Over the last couple of weeks we have started looking at houses to buy.
*insert that emoji here that’s the purple face with its hands on its cheeks, like The Scream*
I’ve never owned a house before, and the terror that that’s inducing is a series of blog posts in itself, but rather than open that can of worms today, I wanted to focus on one particular thing that has already begun to annoy me about estate agents.
Now don’t get me wrong, I know that their job is to sell houses, and that sometimes means they’re going to be a little bit pushy in terms of showing you things a little outside your price range or area of interest. I get that. But then sometimes they take it too far.
We have been pretty specific about a couple of our requirements, namely our budget, and the area that we want to live in. It has to be within walking distance of Belle’s school, which is fairly central in Taunton. At least two bedrooms, room for a piano, a bit of a garden – all fairly straightforward.
I had an email from one estate agent this week.
‘We have attached details of properties matching your criteria,’ it said.
I scanned the email. The first thing that jumped out was that the ‘property’ was in Capland.
‘Where the hell is Capland?’ I asked myself. I looked it up on a map in relation to Belle’s school. It turns out it would be a 2 hour and 18 minute walk for Belle, along the A358. Now I know I can be a bit of a softie when it comes to parenting, but surely making her leave at 6am to walk along a busy A road is a little harsh?
I decided to give them the benefit of the doubt. Perhaps it was my total dream house, and it just so happened that it was seven miles away. I scrolled to the picture.
Um… is it me or does there seem to be a crucial element missing?
Where the feck is the house??
Now I know that I said I was ‘open to different styles of home’, but I did specify a minimum of two bedrooms. This field clearly has no bedrooms.
Reading on, I discovered that it does have:
• Direct road access
• Approximately 3.35 acres
• Mains water
• Concrete slab for stable block
• Convenient location with easy access to A358
Well there we go then, what was I thinking?! It’s perfect! We can finally start work on that stable block we have always dreamed of, and we’d be handy for the A358 for Belle to start her dawn walk to school.
I mean sure, we’d have to fix up a bit of tarpaulin or something for shelter, and perhaps whittle a couple of beds out of something, but we’d have mains water and 3.35 acres of GRASS to enjoy, so it would be churlish surely to complain about the lack of something as luxurious as WALLS?
I know that in the grand scheme of things this isn’t a big deal – I can just delete the email and never have to think of it again – but I just don’t understand why so many people and businesses seem incapable of doing something as basic as listening to what the customer wants.
If a family tells you they want to buy a HOUSE near a SCHOOL, then show them houses near a school? Not concrete slabs in empty fields in the middle of nowhere. That’s not rocket science is it?
Am I being unreasonable to get annoyed about this? Is it just the stress of house hunting getting to me already??
I got similarly annoyed about an email from a ‘recruiter’ a couple of weeks ago… I may have even borrowed your ‘a short rant about…’ intro line… sorry about that..
Sincerest form of flattery and all that :-)
That walking commute is PERFECTLY reasonable, I think you’re being a bit harsh there.
Yeah, probably normal for the GOOD OLD DAYS, when obviously it would also have been uphill both ways, and snowing…
don’t even get me started on Estate Agenst..three months into a house purchase which is coming up with issues as they *failed* to tell us some crucial facts! Good luck x
Oh God, don’t say that! I’m such a control freak, I’m sure I’m going to be a WRECK!
Jo that is bloody hilarious, they really are the limit aren’t they??
One bit of advice, don’t let them push you into seeing their in-house mortgage advisor! Do your own research and see an independent financial adviser if you need to, they are whole of market so can check all mortgages available and can give the ones that suit your circumstances.
Useful now that mortgage providers have stricter criteria for lending. But then you probably know all that!!
Know exactly what you mean. On the plus side it is pretty exciting to look around lots of homes. Even better when you’ve found the one you want!! Good luck!x
The rain continues to fall as I stand under a dripping entrance canopy to a 1970s built, block of flats. The decade was almost entirely devoid of architectural merit and the building is showing signs of wear. I need to be positive when the viewers arrive, not easy with a burgeoning maintenance bill, sinking fund with a hole the size of the Channel tunnel and a tired lease with onerous ground rent terms.
I’m five minutes early for the viewing but don’t want to go inside to the relative comfort of the dated flat. Parking here is notoriously difficult, with draconian signs threatening clamping and towing screwed to the walls at the back, beside the scant number of parking spaces. A potential buyer having their car removed while assessing the friendliness of the neighbourhood won’t hasten a sale, so I’m ready to guide the viewers to a safe spot where the absent owners are allowed to park. My car is in a slightly riskier space, but the trusty Doctor On Call badge has been dusted off again. So far, so good…
House shopping is ridiculous. Scrap that, estate agents are ridiculous. I seriously think most of them sit on Facebook all day, answer the odd call, and if really pressed to go on viewings, pretend to know which key opens the property they know nothing about as they’ve never been there as it’s their first week or their colleague is away as they’re on a bender in Aya Napa. Or Barbados if they’re from Foxtons.
In America they all need degrees in real estate or something! If they’re real estate agents, ours should be renames ‘pretend’ estate agents. GRRR.
This made me chuckle, just getting into the realms of house buying myself. Estate agent I have decided are a different breed.
As a former auctioneer/estate agent turned stay at home dad. I feel your pain. I’ve seen it first hand. unfortunately someone in an office has input the wrong details for you. This is essentially a mail shot that the system sends out using those details. You’ll get more unless you correct them.
Also if you think this is infuriating. You ain’t seem nothing yet. Strap yourself in, welcome to the most stressful task in the world.
How unfortunate although it sounds like a common error made by lot;s of different industry types, not just estate agents! They do get quite a bit of flack don’t they, perhaps some deserve it ;)