I recently saw a property advertised on Right Move for a lovely 2-bed flat in the town I'm looking to live for 'Offers in Excess of £89,995'. I was really shocked at the price so rang Express within minutes of seeing it online, and arranging a viewing for the very next night.
My partner and I absolutely fell in love with the flat and rang Express the second we left to put in an offer. As it was advertised as 'Offers in Excess of...' we decided to hedge our bets and offer £95,000 which we thought was fair. The girl from Express told us that only the highest offer would be put to the seller, which I found difficult to understand as there could be more potential viewers who may offer more, so how would they know when they had the highest? She also said that as it was a Friday and the office was closing for the weekend, I probably wouldn't hear back from them until Monday.
That evening I researched Express online and was dismayed to see all the bad reviews (I now know why!) and was also shocked to see that they have a 24/7 helpline so they never miss a viewing/offer. So much for being closed over the weekend. I rang them on Saturday morning and told them, truthfully, that we were still looking elsewhere and would need to know if our offer was accepted or declined. The guy I was dealing with, James, called me back within the hour and told me that the seller had declined, but recommended I put in the absolute most I could afford so that if it was declined again I would know it was too expensive. We discussed it and decided to put in an offer for £105,000.
After 3 days with no news, I had to ring Express to see if my offer had been accepted. They called me back and told me again it had been declined and that the seller was after £115,000! I couldn't believe if this was the case that they had put the starting price so low. I felt cheated and really annoyed. Express then asked if we wanted to meet in the middle but I had to point out that my offer was the absolute maximum I could afford, so he suggested I leave the offer on the table and he'd talk to the seller and see if he could convince them to accept.
For 2 weeks I called periodically and asked if there was any news, and every time I was told he was working on it. In the end I told James that I would be happy to just be told it was a definite 'no' as I couldn't bear all the hanging on waiting.
Finally after getting no response, I posted a letter through the door of the property telling the seller I was having difficulty getting anything from Express and gave them my offer and my mobile number so we could discuss. A few days later, the seller's son (who was dealing with the sale for his mother) rang me and said the offer was too low and they needed £115,000 so we decided to part ways. He was very apologetic about the situation and told me he had warned Express that was the price they were after.
I have since seen on Right Move that the price is now advertised at 'Offers in Excess of £99,995'... still not very honest or accurate. As of today I am also still waiting for a phonecall from James to confirm if my offer has been accepted or declined, because as far as he's aware I still don't know if it has.
Every time we rang, James was either not there and we were promised a call-back (which never came) or he would say all the right things to us on the phone but then never call us back with information we asked for. Also, had the property been online for an accurate price from the start we wouldn't have gone to see it as it would have been deemed too expensive. I am also furious that I had to go out of my way to get in contact with the seller to find out about our offer.
I'm absolutely disgusted with the service we received from Express and I feel sorry for anyone who is trying to sell their property through them.
What agent could do to change your mind?
Express should have been honest and upfront about the price the buyer was after. They should have called back when they promised they would. They should not have assured me they could get my offer accepted, when they were fully aware that the seller wanted more.