As if finding your dream home isn't stressful enough, it seems like there is a minefield to negotiate to get there. Here are some of the top complaints we hear that have buyers seeing red about estate agents.
1. Estate agent refusing to pass on the bid until you have spoken to one of their financial experts. Not a lot you can do about this unless you go direct to the seller.
2. Telling people that prices are rising when there’s no such thing. Buyers need to low ball to get maximum value. Go in low – by as much as 20% - you can always go up, you can’t go down. The price recommended by the estate agent may bear no relation to the price realised by similar properties in the area, and you can always check ‘last price sold’ on the internet these days.
3. People not understanding what they are getting into fully. Mortgage brokers want to get their commission on selling a mortgage. The government’s Help-to-Buy scheme sounds great, but what are people getting into when they have to renew rates?
4. Solicitors taking months to do the conveyancing - unless there are complications it should take no more than a matter of weeks to exchange contracts on a registered property. The longer it takes, the more chance of the deal falling through, particularly in a changing market.
5. "Gazumping". Even if, until contracts are exchanged, the buyer is perfectly free to back out for any reason or none, and of course, so is the seller. Until contracts are exchanged, there is no obligation of any type either way, neither legal nor moral nor even one of social politeness. It is still viewed as very bad form though.
6. Telling buyers that buying a house at 4X income when interest rates are at a 300 year low is a rational thing to do.