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Reviewed by Carmel
29th July 2013
I would not use the agent again
- New North House Ongar Road ,
- Sales (Prospective customer)
We had an offer on a property accepted through EMoove, and we were disappointed when we were gazumped. Part way through the process, someone came in with a higher offer, which the vendor accepted, and we lost the house.
We understand that this is legal and normal. However, the way that it happened wasn't good business practice. EMoove didn't even let us know about the higher offer before it was too late! One day they just told us out of the blue that a higher offer had been accepted, and that they had advised the vendor not to take any more offers so there wasn't anything we could do about it. Given that we were already part-way through the buying process, with our offer accepted and going through, we were horrified! We would've appreciated some warning, or some effort on the part of EMoove to allow us make a counter offer. We understand that the vendor had been flooded with offers on the house, and it sounded like the vendor was a bit overwhelmed by it all. Even though what happened wasn't illegal, we felt that eMoov didn't handle the situation very well and weren't very decent about it.
There was another thing that bothered us. The staff member we dealt with when making the offer seemed to fail to understand the value of a cash-in-the-bank offer and a mortgage-based offer. Cash in the bank is solid; a mortgage can fail to be approved, and can make the sale fall through. Obviously. They told us on the phone that there 'wasn't a difference' between the two, and shrugged it off, giving us the strong impression that they wouldn't be counselling the vendor on the strength of the one above the other (Note: I don't know whether they did or didn't, but my understanding on the phone was that they didn't understand the difference). Our offer was initially accepted, anyway, because it was the highest at the time, but their apparent ignorance of this difference seemed a bit wrong for an estate agent.
A few weeks later, we received another call from eMoov saying that the sale had fallen through, because the buyer had failed to secure funds. By then, we'd found another house, and even if we hadn't, I'd prefer not to do business with them again.
What could eMoov.co.uk do to change your mind?
“Because eMoov and the vendor had accepted our offer on the house, we feel that eMoov should have let us know when they received a higher offer and that they should not have advised the vendor not to let us make a counter offer - we were in the actual process of buying this house, offer accepted, solicitor instructed. We felt like we were in the process of buying a house and then as if we\'d been kicked out of the process with no chance. We understand that some estate agents (though by no mean all!!) allow gazumping, and that it\'s legal, but this wasn\'t good practice at all. Also, please do advise your sales team (I think it was Simon) that there\'s a difference between a cash offer and a mortgage-based offer, and that for some vendors at least, that difference can be important. In our case it didn\'t really make a difference, but it can do.”
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