5
    • 12th Apr 18, 12:17 PM
    Hmm OK.

    So say we did go ahead with the viewing, what do we need to agree on in advance given that they have said they won't tie us into a contract first?
    Originally posted by LittlePickleHead
    The price being quoted to the buyer and a fee they will charge you should this viewing result in a sale. And a clear written understanding that this is an agreement for one single viewing, no more.
    We have already negotiated fees and they won't negotiate down any further (1.5% to achieve asking price and 1.25% for less). We negotiated down to 1.15% with the agent we were about to sign up with.
    Originally posted by LittlePickleHead
    I would be tempted to go back and say that they can do a one-off viewing, but as they will incur greatly reduced marketing costs in the event it results in a sale you are only be prepared to pay 1% +VAT. They can take it or leave it.
    I just didn't get such a good feel for them and was keen to get going with the other agent. How likely is it that if we don't do this viewing that they won't then come and view anyway once it's listed with a different agent?

    Or is it silly on our part to not give this a go (and potentially not have to bother with photos and listing it formally)?
    Originally posted by LittlePickleHead
    Difficult to tell. Not a great deal of harm in giving it a go, then instruct your preferred agent if the viewing doesn't come to anything.
    • eddddy
    • By eddddy 12th Apr 18, 12:44 PM
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    eddddy
    • #6
    • 12th Apr 18, 12:44 PM
    • #6
    • 12th Apr 18, 12:44 PM
    ... but to be safe, maybe delay instructing the other EA, until this viewing has taken place.

    Or if you want to instruct the other EA sooner, get the other EA to acknowledge that this 'viewer' has already been introduced, and/or that they won't seek commission if this viewer buys.


    TBH, you should check the contract with the other EA carefully. Whilst most EAs don't charge commission in respect of a buyer who was introduced before their contract started - some EAs do. Especially if they use 'sole selling rights' contracts.
    • LittlePickleHead
    • By LittlePickleHead 12th Apr 18, 12:47 PM
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    LittlePickleHead
    • #7
    • 12th Apr 18, 12:47 PM
    • #7
    • 12th Apr 18, 12:47 PM
    Good point edddy.

    I was assuming we would delay with the other EA and then instruct after the weekend if the buyer came to nothing. No way would we want to pay double fees!
    • eddddy
    • By eddddy 12th Apr 18, 12:57 PM
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    eddddy
    • #8
    • 12th Apr 18, 12:57 PM
    • #8
    • 12th Apr 18, 12:57 PM
    I was assuming we would delay with the other EA and then instruct after the weekend if the buyer came to nothing. No way would we want to pay double fees!
    Originally posted by LittlePickleHead
    Yep - but you have to consider the possibility that the 'viewer' takes a look on Saturday, appears disinterested, but then comes back and offers in a week or two.

    So when you instruct the new EA, you'd have to ensure that the new EA agrees not to engage/negotiate with this buyer - and refers them back to the original EA (and won't charge you commission).
    • NineDeuce
    • By NineDeuce 12th Apr 18, 1:17 PM
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    NineDeuce
    • #9
    • 12th Apr 18, 1:17 PM
    • #9
    • 12th Apr 18, 1:17 PM
    Estate agent is just a nice term for professional con artist so dont be enticed by anything they say nor be pressurised at all. You should always hold the cards...
    • Slinky
    • By Slinky 12th Apr 18, 1:57 PM
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    Slinky
    You set up a contract between you and the first agent for the single introduction of Mr/Mrs X. It it doesn't come to something straight away, you sign up with the second agency and make them aware that there is a prior contract with the other agent for Mr/Mrs X only, that way everybody knows where they stand and there will be no double commission due should an offer from the first viewer come along after the second agent has been instructed.

    Never give an agency 'sole selling rights'. That means if your cousin Bill hears from your mother that you're selling, and you sell it to him privately, the agent would still be due commission even though they've never had any contact with your cousin.
    • Smodlet
    • By Smodlet 12th Apr 18, 3:18 PM
    • 3,622 Posts
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    Smodlet
    OP, I'm getting a creepy feeling about EA1 just from reading your post. If you have reservations, I would listen to your gut.

    EAs are devious to the point of slimy (imho, of course) and the pushy one you describe reminds me forcibly of one I encountered years ago (Taylor's) If they called me once, they must have called twenty times at least. Forget dog with bone, grip like a cobra more like. Don't turn your back on them!
    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...
    • victoriavictorious
    • By victoriavictorious 12th Apr 18, 3:31 PM
    • 331 Posts
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    victoriavictorious
    As a Londoner, and having sold there several times in the past, each time, sure enough, the promised Rentacrowd would appear bang on cue out of the woodwork on the first day; you could set your watch by them. None of them ever bought.
    How quaint that this old tradition is still alive and well!
    Wouldn't touch this one with a bargepole.
    • Surrey_EA
    • By Surrey_EA 12th Apr 18, 3:39 PM
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    Surrey_EA
    Wouldn't touch this one with a bargepole.
    Originally posted by victoriavictorious
    There does not appear to be any particular downside.

    A one-off viewing. If they buy, great, nice simple sale for all concerned. If they don't, instruct the other EA (excluding one viewer from their contract).
    • victoriavictorious
    • By victoriavictorious 12th Apr 18, 3:50 PM
    • 331 Posts
    • 516 Thanks
    victoriavictorious
    There does not appear to be any particular downside.

    A one-off viewing. If they buy, great, nice simple sale for all concerned. If they don't, instruct the other EA (excluding one viewer from their contract).
    Originally posted by Surrey_EA
    ...as long as OP reads the small print - and *really* reads it - before signing anything, then just maybe.
    ( I am enjoying our little debates on here!)
    • LittlePickleHead
    • By LittlePickleHead 12th Apr 18, 4:14 PM
    • 6 Posts
    • 5 Thanks
    LittlePickleHead
    I think we've decided to just sign up with our preferred agent. It might be a nice simple sale, but it seems quite a long shot and if this buyer does exist and is looking for a property just like our, well then they will book a viewing through our instructed agent.

    Keeps it much simpler!
    • Smodlet
    • By Smodlet 12th Apr 18, 4:25 PM
    • 3,622 Posts
    • 6,808 Thanks
    Smodlet
    I think you are wise to trust your instincts, LittlePickleHead. Good luck with it all.
    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...
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