First off, no complaints about the girls in the local office. Very pleasant and never failed to call back.
The overall company, complete shysters. Sharks trying to turn a quick profit out of your home with their auction business model.
A letter arrived on the mat .... It\'s from Keith Pattinsons, \'Contact us URGENTLY! We have buyers waiting for properties in your street!\' (Get used to this dramatic tone, many letters you subsequently receive from them contain the word URGENTLY in capital letters, usually suggesting you reduce the price of your property.)
Alas, I was convinced to put our property to auction with Keith Pattinson, despite only being on their books for a month, (albeit with no viewings). Straight off they recommended we drop the price from £145k (their valuation) to £130k reserve in order to generate interest for the auction, which was subsequently listed at £100k starting bid. So on their recommendation, we did this. One month later, still no interest and they contact me a few days before auction suggesting I give them 10% discretion on final sale price (all for my own benefit of course! They wouldn\'t want me to be disappointed after all.) In other words, knock up to another 13k off the reserve. So in only two months Pattinsons have effectively reduced the value of my house by £28k.
Now I\'m just off the phone after a row with a lass from their auction dept, telling me that as I wouldn\'t drop the price and there isn\'t enough interest, it won\'t be going into tomorrows auction. (How dropping a supposedly secret reserve price, just a few days before auction would have helped, I can\'t fathom.)
Pattinson\'s clearly are very keen to sell my property, they just don\'t care how much below market value they get for it. Indeed, since I trusted in them, they have done nothing but encourage me to repeatedly drop the price. Because I won\'t drop it any further, they refuse to invest any more effort into it, and simply leave it on online auction. I may as well have put it on Ebay for all the good Pattinson\'s are doing. Their continuous solution to their own failure to attract buyers is to repeatedly drop the price, suggesting I\'m naive to expect to get the going rate! As the girl I just spoke to said, \'Put the reserve back up then, but you won\'t sell it.\' Nor will I give my house away cheaply for the benefit of estate agents or investors, which is clearly how Pattinsons operate; Sign \'em up then sell fast and cheep.
This all seems decidedly shady business practice, basically getting a seller on their books and then talking them into going to auction at significantly below their very own valuation, then refusing to public auction the property unless the seller drops the price further.
I am writing to both my MP and Watchdog about this practice. It needs looking into and people need protecting from it. Meanwhile I\'ll put my reserve back up and sit out the period of the contract I am tied to. Luckily I\'m in no rush or need to sell, which is fortunate as I\'ll have wasted four months by the time I am free to get another agent.
Seems I\'m not the only one bitten by this business practice of cheap property auctioneering, wish I\'d read this sooner