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      08.06.2004 23:14
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      It is said that moving house is the most stressful thing you will ever do and after 12 weeks of Beals “attempting” to sell my flat I’d have to agree that this is the case. My story starts just after Christmas 2003. We had recently found out that my girlfriend was pregnant and decided that we should attempt to move before the baby was born. We are currently living in a two bedroom flat in a nice part of town but decided that we needed a garden, more space and to be closer to our parents. Since we’ve been living there we had been inundated with flyers from estate agents claiming that they had people queuing up to move into the area. Bearing this in mind we contacted a few of the agents that had posted flyers through our door. They all seemed convinced they could find a buyer in a matter of days (naïve I know) so we narrowed it down to two who impressed us the most, they were Beals and Saltmarsh. Their valuations were around 10 thousand pounds apart but as they were both impressive we decided to go with the highest price (greedy I know but who isn’t!?) and that was Beals. This is where the first problem was. Their advertising promised a huge reduction in fees, which was one of the things that tempted us. The problem is that their original fee was so high that after the reduction was still slightly more than other estate agents (as we found out later). This aside we were still very happy with the service they proposed and signed the contract. About an hour after this we received a phone call to arrange a viewing. We were stunned that this had happened so quickly and assumed these were the first of the “queue” of people that had lined up. Anyway they came and went. They seemed impressed but later told the estate agent that is wasn’t quite what they were looking for which we thought was fair enough and waited for the rest of the people to turn up. But that was it! For the next 3 or 4 weeks not a single vie
      wing. I’m not blaming Beals for this as they cannot show people round if there is no interest. What annoyed me was the lack of communication and contact. We were potentially paying them a lot of money and they couldn’t even be bothered to pick up the phone to let us know what was going on and why they thought there was non interest!!! Another disappointment was the advertising. The flat was advertised on their website but with a very basic description and no pictures of the interior which we thought was strange but they were the “experts” so we didn’t argue. They just didn’t seem to be trying hard to sell it. After about 6 weeks we did eventually get a phone call, not from the agent we were told would deal with our sale but from one of his colleagues who didn’t know anything about our flat or us. She suggested that we drop the price (REALLY?!!) but made no indication of what we should drop the price to so we just knocked £5000 off. We hoped that would do the trick but still no viewings and by this time the baby was getting closer (as we had explained to them time and time again!!). Still no feedback either so we gave up looking for somewhere ourselves and became resigned to still being there when the baby came. Then to put the icing on the cake a flat in the next block was advertised with Beals for a lot cheaper and made to sound a lot better, even though it was nearly identical!!!! When the contract was close to running out we got another potential buyer but no offer, then 2 days after the contract ran out another buyer came out of the woodwork but still no offer. Then we read the contract and realised that we had to give 2 weeks notice after the contract had ended which effectively made the length 14 weeks! We wrote the letter and now intend to advertise with Saltmarsh for £10000 less than the original price. Now maybe I’m being too harsh on them and as this was our first time selling
      I ha ve nothing to compare it to but I really feel that the level of service and client care was terrible. I’m sure this was a one off and not all branches of Beals treat their customers this way but even so I would advise people to ask other peoples opinions before selling their property through any estate agents(especially Beals).

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