The hunt goes on
May 28, 2006
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Re-starting this flathunting lark is not fun. I had a viewing booked for Friday evening on a two bedroom, share of freehold flat in Hither Green which got snapped up during Friday afternoon; and saw a flat that was brand spanking new in St John’s but it was maybe two or three feet too small in the kitchen/living room (and, a combined kitchen/living room? No, not when I know I can get them separately). But what was really fun was seeing a place in Forest Hill. I’ve decided to name and shame the rubbish estate agents, this honour goes to Hylton Langley. I’d had to call them three times on Friday trying to get any information out of them (and they never called me back). The viewing was booked for 2.15pm; it was throwing down with rain and when nobody had turned up by 2.25pm I called them:
Me: I just wanted to check I had the right house number
Hylton Langley: Oh, are you there already?!
Me: Well, the appointment was ten minutes ago, of course I’m here.
HL: Oh, someone made an offer on that flat thirty minutes ago.
Me: So it’s gone? Why didn’t you call me?
Me: It’s raining, I’m wet through, oh thank you very much.
The other members of the rogues gallery are Mann Countrywide who, despite me telling the guy who registered me that I didn’t need their mortgage advisors as I had already paid an IFA who I am very happy with, I got three calls from their mortgage team. It appears that Mark Beaumont was the agent who continued to show the Catford flat after the owner had accepted an offer (perhaps the owner had instructed them to do so; but still it doesn’t show much integrity as far as I’m concerned), and my experience of Bairstow Eves is that they ignore the requirements you give them and try to push unsuitable proprties on you and don’t take ‘no’ for an answer. I wish I could remember which agent I had this exchange with on Friday:
Agent: Or, there’s a great two bedroom flat on the top floor of a new block…
Me: But I just told you I need direct access to a garden, I have a cat.
Agent: It’s in a great area, really convenient…
Me: But it doesn’t have a garden.
Agent: There’s a gym and communal pool…
Me: My cat doesn’t like swimming.
On the plus side, KFH have been nothing but professional and I do like Suremove, who dealt with the Catford flat. There’s only two of them, I think, so they can be a bit hard to get hold of, but they’re very friendly.
Anyway, this is the gauntlet I run. Feel my pain.