Asalaam Alaikum/Hi All
When you are a family it becomes important to have a suitable, safe, and comfortable home, whether it is rented or a house you have bought.
When my hubby came over from Pakistan we stayed at my parents house initially. However it didn’t really work out. As much as I love my parents we needed our own space, especially when I fell pregnant. I was then desperate to get a house I could call home and decorate it in the way I wanted. I needed the freedom to make my own choices and do as I pleased without having to answer to my parents aswell. I also knew that a crying baby would lead to sleepless nights which would not be good for my parents health.
My hubby and I went down the route of buying so we went to a number of real estate agents. As a first time buyer we didn’t really know what we were doing and hoped to helped by the estate agents. I did not realise how stressful it was going to be. I mean, think about it, it’s a huge decision to make. I guess I was kind of naive thinking it was going to be easy! We saw a number of houses but the sellers were not willing to accept our offers and we were not willing to pay the price they were asking.
So we kept looking. I spent a lot of time on the internet searching for a house I could call home. For the UK followers there are a number of internet sites that can help you such as Rightmove and for the US followers especially those in kansas there is kansas city real estate.
Months dragged by and I was close to my due date. I really had wanted it all sorted before the baby was born.
We eventually went to another estate agent who listened to what we wanted and immediately picked out a house for us within our budget. We went to view it and fell in love with it. It had a huge garden, a newly decorated kitchen and decent sized rooms. The seller was desperate to sell and accepted the offer. I was so excited! Finally we had a house!! I did a little jig around the garden and I started planning out all the rooms in my head. I love purple so most rooms had the colour purple. I think I would have painted the outside purple too if I could!! (Yes I am a purple freak and my current bedroom is purple!)
I didn’t realise how costly and stressful the whole thing could be. Anyone with a weak heart could end up with a heart attack and I am so not kidding!! Solicitor’s fees, surveys and valuations all put a big dent in my pocket! I paid for the survey and the valuation and then I got a nasty shock.
The estate agent rang to tell me the seller had changed his mind and didn’t want to sell. My heart sank. The agent I spoke to was really lovely and was apologetic even though it wasn’t his fault. He promised to help us find another house. (Well of course he would, he want’s his fee!) The biggest bombshell was that I would not be reimbursed for the money I had spent on the survey and valuation. Apparently the seller is within his rights to cancel and can pretty much cancel up to the point the contracts are signed. There is no protection for buyers if the seller changes his mind. I was gutted at losing so much money. I think the agent was expecting a right earful from me and seemed grateful that I didn’t shout at him. Well it wasn’t his fault was it? Plus he had actually caught me on a good day!! However I still wanted to sit and have a good cry!
I had a completely different experience from the the estate agent we then did eventually buy from (a different company). He wasn’t as pleasant and did actually upset me. He pushed me to increase my offer to the sellers by Â£500. When I got the valuation done the house was worth Â£1000 less than my offer. He then was very unpleasant on the phone when my solicitor was taking his time. Apparently it wouldn’t have taken this long if we had used their solicitors. Obviously that would have financially benefited them too so I guess he was annoyed I hadn’t used them. At that point I almost pulled out myself but I wanted the house so put up with him.
If I ever buy another house again I will make sure I am not bullied like that again. I really wish I could have got the house from the first estate agent. They deserved the sale.
Selling isn’t easy either. I am currently in the process of selling another property. My real estate agent knew I didn’t want to go below a certain price but he found someone who apparently had cash ready (under Â£1000 below the figure I wanted) but it would be a quick sale. He said he had ‘seen’ the money. So I agreed.
Now 6 weeks later I find out the buyer is re-mortgaging another property to pay for my house so clearly he didn’t have the money ready. I have had a few words with this particular agent and have said if I find another buyer before his mortgage is sorted I will sell to them instead. My exact words to him were ‘I do not like liars’.
I have had both good and bad experiences with real estate agents but as a first time buyer you can be a bit naive to it all. So if you are planning on buying/renting, shop around and go to more than one agent. Deal with one who you feel comfortable with. It is difficult to buy a house these days without getting a real estate agent involved so deal with one you are happy with and doesn’t make you feel bullied!
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