Any recommendations for local estate agents?
Estate Agent Recommendations
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Just to pop in and defend the online estate agents - I used one three years ago (not Purple Bricks but similar) and I’m glad I did. The amount of commission paid to “normal” estate agents is ridiculous on London property and as everyone uses rightmove/zoopla and arranges a viewing, the estate agents don’t really have to do that much work for the money any more. I saved thousands… It IS the future and I’d recommend taking the “risk”.
Recently sold a 1 bed flat in Belle Vue Court, DEVONSHIRE Road with Sebastian Roche.
We met with a number of local agents, Acorn, KFH, Matthew Benjamin etc.
SR gave us the best rate of commission, but more importantly, Richard was great to deal with, very open and honest. He kept us up to speed throughout the process with what the interest in the property was like and was collaborative about making decisions about how to proceed. Ended up selling for all but asking price very quickly.
Really couldn’t recommend them highly enough.
I would not recommend using KFH in Forest Hill - have a huge portfolio of properties locally but from a recent buyer’s perspective were an absolute pain to deal with. They failed to pass on offers to the seller, continuously failed to return calls and all in all added weeks, if not months, on to the sales process. Would recommend using a smaller local agent who will be far more invested in achieving a sale and will make the process a far more pleasant experience.
I was very pleased with Roy Brooks who sold my flat in Forest Hill. My family had very bad experience with Acorn - would never use or recommend them.
Not impressed with most of the others.
We had a much more positive experience buying our house using KFH. Admittedly that was four years ago, but I still see many of the same staff in the shop when I wander past. They couldn’t really have been more helpful, and the manager, Javaid, is very knowledgeable with a strong local perspective.
Very interested in your research/comments on Purple Bricks and similar online estate agents. I certainly think this will be the future model for estate agents.
I would guess that the vast majority of buyers subscribe to property alerts through the likes of zoopla or findaproperty and online estate agents feature on those platforms in the same way as traditional estate agents so doesn’t seem to be a distinction there. I also assume there is no significant difference between the quality of photos, floorplans etc (though I think some online agents charge extra for these). In terms of actual viewings, with respect to anyone who is an estate agent, as a buyer I’ve always hated dealing with them - always feel that they are acting entirely in their own interests, rather than in the interests of either buyers or sellers - and so the online model where you can choose between either doing the viewings yourself or having their local rep do them seems sensible.
So I’m interested in whether you think there are reasons why PB would have completed fewer sales than Sebastian Roche - you mention motivation of reps as a possibility - or whether it’s more likely to be because the industry hasn’t yet shifted sufficiently to the point where the volumes each type of estate agent can offer in SE23 are truly comparable?
Ultimately the difference between paying approx. £1k vs £6k for essentially the same service means that the traditional agents really would need to prove to me that either they are likely to achieve at least the difference more in the sale price, or that there is a risk of not being able to sell a property through an online agent.
I’ve bought and sold through Acorn recently, sold via their East Dulwich branch and bought via the Forest Hill one.
The commission is definitely a lot, for what seems like little work as mentioned above its mostly online these days but if one party in the chain is faffing around they can do the grunt work in chasing solicitors and such like.
Personally I don’t have much experience of any others around here but I can’t think of anything bad about them and both branches were polite and professional.
We have recently bought in the area, used KFH in Forest Hill and were fantastic from start to finish.
Having moved three times locally, Seb Roche is the only agent we would recommend. Richard and Rob have a great team and fantastic local knowledge of HOP in particular.
We had been looking for a property in Forest Hill for well over a year. Hopefully we now finally have somewhere (fingers crossed!) we are very close to exchanging.
In our experience KFH were most ‘on the ball’ and seemed to be selling the majority of properties in our price range. Other agents had very few houses to show over the course of the year.
Seth at KFH was particularly helpful and always got us in to see properties before they came on the market.
We didn’t end up buying through KFH, but I would definitely consider selling through them in the future.
just bumping this thread to ask if ppl have any updated recommendations for selling a property in FH area?
