We were prospective first time buyers with a large deposit. We had already met with a financial advisor from an independant agent and so knew what we were able to borrow and who the mortgage would be with when we had decided upon a property to buy. We saw the property in question and asked for a viewing, to be fair this was accomodated quite quickly and we went on a Thursday evening. We liked the property and so followed up with an offer on Friday which was not accepted by the vendor so we went in with a second offer which was accepted. We then phoned our Mortgage man who advised that if King and Chasemore needed anything from him he was happy to speak to them to advise that everything was in order and that we were ready and in a position to proceed. We were assured by King and Chasemore that the property would be taken off the market, and were asked to come into the office with payslips and proof of deposit, this was not a problem to us and we said that we'd drop them in, but it wasn't as simple as that we had to make an appointment with their financial advisor to make sure the figures stacked up but it would only take 10 minutes. Ok we said, no bother but we couldn't be seen until Monday. We made the appointment for Monday as requested and didn't have to wait too long to hear from King and Chasemore (early Saturday morning) to say that someone else had made an offer of £x amount which was higher than ours, so as not to lose the property did we want to make a higher offer because we are in the better position? We duly thought about it and late on Saturday we matched the price of the other party. Monday morning came and we are told that we need to act quickly the other party have offered full asking price we have to get our proof down to them as planned and increase the offer if we still want to proceed. We did go to show our proof but after that was satisfied the lady proceeded to ask more and more detailed questions, about any debts we had for car, credit cards etc - No came the reply why do you want to know, Oh I'm just putting a mortgage quotation together for you to show you that we compare more favourably, not what we want we said we have a mortgage advisor that we're happy with, Oh but we need to do this for credit scoring to be sure that you can afford the mortgage, we said that that wasn't the case and the more searches that are done on a person in a short time then the more detremental it could be when we came to take a mortgage. We advised that our guy would credit score for the mortgage when we'd agreed a price on the property. She then insisted that they speak to our mortgage advisor and did we have his number, we provided the number and she left messages for him. We concluded the meeting and left the office having agreed that they would be in touch when they had news. We had a phone call late afternoon to say that they had not as yet been able to get hold of our mortgage guy and if we didn't want to lose the property could we give him a ring because he was ignoring their phone calls!! I explained that he was a busy man, that we were not his only clients but I would try on their behalf if that would help. I did advise that I had an appointment to see him later anyway so he would hear one way or the other. I did try my mortgage guy but like King and Chasemore got his answering machine, this was as it turned out because he'd been in meetings all day and had not been able to answer his phone. At the end of his day he did ring me long after the estate agents had closed and we discussed all that had happened with the proposed purchase and the meeting with their financial advisor and that despite his offer of speaking with King and Chasemore financial advisor the previous Friday which had been declined they now needed to urgently speak to him in order that we could proceed at a higher offer. We read through the property details again including the small print and noted that their financial advice was free, but refered back to the meeting with her where she clearly stated that her fee for setting the mortgage up was £249.00 - this would be called an admin fee!! We at that point decided that enough lies had been told and that we were unlikely to satisfy them and their playground tactics of playing people off against each other. We decided then that we were pulling out and I advised my financial guy not to give them any further information as we were not proceeding. On Tuesday morning at around 9.30am I received a voicemail message saying that unless we made a higher offer and our mortgage guy phoned them before 10am that morning then we would be out of the running. I explained that we'd already made the decision to pull out. Oh ok the guy rather glibly said, and started talking about other places that he'd got on his list that we might be interested in! I said that the experience with them had left a bad taste in my mouth and that the reason for backing out was because we felt that the as an agent we didn't want to deal with them and from what they'd said about the vendor putting pressure on to get this all wrapped up I didn't feel that she was someone I wanted to deal with either. Having worked in estate agency previously and not remembering their ways were the norm, I spent the time whilst all this was going on speaking to other agents trying to find out if what was being asked of us was normal and reasonable, no other agent wanted all this information in place before a price had been agreed on the property and we were told that it was a ploy to get our details on their system and to get us to take a mortgage via themselves. Not something that I would want experience again and not an agent that I would use or recommend. A 5 day rollercoaster to nowhere.
What agent could do to change your mind?
There is no need to have a mortgage in place before offering on a property, they need to be honest with themselves as well as those who wish to buy through them, whilst acting in the best interest of their client. King and Chasemore repeatedly told us that it was the vendor requesting assurances that we had the money to proceed before accepting the final offer but we phoned about a different property and were asked to jump through the same hoops so it seems more company policy than the vendor. Honesty is the best policy and this agent more than the others that we have dealt with recently DO NOT MAKE THE GRADE.