Monthly Archives: August, 2016

Why Doesn’t An Estate Agent Look After The Buyer?



One of our favourite sayings at is that the best time to sell your house is when someone wants to buy it – and our job is to find them. We’re been fortunate of late to have been able to do that pretty regularly and, sometimes pretty speedily. It helps to have a database of potential buyers waiting and, of course, it’s an advantage to know how the property business works and to have a network of good suppliers. But, as well as doing everything possible for the vendor, should a good estate agent also be helping the buyer?

It’s an interesting question as, sometimes, you’ll hear that agents can treat a potential buyer as a lower life-form or, in the worst cases, as someone to be gently led into parting with a substantial sum of money for something which, let’s say, isn’t everything it was advertised to be.

We’re not comfortable with either tactic to be honest. Of course, our job is to do the very best possible for our vendors but, in some cases, that means helping out the buyers too.

Take a recent case in point:

Back in March, we were delighted when one of our clients accepted an offer on their Yorkshire property and everything seemed to go pretty smoothly – right up until completion was due in July. Suddenly the buyer’s solicitors were insisting no further progress could be made on the sale until a management plan for the property had been obtained – and at a substantial additional cost to the vendor.

The vendor’s solicitor was equally adamant their client should not be bearing that cost and, out of nowhere, a tortuous legal debate was born. The finer details are probably only of real interest to property experts but suffice to say the debate between the two legal teams escalated until it became nothing much short of chest-thumping by email. Of course, both insisted they were acting in their clients’ best interests but, in the meantime, the sale was stalling and, at one point, was even at risk of falling through.

Heads needed banging together and we stepped in an attempt to broker more constructive dialogue between the two sides, appealing directly to the management of both legal firms. After several weeks, more bickering over an additional management pack and the costs of a transfer certificate of lease, more than 70 emails and almost 75 phone calls, we were finally successful…

Naturally, our vendor was relieved but we were also delighted to receive a testimonial from the buyer – someone who had not engaged us on their behalf or paid us for any service whatsoever but gave us credit for saving them from losing over £1,000 in up-front costs which would have been in jeopardy if the sale had fallen through.

“Our solicitors may have struggled with the process but Mark and Dave were fantastic at ensuring communication between all sides and there is no doubt at all that, without them, the sale would have collapsed. Even on the last day, they were there to help us negotiate early entry to the property as our removal men were waiting outside and needed to get in,” said Mr C, whose full review you can read on independent website Trustpilot.

Mr C added he had some concerns when he was first informed an online agent was acting for the vendor, largely because he’d been told by a traditional high street estate agent that they “would probably just take the money, stick a property on portals such as Rightmove and Zoopla and then sit back and do nothing”. Money for old rope, really …

We’d beg to differ – and we know at least two other people who would now agree …

Should I Buy My Dream House?



It takes a lot of time, effort and – increasingly these days – money to manoeuvre yourself into a position where you know you can buy a house. You’ve saved the deposit (finally), you’ve spoken to friends and family and – if you’re sensible – a mortgage advisor and you know roughly how much you can afford to spend.

And the next bit is where it starts to get exciting. You can make a list of the things your new home should have – a garden, a garage, a downstairs loo, a separate shower room, a conservatory or whatever – and you can start to trawl the portals such as Rightmove and Zoopla for properties which seem to match your criteria.

All fine and dandy up to now, right? After all, at the moment, everything you’re dealing with is theoretical. But even though life probably feels quite euphoric, believe it or not, you could be just a step away from a very bad decision – and, even harder to believe is that the bad decision could be to put on offer in on your ideal home.

It might be that your dream property has everything you wanted. It ticks every single box – and then some. But the only one it fails on is price. It’s just, say, £10,000 more than you were really willing to pay and, try as you might, the vendors won’t budge.

Of course, you’ll know somewhere inside that the sensible thing would be to shrug and keep looking. After all, there will be other houses that match your requirements. But something inside just won’t let go of the thought of someone else moving into the house that was so tantalisingly close to being yours – in fact so much so you’ve found yourself thinking how you can shave lumps off your monthly outgoings to bring the likely mortgage payments within range. You don’t need such a big car, right? Or maybe one holiday a year is good enough. What’s wrong with jogging rather than paying for that monthly gym membership or perhaps a couple more nights in front of the TV instead of living it up with friends will be worth it when you know that television is going to be in the living room of the property you’ve now sort of set your heart on?