Purple Bricks are incredibly, execrably bad. Off the scale bad. I would not recommend them to my worst enemy. I have had recent experience of them, so I know whereof I speak. Sebastian Roche were great, however. I agree with Chris Beach there. Like anything else, you pay for what you get.
Agreed- PB were awful in my experience- the online portal was a good idea in theory but woefully bad in practice. Never updated- their listings are nonsensically out of date often.
I’d add Peter James to the crap list too- horribly pushy and insistent like all the worst stereotypes of estate agents.
Stanford Estates have been excellent in my experience however- really knowledgeable about thier properties, helpful and sensible and no sales pitch nonsense.
Pickwick all the way!!
Estate agents we’ve used in the past:
Pedder - didn’t get us any viewings over the ridiculously long contract we were tied in with them. They have the longest tie-in contract. The estate agents were ok but we had some bring round potential buyers who didn’t even know which property was ours because they had never even seen our property.
Acorn - just brought in a load of time wasters to view the property to make themselves look good. Would rather quality over quantity. Their estate agents could be described most like “car sales” people.
Pickwick were absolutely impeccable. Paolo the MD deals with all of the customers personally and is in constant contact. He is not your typical “blagger” of an estate agent. Best decision we made was using them to finally sell our place after months of using the previous estate agents.
Also recommend Stanford estates, if we didn’t use Pickwick we were going to use them as they were very likeable.
So Pickwick or Stanford Estates.
My recommendation is to find one that has the same estate agent showing people around. Someone who knows the area and the property inside out. Nothing worse than having an estate agent turn up on the day and not know the ins and outs of your property and be able to answer buyers questions.
We actually viewed a Pickwick property before using them as our own estate agents and it was a good test to see what their estate agents were like as a buyer. We were impressed with their estate agent who had lived in the area for years and could big it up.
We viewed another property with a different estate agent (one that isn’t mentioned on this comment) and they were awful. The estate agent didn’t converse with us at all or try to “sell” the property to us. He was completely disinterested.
So maybe try before you buy - book a viewing for a property with an estate agent and you’ll see for yourself whether they are any good with buyers!
Good luck with the move!
On second thoughts I’m going to name and shame the estate agent that we viewed a property with as they haven’t been mentioned on this thread yet…they were Winkworth!
As I walked around viewing the property I was praying that our own estate agents weren’t this bad with ours. I felt awful for the vendors of the house who clearly didn’t know how poor the estate agents were at promoting their house to potential buyers. Winkworth greeted us with a leaflet on arrival and basically said goodbye to us as we left and nothing in between. That property was on the market for months!
I don’t want to knock-down our local estate agents, especially at an economic time like now. But when people (like myself) are desperate to move and effectively feel “trapped” in their property and estate agents are failing at doing their job well I think it’s fair to let other potential movers know.
This was just the one estate agent from Winkworth we dealt with, so I don’t want to tarnish the whole company we might have just dealt with a bad egg.
I’m afraid that as a previous buyer, this was a very common experience with most estate agents when I was looking around a few years ago. Worst were the weekend viewings where the agents would often have ‘the weekend stand-ins’ who would literally open the door and stand there until you saw yourself back out, often directing any questions to the office on Monday when it was open.
Second recommendation for Stanford’s. We have bought two properties with them now, and sold our initial property with them and never had anything but a positive experience.
After tge last few extremely frustrating days with our estate agent, my husband and I are considering jumping ship. We have no tie in with them and are looking for a agency with staff that are proactive and not afraid to actually TALK to people. We can show viewers around ourselves.
We’re at the Sydenham Hill end of Kirkdale. 4 bed, three storey Victorian terrace. Driveway at the front, courtyard and balcony at the rear. No lawn. Ideal for couple working from home, as two of the bedrooms are currently set up as home offices with broadband.
There must an agent out there who doesn’t charge an arm and a leg and who has people registered who don’t need a lawn.
I have used Sebastian Roche at Honor Oak and they have been vey nice and helpful. Did a good job and not at all pushy or annoying, but i am sure others have had different experiences of them.
Another rec for Stanfords. Bought my first property with them and they were great, hassle free and polite. Friend has just sold his through them and has had similar positive experience .
