The horror of estate agents

20May13

I haven’t posted on my blog in a while. But my recent struggles with trying to buy a property have inspired me to start up a new mini-blog within this one, about my experiences with estate agents.

Follow our journey as me and my partner, Keith, try to buy a property, no matter how hard estate agents try to get in the way.

Day 1

This isn’t technically day one. In fact, we’d come within weeks of exchanging contracts on another property until the purchase unfortunately fell through. So now we’re starting again from scratch.

On Saturday just passed, I registered with about 10 estate agents in the local area, careful to tell all of them exactly what we’re looking for. For the purposes of this blog – I will give you a short list:

Must-haves

  • Detached or semi-detached house
  • 3 or more bedrooms
  • Within 1 mile of a train station
  • In Rainham, Rochester or Gillingham.

Like-to-haves:

  • Off-road parking
  • Downstairs loo
  • Utility room
  • On a quiet road

Today, I receive a phone call from an estate agent who wanted to tell me about a property desperately. I called him back, at which point he immediately referred to me as ‘Mrs Davis’ (I’m a Miss, thank you) and proceeded to tell me about a bungalow he had for sale approximately 2 miles from the station.

I referred him to my above list of requirements, at which point he said I was on his system as looking for ‘bungalows’. I assured him that wasn’t the case, but he seemed somewhat unwilling to admit his staff had made a mistake. With that now fixed, he proceeded to tell me about a lovely detached property with all the right features in the right area…but £40k over our budget. Thanks!

Secondly, I had a text message from another estate agent. It reads as follows:

‘Hi Mr Davis take a look at this, a 5 bed terraced in Eastcourt Lane, Gillingham. I’m already taking calls on this one.’

So, my name’s wrong, and we’ve told them we won’t consider terrace properties. On top of that, it’s well over a mile from the station.

I’m also delighted to have received this eloquent email in all-caps:

“PROPERTY IN A FANTASTIC AREA OF CHATHAM!

A VERY DESIREABLE AREA CLOSE TO THE TRAIN STATION ON FOR A FANTASTIC PRICE THIS 4 BEDROOMS HOME SET JUST OFF MAIDSTONE ROAD IN CHATHAM.”

Wow – if it’s in a ‘desireable’ area of Chatham I have to see this! but I click on the link and am taken to the website of the agent with no clue as to how to find the details.

All things considered, I’d say that’s a pretty good day one.

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