Well, where do I start with HouseSimple.co.uk?
I had undertaken a fair amount of research into online Estate Agency and decided to give these guys a go in the hope of saving thousands of pounds over a traditional agent. My previous experiences of traditional agents was not good so I was willing to give it a try.
I can honestly say I have never worked with such an unprofessional, badly run company who do not care about their client base.
The following are bullet points of everything that went wrong:
- They claim to be a dynamic online company, yet the first thing they do is send you a form that can't be edited so you have to print it, fill out by hand, scan back in and email to them.
- After sending the form & payment (I made the stupid mistake of paying £395 + VAT up front which I will cover later) I heard nothing for a couple of days.
- After me constantly chasing them up they finally sent somebody round to do the write up and pictures. The photos are about the only part they got right, but then again it is a 3rd party company who do them so no surprise there.
- All went silent again for about 5 days. After numerous phone calls and emails my advert finally came back to me for my approval. I must say that the only reason I agreed the text was that I had basically written it for them. They had however, put duplicate photos in the advert.
- Now the fun really started.... Our first 'viewing' was a no show as HouseSimple forgot to confirm the viewing with the potential buyer.
- The next few viewings were people who weren't even on the market (HouseSimple do not vet any potential buyers).
- A very interested viewer asked if I was with any other agents as they had tried for 3 days to get a viewing. HouseSimple had told her that the vendor (ME) was hard to get hold of. That was nonsense as I had given them 4 phone numbers and they were always manned. I decided to call HouseSimple to feedback this information and I had the misfortune of speaking to one of the founders of the company. A certain A G! He came across as moody, arrogant and patronising. I questioned him as to why potential viewers of our house were waiting up to 3 days and being told that the vendor was hard to get hold of. His response was that we don't want buyers like that and are better off without them!!!!!
- They never and I mean NEVER respond to any emails that you may send them.
- I got the distinct impression that as I had paid in full up front they were no longer interested in me or my property. Then again, I can imagine they are just as bad with people who use the other options for payment where you pay less up front and more on completion.
- After 2 weeks it got to the point where I was ringing them at least twice a day to find out about any potential viewings as they were 100% incapable of letting us know about these. It wouldn't surprise me if people had offered on our house at this point but HouseSimple has simply forgotten to get the offer to us.
- They never ever chase up viewings and never give you any feedback on previous viewings.
- Our house did sell but only because I did all the negotiating directly with the potential buyer as he didn't want to go through HouseSimple. I passed all the solicitor details to their office. They then sent a Memorandum of Sale through with incorrect solicitor details. They then phoned me back 5 days later asking for my solicitor details!
- A week later our buyer pulled out (no fault of HouseSimple) but I dread to think the mess they would have made of getting the deal completed.
- The only thing they did correctly was remove my house from Rightmove when I asked them to.
- I then went back to a traditional agent and sold hassle free in 2 weeks.
Overall a very unpleasant experience and possibly the biggest waste of £395 in my entire life.
I would NOT use them again and would NEVER recommend them to somebody who actually wants to sell their house.