I’d recommend Pickwicks , we’ve just sold with them. They sold our place within a week and were competively priced compared to others like Pedder, Winksworth, KFH etc.
Paolo who came and did the valuation was really friendly and down to earth, didn’t get the pushy, arrogant marketing pitch that we did from many of the others.
Who is your agent, Mary?
We’re with Emoov.
We’ve now booked agent visits with Stanfords (because of comments on here) and CKB. I’m going to look into Pickwick and Sebastian Roche. Thanks all for the recommendations. I’m thinking Sebastian Roche might too Honor Oak focused for our area, but will give them and Pickwick a ring.
Surprised about people’s experience with Sebastian Roche. Maybe they’ve changed in the last couple of years. Seemed completely disinterested when I approached them about selling our flat. Granted it’s not a 4 bed Victorian house but someone should teach them about lifetime value.
Not only selling though. More than once I tried to arrange a viewing with Sebastian Roche and was completely ignored. Doesn’t really make me want to use them for any future sales.
I agree. That kind of attitude may have been one or two lazy employees but can put you off using a company forever. When we moved to our house 18 years ago we had previously tried to view another house through Mann & Co. They kept saying either they couldn’t get hold of the vendor or they would ring back and never did it went on for weeks and made me wonder if they’d ring fenced it.
Acorn damaged our wall with their Sold sign. And were rude about it.
And just this morning I spoke to the rudest estate agent EVER. Haart’s. They have had a Let By sign at a neighbouring house for over a year and not only refuse to take it down but were obnoxiously rude. Apparently - Madam (with a sneer) - you’re the only person who has ever complained about a sign being left up and Haart’s “has them all over the place” and “all along Lordship Lane and they stay there”. When I said I’d report it to Lewisham he told Madam to go ahead and he looked forward to hearing from them. Ye Gods How to win Clients? I don’t think so
I bought a house through Mann & Co, Sydenham High Street. They wouldn’t accept an offer (at asking price) until we’d seen their own in-house Mortgage Broker who then asked us about our financials in a clear conflict of interest.
We already had a letter of intent from HSBC but Mann still insisted we see their broker even though they had no better rates.
Mann also messed around with a counter offer which turned out not to exist - though that may have been the seller too.
As a buyer, KFH in Forest Hill were most helpful and straight forward when dealing with an offer (we lost).
They are legal obliged to pass on offers to the seller- no matter what they are. They also cannot legally request you deal with thier broker- don’t accept this kind of nonsense. I never give agents any more information than legally required to, it’s all a fishing trip.
Believe me I told Mann & Co to stop messing around but they were very improper. The mortgage broker didn’t try too hard when we said we rates were better on the high street and he knew they were beaten, but it was still an unnecessary waste of time and a conflict. We told them nothing - you are right it was fishing, and not just 1 staff member either.
We sold with Property World (Sydenham) who were brilliant from start to finish, no idea what the experience would be for a buyer with them… we bought our property at the other end of the chain via Pedder in FH and they very nearly drove me to a breakdown, patronising (also insisting we speak to their broker), rude, aggressive, belligerent. I would never give them any business in any capacity.
If we’re being honest estate agents of all tribes don’t really have the best rep, do they! No wonder moving is stressful!
The previous incarnation of Emoov did not do a very good job.
We bought our house a year ago through KFH in FH. I would not go near them. The estate agent who showed us the house was super friendly and the moment our offer was accepted his personality changed and he became super cold. His intentions were so transparent and he was just plain rude.
We viewed several houses with property world and really liked the estate agent, he was a good sales person and from an interested buyers perspective can definitely recommend them.
We also viewed several houses with Benjamin Matthews and he was also very good. Can definitely recommend him from an interested buyers perspective
Any more recent updates on good/bad estate agent experiences and rates? One-bed flat on Wood Vale which I could show myself if needed.
I just sold with Stanford’s I used them for a sale and purchase about 15 years ago too, and both times they were excellent.
