My estate agent hell

21 January 2011
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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.