Estate agents... and moving

18 September 2021
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Estate agents........and moving! A true story about estate agents summarises this writer's experience.

About 20 years we decided to move house when a property in an area we always liked came up for sale . We went to view the property, met the estate agent and asked him what was the selling price. He advised that 200k would buy the house and after another look around the house we offered him the asking price of €200,000.

We enquired as to what the next step was and he advised us that he was meeting the owner that evening and would inform him of the offer. That was a Friday and we rang on Monday morning to get an update with no response. We again rang on Tuesday and finally got through on Wednesday when we were informed that the property was sold for €200,500. We were devastated and disgusted that we were not given a chance to come back on our offer which we had understood would buy the house.

Not being satisfied we contacted the owner and explained how disappointed we were. He advised us that the estate agent had said we made a conditional offer (which we hadn't) and he was recommending another party as the purchaser at the price stated above. It just so happened that the other party was in the process of selling their home and the estate agent was also acting for them in this sale. The owner was also annoyed because he did not get a chance to see if we would offer more, but felt honour bound by the deal he had agreed with the estate agent. We advised him that we remained really interested in the house and asked him to come back to us if any problems arose with the sale. Fortunately for us the other party could not complete the transaction and we eventually bought the house for €200,500.

Our advice is to to careful when dealing with estate agents- be clear what they are saying to you and if you are uncertain what the message ask for clarification.