Nearly three years ago I bought my house through Connells estate agents in Welwyn Garden City, the house was not really what we were looking to buy but it had so much potential that we went ahead. We gutted it completely and did the whole house, it took six months before we could live in it but it was so worth it in the end. Well now three years later we need to sell and fast! After a business opportunity arose we decided to sell and start again in Australia. Well we called Connells because when we bought the house it took only six weeks until the sale was completed but that was mostly down to the house being vacant and I being a first time buyer so there was no chain in either side.
Well an agent came round yesterday and even after explaining when I called for them to come round that we needed the house to sell fast he still asked ‘so we need to establish why I’m here’ I was like duh to sell the house! I told him I had already explained this and he jotted it all down, then he took more details before walking round the house to ‘value’ value the property. Like I said we need to sell fast and now not next week or next month. Before he told us the value he talked us through the process blah blah blah and said ‘well I can sell by Christmas’ I was like CHRISTMAS!!! That’s 10 weeks away, on top of that he’s going on holiday for a few weeks and we all know what that means. I am not being unreasonable when I say this house needs to sell now, if the price is right it will sell fast. He then said he can ‘guarantee’ the house to be sold in 4 weeks, well that is by far too long.
Well anyway he valued the house far too high and we know that it would never sell so we were like hmmm then he said we ‘we’ll push for 15k lower than that’ which still was too high. Looking at the properties selling right now there are bigger and better houses for the price he ‘valued’ the house at. Well on top of that he was just really pushy and not taking into account anything we said.
On top of all that the estate agent fees were 2% that he then lowered to 1.75% that was £5,000 for sole agency fees and a whopping £10,000 for the multiple agency fees. Also he offered the EPC for around £50 and solicitor fees for £1,000. Then he was like ok you want to sign the contract then, we were like whoa we need to read the contract so he was a little taken back. I did find this strange who signs something without reading the contract first? Well on top of this he wanted us to sign the opt out option that applies to the ‘7 day cooling off period’ that we are entitled to. He was very strange, he was so sure that we would use him as the house was through Connells the first time. We said we’d read it and get back to him. He then got up and started measuring up the rooms thinking he was so in there, what a plonker. There is also a £125 fee you need to pay them if you do decide to break the contract; this is a marketing fee that they pay to advertise the property so if you pull out at any time you need to pay this.
When we asked if there were any penalties to pulling out of the contract if we change our minds he said no, we asked this as we may need to leave suddenly without selling but he then said ‘well leave the keys and we’ll do the rest’ then when the paperwork was done we just need to fly back and sign. We were shocked and said no when leave we won’t be coming back soon!
He called us the next day and we told him that we were waiting on a few other agents to value the property; he was very surprised to say the least. Well we decided to go with Haart instead as we found that they weren’t pushy and listed to us and what we were looking for in term of an agent to sell the house quickly.
So if you do decide to go with Connells then beware and get another quote, their fees are far too high to Haart’s were approximately £1,000 cheaper and every penny counts!