Lewes Forum thread

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Re Lewes estate agents

On 5 Jul 2006 at 4:06pm Maddie wrote:
I think Lewes Estates are unregistered, so there seems to be no legal checks to make sure they run a decent business.
My husband and I had the misfortune to buy a house through Lewes Estates. In short, they misled us about various properties (one of them telling us it flooded, another saying it didn't flood and he'd have a 'chat' with the woman who told us it did etc) and about what various types of insurace covered.
When we entered into a buying process, we were under pressure to make an offer after one viewing (it was accepted). The searches were being completed etc when we received a phone call from LE saying that the seller was very unhappy that the process had taken so long and that they would put the house back on the market next week. If the seller was unhappy, shouldn't the agents have told us before? Our house was available as 'still view' on the website the next day, and said 'still view' until AFTER WE COMPLETED. I may be mistaken, but once a house is under offer, and a contract exchanged, shouldn't it become un-viewable by anyone else?
The seller's boyfriend had done some unregulated building work, which she lied about on her seller's form. The agents did not tell the seller that a structural engineer would be coming round, nor did they tell her when the mortgage valuation person turned up to value the house. The seller told us afterwards that she had found them uncommunicative.
My husband's phone calls to LE were ignored and unreturned and he ended up taking the day off work and going to speak to the seller, which was quite informative! They kept in regular contact and he seemed to do the estate agents' job for them. Btw, I should mention here that he went to see the manager of Lewes Estates and had to wait TWO HOURS before he was seen.
Lewes Estates were so rude and aggressive towards to our mortgage brokers that in the end our brokers refused to deal with them, leaving my husband to do all the liaison on that front as well.
When we found out that the house needed about 5000 worth of work, we were in no position to negotiate on the price of the sale as LE told us that there was a secondary buyer snapping at our heels, who was prepared to step in at any moment and pay the original asking price of the house IN CASH. I imagine that, normally, when a survey shows work that needs doing the buyer is able to negotiate on the price of the house. Not so in this case.
In short, I think Lewes Estates are unscrupulous, unethical (other than the two women who work there - who are lovely), I think they promote gazumping, I think they may even be economic with the truth to get a sale. I felt they obstructed our sale, they aggravated the situation and they bullied us and our mortgage brokers. Their customer service and opportunities to publicise their failings are almost non-existent.
If we treated people like this in my company we wouldn't have any clients. In a small town like Lewes competition is fierce and companies that operate like this shouldn't be allowed to flourish. Please - support the other, better, more reputable agents that aren't out to make such a quick buck!
On 5 Jul 2006 at 7:26pm I dont live in lewes anymore wrote:
There's nothing like a recommendation.
TY Maddie
ps. I found Messrs Wycherley to be helpful and informative...
On 5 Jul 2006 at 7:51pm scribe wrote:
well if what you say is true why not pop into "the sussex express" and have a chat with them im sure they would be most interested would make better reading than the parking attendants.
On 5 Jul 2006 at 9:44pm Myfanwe wrote:
Sounds an ideal mob to be in bed with Angel (a la Phoenix)
On 5 Jul 2006 at 10:14pm The Tooth Fairy wrote:
I don't think the S/Express would want to upset one of their advertisers too much.
On 6 Jul 2006 at 4:28am Brain wrote:
I smell a disgruntled ex-employee
On 6 Jul 2006 at 9:55am Maddie wrote:
Brian - are you suggesting I'm the disgruntled employee??? No way jose - I wouldn't work for those guys if you paid me a mint!
Lewes Estates think they're revolutionising house-selling in Lewes, but really they're just misleading buyers about one of the most important decisions they'll ever make. What happens when buyers become sellers in a few years or so? Do you think we're gonna use Lewes Estates? I don't think so!
We found Cubitt and West to be the most helpful and professional of the agents in Lewes. They couldn't do enough, bearing in mind we had to travel to Lewes to view places. And Wycherleys - who were friendly and honest. Go to one of them.
On 6 Jul 2006 at 2:00pm MC wrote:
I believe the head man at Lewes Estates learnt his trade at the Lewes Cubitt and West.. :-/.
As for disgruntled employees, I think they are the ones taking Lewes Estates to court (not writing to this forum). At least one of them works at another Lewes estate agency.
Which reminds me I've always found Clifford Dann to be quite honourable. Rowland and Gorringe have always been honest if a little unreliable (i.e. they forget to contact you when a property that they know will suit you down to the ground comes up).
However, I think the trade can generally attract the wider type of boy as there is little to learn and good money to earn if you are good at the old flannel. I believe that until quite recently it was not a regulated industry and there was no need to gain any qualifications.