The problem is that the calculations you’re making are based on the here and now. What if you lost your job and had to settle for lower salary for a while? Of course, we all tend to push those things away or dismiss them as unlikely – but you have to ask yourself how much of a millstone would the mortgage payments become if interest rates were to rise?

Resent research by Ocean Finance may have cheerily reported that over 75% of buyers would bust their budget to acquire the house of their dreams ( but what it doesn’t say is what the consequences can be…

Just one significant life change like redundancy, a significant illness or the recovery of the UK economy, and suddenly, that dream home may have to go back on the market after all.

Our advice? Dream by all means and we’ll do everything we can to help you make them a reality. However, we’d encourage everyone buying a house to ensure those dreams are realistic – or they can very quickly become nightmares.

Should I Believe An Estate Agent?



You’ve done your online research, you’ve chatted with friends and, hopefully, you’ve done a bit of field research yourself and now you’ve chosen your estate agent.

You made an appointment to see them and now you’re in their office or they’ve come round to your home and, at last, you’re chatting about getting your property on the market. This might be the first time you’ve met face-to-face and the agent seems, charming, urbane, keen to help – or at least they should.

But what should YOU be looking for? The agent’s patter may have been great on the phone but, even at this late stage, you don’t want to end up with a firm which promises the earth and then delivers very little – so what are the signs along the way to help you sort the wheat from the chaff?

It’s by no means a definitive list but, below are five things your estate agent should probably never say:

1/ What do you want your property to fetch?

Er… that’s why you decided to employ an expert rather than just do the whole thing yourself. You might have a rough idea if you looked on the online portals for similar property which has sold recently in the area but that doesn’t mean you’re suddenly on top of the current market. Of course, you may have a figure in mind but it’s probably best to keep that to yourself and see if the agent comes up with something similar. Remember, if your home is pitched too high, you may struggle to find a buyer; too low, and you could be thousands of pounds out of pocket. Do some homework first by all means but let the agent set a price first and then have your say if you feel the need.

2/ Accept the first decent offer you get. It’s a tough market out there.

If you’re in a hurry to sell, it might be sound advice but, like anything else, it doesn’t do to appear to be too keen to sell. Come across as desperate and you may find the buyer will have you over a barrel later on in the process. Play it cool. Take your time. Never rush. A quick sale might look great on the estate agent’s website but this is probably one of the largest financial transactions you’ll ever make so don’t be browbeaten or harassed into a decision which doesn’t feel right.

3/ Make sure you get the coffee pot on just before that viewing.

There won’t be many of us who haven’t heard that the smell of fresh coffee or baking bread can help sell a house. But there’s the rub. If we all know it, it’s not going to be all that effective any more. Indeed, a buyer could just wonder why you’re trying to bamboozle them with a sensory assault as soon as they walk through the door. It’s better to let the property do the talking.

4/ Don’t bother about the DIY jobs. Buyers will probably rip everything out anyway.

Actually not bad advice as spending thousands on new kitchen units, a better bathroom suite or some decking in the garden can be a waste of time and money if you’re going to be selling anyway. However, it’s definitely worth spending some time sorting out the minor fixes and getting the garden tidy. A good tactic is to ask a friend to do a dry run as a buyer and see what they recommend. Also, if you have a viewing coming up, declutter and hide the framed pictures of the kids. In fact, send the kids and the dog to grandma and granddad if you can. An innocent remark from a five-year-old about how daddy was mending the roof at the weekend or a viewing disrupted by a dog which won’t stop barking at “strangers” can be a little awkward.

5/ Don’t put it on the market just yet. Wait until …

Why wait? You have no idea who is out there looking for a new house and your property might just be their dream home. If you don’t go for it, you might just miss them. There are certainly times when property sells faster as there are more buyers looking – spring for example. But, in a world where stock is so low and demand is so high, there will ALWAYS be people on the lookout for the right house. Our advice is always: “Do it today” as the best time to sell your house is when someone wants to buy it – and that someone may be out there right now.

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About esale

eSale  Estate Agents, founded in 2012, bringing a fresh, clear and easy approach to online estate agency in England and Wales. We are a group of professionals with years of experience in helping people sell and buy property.

We have the skills to ensure the correct price is set for your property and we can negotiate the right sale price between buyer and seller.

Additionally, we can arrange accompanied viewings and also see the sale through to completion.

Your property will feature on Rightmove , Zoopla  and Primelocation esale have a wide advertising network, come and join our approach to selling a property, no matter what your property value is.