Amusing TalesLearnings

Today I Sacked the Estate Agents

Today I am pretty annoyed with myself. After all my to-ing and fro-ing as to whether to use a traditional high street estate agent or online agent (this was my post Here which sparked massive debate). I have ended up sacking the useless estate agents who have not sold, nor seem in the slightest bit interested in selling my flat in London.

It all started well – I chose the agents who sold my last flat in London a few months ago and who did a great job. Anyway, pretty much after I signed the contract (sole agency for 6 weeks) I realised that this was a different branch to the last branch who sold for me. And to be honest, they may as well have been a different company.

I returned the forms and sent the keys by special delivery. I had requested confirmation from them when they had the keys…this was not forthcoming  – I had to chase them to check they had the keys.

Details were produced…but nobody ever asked me if I was happy with them – I just happened to see them as I was browsing Rightmove to see if they had uploaded them yet. Yes – from the offset communication was non-existent.

After the property had been on the market for 10 days I called them to check how things were going and what the interest level was like…I kept trying to call, but nobody could help me. It took several emails before I got a reply. Well – if that was their attitude towards a seller who is paying their bill what are they like towards the customers who may buy my property???

3 weeks later and no viewings! I was alarmed – but more concerned with regards the agents than the actual property.  So there I am in Fuerteventura and they call me.

“You have a problem with you door and we can’t get in” I am told

Instantly I feel sick – I remember what happened last time the estate agents told me this – I had squatters!! I was beside myself.

It then turned out the girl who had gone to show the property couldn’t open the door properly…I was gobsmacked. There was me thinking opening doors is part and parcel of an estate agent’s job description! When I asked whether they had re-arranged the failed viewing I felt their eyes glaze over…in that minute I realised there was no hope. This was a lost cause. I was furious with them and with myself.

Now I know, past performance is not an actual indicator of future performance BUT I did think it stood for something! The key lesson I have learnt – estate agents are only as good on a branch-by-branch basis – never ever expect the same company to be the same in each office. They are run by different people.

So here I am stuck – I can’t sell my flat because I chose a bunch of imbeciles who aren’t interested in selling my property. So I have given notice (14 days) and I am now having to endure their uselessness until the expiry date.

On a positive note – I’ve stuck to the high street estate agent. I will not be put off – my reasons for going this route still remain the same. The next agent has called 4 times in 2 days. He’s as hungry as a bear who’s not eaten for months – and will not let go. Hopefully this time will be different….

  1. Philippa Grantham

    You are not alone. I had my flat in N10 on the market for 10 months with one estate agent (I am not sure I should name and shame!?!?!) and they were useless and so I swapped to KFH…. it still took a little while as the market was quite but they were much better, made much more effort and got me a sale which fingers crossed is near to exchanging. Last week I got KFH Blackheath over to value our other flat as we want to move to Winchester, they valued it, have taken the pics and have a viewing on Thursday already. They seem super keen, professional etc… So I do agree it is the people that matter, so far KFH seem to have consistently good people! Shame they don’t opporate in Winchester!

    1. Sam

      Philippa, I wish you luck with this going through and it’s good to hear a positive story as well. Can’t believe you gave the agents 10 months though!!

  2. Jo King

    Oh no Sam! After all your efforts – I completely understand how you feel and I’m so frustrated with the dozens of useless Estate Agents that continue to get away with shockingly inadequate service.

    Personally this terrifies me as I am about to put my Barn on the market after 6 weeks of sheer hard labour getting the place in immaculate order.

    I hate the idea of handing over responsibility for something so important to someone who hasn’t got the commitment to sell it like I have.

  3. Katie Griffin

    Unfortunately, this happens all the time. Hands up I am an estate agent but we really try to make sure we don’t just disappear after signing up a client. However I am also now a buyer and cannot beleive that some of these agencies still have a business! I have had no follow ups to viewings I have done and disinterested agents not really bothered about passing on offers. Which is a real shame as the bad ones make it really hard for those amongst us who genuinely care, take pride and are good at our jobs.

  4. Paul

    From my experience estate agents are totally useless. Most of them were clearly last in the queu when it came to brains. Total common sense seems to vanish. I just don’t understand it. What the hell is going on? Why do they find it so difficult to sell or to let without making a total cock up of it all!? The answer is becuase that the industry is largely unregulated. Employ a bunch of numpties who couldn’t sell ten pound note for five pounds if their life depended on it. Then add a load of made up rules and regulations for selling or letting the property that they do not even understand. Add a slight twist to the property such as, ‘The house also has a side entrance’ just to confuse them from their normal vegetable state of existence. Shake it up with a good dose of cockiness and arrogance and hey presto, you have a fully fledged total cock of an estate agent born into the world. Life would be so much better without these bastards….

  5. Victoria

    Hi Sam,

    I can’t see any other way to contact you on your site! I assume you vet your comments before they go live so I thought I’d try this way. I’ve recently launched a property review site http://www.reviewmypad.co.uk and these are the types of reviews we need, to help make estate agencies up their game. If you would like to contribute, do let me know. I link out to you and think your blog is fab 🙂

    Kind regards,


    1. Sam

      Thanks Victoria, pleased you like the blog.

      Yes, I have left reviews at a couple of places for Hatched and I feel these sites are of great value.

      I wish you all the best in your new venture as the more we share the more we can learn!

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