Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Hell hath...

Can someone please tell me what is wrong with the estate agents in this city? Dealing with them has been an exercise in frustration and disappointment. I'm ready to climb a bell tower and start picking them off one by one.

Three weeks ago today I went to look at the flat we're moving into. I took Fen the next day and we made our offer, with some negotiation we were told the flat was ours. I had to chase the guy down for three days (and over the weekend) just to get the confirmation email with the details of the deal (what we wanted, what was expected of us) and for him to take the deposit. I negotiated the deal which took two days and then he said we'd hear from another company who would do the vetting. Fine. Had to chase him down for a week for that to happen.

Last week we were cleared (I should hope so) and I emailed the agent last week Monday to send the contracts for signature. On Friday I called and left a voicemail asking for the contract. This week Monday I called again and left another message. Yesterday I nagged Fen until he called not once, not twice - leaving messages both times - but thrice! Finally, he asked to speak to the manager who was not happy that we had been ignored.

During this three week period I stopped looking at flats, put my mind to rest and started making my plans for packing (we have boxes again - oh dear!) but I haven't bought any furniture, haven't hired movers, and have only packed china and kitchen stuff and then hidden the boxes in the cupboards so Fen won't go nuts (I promised I wouldn't have packed boxes piled up until next month). If you've learned anything about me you'll know I'm a planner, a packer, organized and a doer. I don't have the luxury of time to dawdle and have to map out my day to make sure everything that needs to be done gets done.

This has bothered me for two reasons:

  1. I want to get a move on already - buy the furniture, set up a delivery time, get Virgin in to move the TV, phone, internet, change our address on everything, hire movers, start to decide what's going where and getting my Sharpie and moving list in order.
  2. Inefficiency and rudeness. Honestly, how many times do you have to bug someone to send a freakin' contract? And how can someone just ignore a customer? It's just slack. I loathe slack.
I started to worry I was too rough with my negotiations - I deal with contracts on a daily basis so I comb through things with a sharp and trained eye. Maybe I was too 'New York'. I mentioned this to Fen and he disagreed.

The outcome - the place is ours. The contract is supposed to be sent to us this afternoon for signature. We'll see if it gets here or not. If it doesn't, I'm going over and delivering a lecture to anyone in that office who will listen. They'll rue the day...


  1. I'd say you've taken the right approach completely. From my experience, you have to keep at people and make yourself heard to get anything done. I hope it's much less stressful for you from now on, and that you are in your new place soon!

  2. Blimey I stopped breathing while I read that, so fearful you were going to say they'd rented it to someone else. Phew!

    Personally I'd be camped outside their offices. How very rude and inefficient they are.

    See you at the weekend sweetie.

  3. Sigh. England. Uh huh. At least you're going Virgin and not BT...

  4. Oh dear - you had a really bad experience to be sure, and you should complain about the bad service for there is no excuse for keeping a client waiting like that, nor for you to have to chase up. Speaking as an erstwhile estate agent (up until a year ago with my own business attached to husband's solicitor's practice) you have grounds to make a formal complaint to their professional body (RICS or Estate Agents) for these shoddy businesses give other hard working, efficient practices a bad name. Hope it all works out and you are very happy in your new flat after all the stress!

  5. It seems these days that estate agents are paid for doing absolutely nothing...Very annoying but pleased to hear that it's all going through.

  6. One of the reasons we have lived in our current home for 24 years is I hate moving. Good luck.

  7. Ugh that sounds like a nightmare. I'm starting to plan a move back to the UK and I am dreading dealing with estate agents. plus packing - I haven't packed in 13 years and I'd be happy to never have to do it again. I hope you

  8. That was meant to say 'I hope you got your contract' - sorry!

  9. I too thought you lost the flat. It happens all the time. Have to stay on top of this stuff. And I feel your pain about wanted to get a move on. I hate anticipation. I've had to make my peace with it, but still.

  10. All I can say is that I pity the people who don't have your contract skills or tenacity. I wonder how they fare?

    Glad you've got it sorted. What a huge hassle. I hope you're able to stay in this next one a LONG time!


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