Keatons gave us good, straight forward advice at the beginning of the process. The photography was professional and the marketing of our flat looked great. After we'd accepted an offer, Stuart was great at keeping the process moving along by gently keeping all parties in touch with each other.
Initially, I had a decent level of service - valuation and photography went well.
Inevitably, as soon as we agreed to go on with Keatons we were left in hands of junior sales team who simply didn't add anything in terms of sales skills. Overheard dreadful blind alley sales speak and otherwise subdued delivery.
Negligible communication throughout. Evidently a substandard database of viewers compared with Foxtons and others.
Really think the House Simple/ Purple Bricks platform model is going to cut in half the number of houses sold by agents if this experience is anything to go on.
Reason I enjoyed dealing with and endorse Central is based on the fact they were very pro-active knowledgable and always available.
If I ever sell/buy a property again I surely will deal with them.
Avoid like the plague. Total cowboys
I was part of a contract chasing experience - our offer accepted, survey done, fees paid - only to find out we were one of many.
They basically fed us a load of lies, told us the previous offer fell through and the developer wanted a quick sale - to then demand more money only a month later. A quick bit of research showed us the property was in fact owned by one of Central's Directors and this was a common scam to try and pitch purchasers against each other.
If you happen to be purchasing a newly developed property from them - save yourself a headache and check it isn't owned by Central Estates or their other company 'Castle Barrett'. It will end in tears - trust me!
Currently renting a property with Stow Brothers and have been very impressed with Chris as a property manager. He will always look for a solution to any issues we have and make sure they are resolved as soon as possible.
Unfortunately our flat was recently burgled and Chris went over and above what he had to do by coming to the property and waiting with me while I reported it to the police, staying beyond his working hours. In a very stressful situation, it really helped me to have his support and he very quickly organised for the house to be made secure again.
Really, really, really bad experience. They represent everything that is wrong with the house buying process in this country, and show exactly why estate agents have a bad rep. Initially they appear straightforward, friendly, professional, but the process at the end was a disaster, primarily so because they didn't do their jobs and were only interested in retaining commission and holding house prices up. They failed explain to us properly the lease situation when the offer was made calling explaining an leasehold with an absentee freeholder as good as a freehold. They then they failed to tell us when our exchange date had to happen in order to retain the chain. This "by chance" happened to be the same day as the Brexit referendum. We wanted to wait to see the result to make sure we were comfortable in case we left and everything that from the prime minister to the head of the world bank predicted would impact house prices was true. They chased us all day of the election letting us know for the first time, that if we didnt sign that day, then we would lose the house we so much wanted. Their agent used pressure tactics, calling, texting, emailing, telling us we had to sign and it was urgent and that if we didnt the deal was off. This was the first time we heard this. They knew clearly a negative result would be against our interests and in the interest of their commission and their vendor. For the vendor - I feel bad as if the situation had been explained and managed by the estate agent then we would have probably resolved it earlier and got our head around the result ahead of time. If stow brothers were responsible they would have this conversation two weeks before the referendum not on the day of the vote! As it happens they didn't even speak to us. As soon as we called at 9am on friday (the day of the result) the estate ended the process and said the house was back on the market. They said the "chain had collapsed" which was news to us. Three weeks later house prices in the area are down by c. 5% - had we paid we would have been immediately in negative equity. The vendor was given our email and sent multiple emails telling us how horrible people were and how we should "grow a pair". I lost £4,000 and a lot of time understanding the complicated lease situation that I referred to above, that according my solicitor and another expert I paid to consult was much more complicated than that. Now Stow brothers have removed me from their database as I am not a secure buyer ! The house I was buying was bought in 2014 for 380K I had an offer of 505K accepted on it. I was making the couple selling c. 100K better off. What is wrong with this country when to get on the ladder I have to half a million to buy a flat in Walthamstow and the people selling it feel like they have right to my hard earned money. Stow brothers is everything that is wrong with the estate agent system; they inflate markets, block people from buying when they choose, they put a nice friendly face on it but underneath its the buyers being screwed and them manipulating system as they choose. Do not use this company, or if you do insist they provide you with a single point of contact, they can not be trusted.