They secured an offer on our house on the 6th viewing (went on market mid Oct 2020, and the offer was made early Dec) and worked really hard throughout to keep us and the buyers on board in what was a complicated chain. They were noticeably better than others involved. Fee was 1.% plus vat.
From a buying perspective, I had a really poor experience with Peddars - two phone conversations to arrange viewings on 3 flats, but despite promises no one ever got back to me so I wasn’t able to view. I may well have made an offer if they’d just sorted it out.
I’d recommend Pickwick. We just bought with them and, as mentioned above, the estate agent Paolo was great throughout. He was generally very responsive, despite things being very hectic with the stamp duty holiday, and much more straightforward and up front to deal with than other estate agents we encountered. He was even praised by the solicitors after we had exchanged for helping get things over the line. If we were to sell and wanted to use an estate agent, rather than PB, we would definitely use Pickwick.
Have read all posts on topic with interest and trepidation. I need to sell my mother’s house as she’s in a Care Home and although 3 bed semi would need a lot of work done on it. Would Stanford’s or Sebastian Roche, whom I’ve previously spoken to, be the best to approach as got to have someone reliable who can proceed quickly and professionally. Or is this too much to hope for?
I bought my flat through through Stanford’s over 30 years ago on the recommendation of a friend who was already living locally and wouldn’t hesitate to use them again. I think I am right in saying they have been in Forest Hill longer than any other estate agent.
I’d recommend Stanford’s. We bought through them last year and they were great (which is something I never thought I’d say about an estate agents!). We dealt with Chris there who was genuine, responsive and incredibly helpful throughout the process. He was in the Forest Hill branch at the time but has since moved to the Hither Green one. If we ever sell we’d do it through them based on our experience.
We bought our property from Propertyworld who were excellent. There were a couple of issues along the way and they were excellent both with us and the seller. I’d personally recommend Kevin as he was great.
Hey all! I know this an old thread but wanted to get some new, up to date recommendations on estate agents in forest hill! We are going to be putting our 2 bed flat up for sale next month and so just wanted to see if people had any good/bad experiences with the local estate agents or online ones? It’s all a bit of minefield as a first time seller. Thank you in advance!
We recently sold our Flat with Pedder. What I liked about them is they’d really thought about the valuation, provided evidence for recent sales (which I’ve since checked did sell for what they said) and Dan, the manager seemed knowledgable. Our place sold quickly.
I also liked their style of photography, important in my view.
The estate agent I liked most when viewing properties was Sebastian Roche.
Oh that’s really helpful to know, thanks @Pea! I’ll have a chat with both of the agents and see what they say. Thank you!
I’ve just sold mine with Sebastian Roche after negotiating a bit on their % fee. They were excellent; the agents all came over in advance of it going on the market to talk to me so they could show it authoritatively - and it sold within a week of the first viewing for a good price. Their admin manager in the office has been lovely too.
Good point. We negotiated too on fee and got over asking.
I actually had a great experience selling my flat with Andrew Castle at Acorn in Forest Hill, so I’d really recommend him.
I was originally on the market with Pedder FH, but I found while they were hot for the first week, they seemed to lose interest pretty quickly so I moved to Acorn (who immediately booked tons of viewings). I then heard through my agent and potential buyers that a Pedder agent had bad-mouthed me as a “difficult” seller to them when they’d viewed another flat in the same block. I only have their word for that, of course, but it left a very bad taste in the mouth, so I wouldn’t go back.
That said, Ben at Pedder Sydenham was great when I was house hunting. So maybe that agent just had a bad day!
Stanford are fantastic, we sold with them very recently. James is the manager there and and is so knowledgeable about the area, so really able to guide prospective buyers (and a lot of buyers coming from outside the area). Sold within 2 weekend viewings on Cranston road, which is not always easy being on a main road. Had some challenges along the way which they helped us out with so quickly. The rates were the best I found at the time, so would definitely recommend them.
This is all so helpful, thank you guys! Really appreciate hearing all your experiences. I will definitely be approaching these EA to get valuations and a feel for the agents - let’s hope for a smooth spring sale!
We had the same experience buying and selling through Stanford and again particular mention to James who was very helpful throughout the process in keeping things moving.