My estate agent hell

Rebecca Rutt's picture

I've discovered I don't like estate agents. Last Saturday I traipsed around a grand total of 35 attempting to find a house to rent, which apparently is as rare as finding a needle in a haystack, and by the end I was ready to kill someone.

Of those, 95% told us immediately there were no houses and practically shooed us out the door, while the other 5% were a little too friendly, promising they would devote their next week to finding us the perfect house. But come Monday one of the friendlier ones, who had assured us no four beds would come up, posted one online, in our budget, in our number one location, but by the time we called it had already gone. After this I decided to move online, which in this day and age I thought would be easier.

But competing online is impossible, every other house hunter is avidly on the case and nearly every property I've called up about has already gone. And what really makes my blood boil is that loads of agents seem to keep their best properties online, months after they've been let, just so hopeful people like me will keep calling up.

As going into estate agents hasn't worked, I've resorted to spending my lunch breaks and any spare second calling them.

It's all so time consuming, how are people in full-time work expected to spend hours searching, calling up, then viewing the houses? Even while writing this I'm worrying our dream house might be being snapped up by someone else.

The icing on the cake is, even when I do find a house, I know the agent will whack on numerous fees for the pleasure of dealing with them.

Everyone I know has a bad story about an estate agent they've had so why are they allowed to carry on behaving this way?

Am I doing something wrong, are four-bed houses so closely guarded only a select group of people get access to them? Surely not, as most of my friends live in them. Maybe this is just the wrong time of year? Whatever the case, I'm starting to think I'll be homeless forever.

Your Comments

As a letting agent it is very difficult to try and please everyone. What can often happen is that a property will come in - but you already have a list of clients who want to view the property and great properties can be let within a matter of minutes. Our quickest was the husband was doing the viewing (while with another 3 couples as we had to do a block viewing) called the office to give his card details for the deposit while his wife was travelling to our office with the paperwork. Good houses let within hours.

Hey Rebecca,

Most of the agents in your area I'm sure will advertise on the main property portals such as rightmove or prime location and these sites have alerts (you need to register first) that will be sent to you as soon as a property is uploaded that matches your search criteria.

Why not simply search across the main property portals and put in your criteria they contain nearly all properties on the market.

HI Rebecca,

Its so sad to hear your experience, there are some great ones out there somewhere!

& when you find one please rate them on our website!

Fear not Rebecca,

The right house will come up soon, keep calling the agents & building a personal relationship with them, i always found they will remember you & pic up the phone to you first.

Have you tried using a property finder?

You could try sarah Beeney's Tepilo website and deal direct with landlords, thus cutting out agent fee's altogether, you don't owe them a living!.

Why compete with the rest?

Be different! Submit an attractive 'application' to the best advertising sites for Letting Agents, offering to pay 6 months up front plus 'glowing' references etc!

ALL landlords look at these pages whether they advertise through agents or privately, just to make sure the advert is ok in the publication!

If you're worried about security (and so you should) buy yourself another mobile phone and SIM and use that number as a 'disposable' one that you can list on your advert.

Go for it girl!

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