On 6 Jul 2006 at 7:49pm Lewes House Buyer wrote:
Cubitt and West will only alert you to new property if you agree to meeting their mortgage broker. They show properties up toa week in advance to those who do; if you make your own mortgage arrangements, then you have no chance with Cubitt & West as you will be a week behind. This is highly unethical. The nervous guy who works there admitted this when I confronted him after I met an owner of one of their listed houses for sale inthe street who said that the property had been on their books longer than C&W had said.
Wycherleys are the stars. Always ethical, patient and never pushy. When we sell in Lewes, we'll use them. I don't work for them, I'm under 40 :-))
On 7 Jul 2006 at 12:22am Chav wrote:
On 17 Jul 2006 at 11:49pm LewesTrousers wrote:
My run in with Lewes Estates when in the process of buying a property left me feeling there was something not quite right about them, my partner went in and told them they had lied and were unethical (as if they cared!)
I understand the connection with CandW is that they allegedly previously worked for them and left to set up their own business with the Cand W. client list.
I have found the present management at Cand W to be professional if a little forgetful once they have sold your house. RG are also OK
The stars of the whole buying and selling process for me have been Wycherly, who have always been courteous, professional, helpful and straight dealing.
On 27 Jul 2006 at 9:35pm paul richards wrote:
have you got 2 bedrooms flats for sale
On 5 Aug 2006 at 12:52pm leweshousebuyer wrote:
It is interesting to read these comments and I strongly believe that it is not the name of the Company that should be taken to account but the staff within. Having looked for houses in Lewes I found in general a variety of services as follows:-
Clifford Dann - Nice office and helpful and gave details, although seemed in quite a rush to get me out when I said I was not looking to move for a couple of months, however they had a very pleasant manner.
Cubitt and West - I was impressed at their computer presenters that did virtual reality tours of the properties that I had been interested in and also was given an information sheet on Lewes which was the only agent to have done this and had a real interest in me as a person. They have since kept me informed also on text and email and were extremely professional and polite, although the office wasnt the best presented that I had been too. The comment also on mortgages I am sorry has been rubbish as I was asked about my finances but never have I been treated any differently.
Fox and Sons - Hard to believe but yes the only time I could get down to register on a Saturday and the notice on the door read due to high volumes of viewings the office was closed!! I am glad I was not a seller through them as I was not the only one to have been missed. Unbelievable how an agent can be operating in this age and not have the staff to cope.
Wycherleys - This place was like going back 50 years I could imagine, I would say the details were still typed and photographs stuck on but with all seriousness they were very much old fashioned but were very nice, smiling and polite and could not fault them and took my details down with ease.
Rowland Gorringe - The nicest shop of all and very grand they should in my opinion be the best agent based on their shop front but soon learnt that this was not the case as they had hardly anything to offer me and when I told them my budget they seemed rather stuck up and uninterested, however they took my details and have had one call back since to keep me posted.
Lewes Estates - What can I say from what has already been said. They come across surely as the real new face of estate agency and a face that should not be repeated. The young man I spoke to was quite rude and unhelpful and have been viewing with him and the next day I had a call almost threatening me that if I did not buy the house I would be taken off the mailing list and I felt extremely harrassed. I was in the past to have heard through friends their bad expereinces but I put that down to just an individual case but they came accross extremely aggressive and an agent I would not trust as actually felt bullied. I am sorry but I know people on here have said that comments made have been harsh but judging by mine I am sorry but all the agents in Lewes overall were fine apart from this Company.
Overall as I say Wycherleys and Cubitt and West were extremely good and would recommend them if you are looking to buy a house and feel that they have kept in touch since and have felt assured that I am being looked after. I dont want to come about harsh but I hope the agents read these boards and learn as I accept that their job must be a hard one in keeping everyone happy but threatening and bullying behaviour should not be allowed and the sooner this Industry is regulated the better. I have since also been told some other stories about Lewes Estates but as not been me personally that has been attached to them it would be unfair to comment but anyone reading this it would be great to have more info on what people think about their move with agents in the town, so we can praise and shame, without being concerned if we upset friends of agents on this boards or agents themselves. Lets keep this forum as a freedom of speech.

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