Friday, 26 September 2008

The Gazzunderers have it!

Well, the bastards exchanged and completed today. I'm so relieved and pleased for the clients, but part of me didn't want them to have it. They have won. They have got what they set out to do. They have their bargain and screw everyone else.
Again though i can't believe the cheek of the woman. After it had completed she got her solicitor to ask us if we would deliver the keys to her solicitor's office. No way! So the father came in to collect them - all smiling, no mention of what happened. Oh how i hate them!

Thursday, 25 September 2008

The ultimate guzzunder continued...

The bastards have asked for another 5% reduction siting 'financial advice'. Had to bite my lip again. Rang the clients who can't believe the cheek of these people. We said no way to them and said exchange and complete tomorrow at the agreed price or the sale is off. Not a threat, just fact. Email back from them saying they would proceed, worded as if they're doing us a favour. I really want to tell them to f*** off now regardless, but the client wants the money as soon as possible. Watch this space to see what happens tomorrow.

Monday, 22 September 2008

The ultimate gazzunder.

As an estate agent times are very difficult at the moment what with a lack of sales, prices falling and a general lack of confidence in the property market. However you try to do the best for your client and keep smiling.

I always try to see the best in people and like to think that i am professional and honourable with my dealings with both vendors and purchasers. I pride myself in remaining calm and respectful even in the most stressful and trying of cicumstances. However today i nearly lost it. Let me explain.

We are selling a vacant bungalow for an aged client who has gone to New Zealand to be with her sister. Her property is her only asset and it needs to be sold to pay for her care and nursing fees. She gets no financial assistance and must provide for herself.

Several weeks ago we accepted a very low offer from a purchaser on the understanding that the sale would proceed very quickly. This they agreed to do. After a few annoying delays (i won't go into the details, but they really dragged their feet) we were informed by their solicitors that they were ready and exchange would take place at the end of the week. The day before exchange of contracts was due the buyers demanded a 15% reduction (citing the fall in property prices) or they would withdraw from the sale. This equated to a reduction in price of £55,500! An enormous sum.

Our clients were understandibly furious at the timing of the demand and really wanted to call their bluff, but because they needed to sell suggested a reduction of 10%. After a bit of negotiation we got the sellers and buyers to agree a 12.5% reduction as long as contracts were exchanged very quickly and confirmed to all parties accordingly.

This morning we get an email from the buyers saying that they will not now agree 12.5% but insistant on the original 15% reduction. It was take it or leave it or they would withdraw and proceed with an alternative property. After much soul searching the clients have agreed to this further reduction. We hope to exchange at the end of this week. Then the buyers had the cheek to ask if they could have access to do some re-decoration between exchange and completion. Of course we said no way.

I personally feel awful about the whole affair. Our poor client has been taken advantage of by a very unscrupulous buyer with no conscience or scruples. They are totally dishonourable and contemptable, but what they have done under the English system of house purchase is not illegal. So, unfortunately it is the system that ultimately is to blame. There should be something in place to stop this happening - but what.

One thing is for certain, these horrible people have undermined my faith in business morality and made me a harder and more sceptical person than i care to be. Bastards.

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

We become London tourists

I've recently taken my annual holiday and having to watch the pennies decided that we would spend it at home and take the odd day out. Although i only live just outside London i had never been to Tower Bridge or the Tower of London. So, we caught the train into Waterloo station and decided to walk to Tower Bridge. We went to the London Eye (heaving with people, organised chaos!) and walked over Westminster bridge to The Embankment. When you go on foot you see so many interesting and different things. Off the embankment just after the tube station we stumbled across a small park. We went in and were amazed to find a lovely secluded area with a bandstand, statues, trees and lawns. Very restful and well used by the locals. Further along we bought some fruit to eat on our journey from a stall. Very nice and tasty!

We continued along the Embankment taking in the lovely Thames views and the "Eye" on the opposite bank. We walked as far as the Millenium bridge and wandered across to the south bank and the Tate Modern. I was really impressed with the Millenium bridge. What a structure and again superb views looking up to St. Paul's cathedral, (which i have promised myself to see on another visit). We spent about an hour looking around Tate Modern. Not really enough time but it gave us a good taster for another visit. We left the Tate and continued on the south bank surprised to find plenty of newish restaurants and shops that we didn't know existed. There were lots of people there, a nice mix of Londoners and tourists. Very vibrant and buzzing. We stopped and got a snack and a drink here before continuing on with our walk. We just sat for an hour and people watched as they passed our table. I expect that this area is very popular in the evenings for people looking for a good night out.

When we had finished we wandered along the river past converted warehouses, the new London council offices (wow!) and even an open air theatre until all of a sudden we were at Tower Bridge. It lived up to my expectations. What a lovely sight it was. We climbed the stairs and walked slowly over the bridge. There was a Tower Bridge exhibition which was in the upper part of the bridge. I would have loved to have gone up but time was pressing as we had to be home by the early evening.

Over the bridge we went to be opposite the Tower of London. We couldn't see much of course because of the high walls. The place was teeming with tourists of all nationalities queuing to get in. One day i'll take a tour of the Tower when it's less busy.

We were getting tired by now.and didn't fancy the long walk back to Waterloo so on a whim we bought tickets for the "Clipper" which stopped at a wharf just along from the Tower. The trip back to the London Eye on the Thames was an unexpected delight and capped off a wonderful day. The Clipper experience has given us a novel new and easy way to travel when we go to London. We now plan to become "tourists" again as soon as possible and explore the City of London area. I'll let you know how we get on so watch this space.