Archive for May, 2012

Review: M. Rose & Co Solicitors of Ashton-Under-Lyne

We continue this story of 10 Moreton Close – the house that isn’t really for sale – at the point Elizabeth Noble instructs a solicitor.

Enter her conveyancing solictor: M Rose & Co of Ashton-Under-Lyne.

Recommended by her estate agent, so assuredly a good chap one might hope. If you are looking for a review on Rose and Co solicitors, you might want to read this.

Rose and Co did um…… absolutely NOTHING for an agonising FOUR WEEKS following instruction. This was to be a very fast sale remember. At the outset, as a reply to all of
the memorandum of sale, the buyers sent this email to both solicitors:

I would like to remind both solicitors that the stamp duty holiday for first time buyers – which we qualify for – ends on 24th March 2012 so it is imperative we complete
before then; subject to funds being in place – which looks likely.

Accordingly, it is politely requested that both solicitors utilise email and telephone rather than the postal service to deal with minor issues and questions in order to
expedite the process and tie this up much faster than might be usual if at all possible.

Following that email, M Rose and Co of Ashton-Under-Lyne did um…… absolutley nothing. They totally ignored it. It seems the woman at Rose & Co who does ‘everything’ was on
holiday. The man himself, Michael Rose must have deemed it below him to do any actual work that month, so he did.. um nothing! He didn’t reply to letters, emails, telephone
calls. Zip. Nada. Four weeks of ZERO!

The end of February comes around, and the buyers funds are now in place and the searches done. But still no contracts even from Rose and Co……. Did these vendors want
almost a quarter of a million quid or what? What was the lawyer playing at? Was everyone involved in this transaction on Mogadon perhaps?

Eventually, after many phone calls, emails and letters from the buyers solictor, and some agent intervention and some expletive-laden angrygrams from the buyer by email,
contracts are eventually mailed from amidst the feather quills, cricket chirps, cobwebs and snoring that is Rose & Co. Later than claimed, but early March they arrived…..

Oh, but what’s this? Two property information forms? Both filled in differently? Which one is the real one? Why did Rose & Co send both? You may very well consider that incompetance –
we here at Real Deal couldn’t possibly comment…..

The sellers were “confused” by the questions apparently. What, after doing it so many times? One might imagine they could do this stuff in their sleep by now.

Incomplete property contents forms? Does a solicitor not check this stuff before they send them on? Not at Rose & Co in Ashton-Under-Lyne they don’t!
Ahh, Ground Rent! No last receipt of payment? Letters must written asking for this? If you are a conveyancer, this stuff is ABC. It is needed – everyone knows that. Why send
an incomplete package?

By now, there is no exchange date even – never mind a firm completion date. They were heading through March with a planned March 24th completion with no contractual obligation
by Elizabeth Noble. Rose & Co were blissfully ignoring emails and communication. Perhaps those 18th century quills went dry? These people don’t seem to be in the digital age.
The very concept of speed, returning calls and email evades them completely. Silence is golden at Rose & Co.

Rose & Co then convey to the buyers solicitor – a week before – that a March 24th completion is “absolutely impossible”. Hmmm.

The Nobles were going on holiday for three weeks on march 24th (as you do when in the middle of selling a house), but assured the buyers that a son would be left with Power of
Attorney to deal with any details and 27th April was a ‘cast in stone’ completion date. That stuff was simply made up nonsense by Elizabeth Noble. She did neither. She never
had any intention of doing so.

Predictably, the 27th April came and went. No exchange; no proposed date even. No word from Rose & Co either.

At the end of April, murmurings from amongst the apathy, feather quills and cobwebs at Rose & Co suggested that they were waiting on some paperwork being returned by the
Nobles. What still? After almost four months? Perhaps they considered firing up the horse and cart and sending word on a rolled up parchment sealed with wax? Remember, this is
Rose & Co, conveyancing at their speed.

It was now becoming clear that the Nobles had absolutely no intention of selling this property. Normal vendors don’t clear off on holiday mid transaction to quaff margharitas
on a beach in Australia leaving everyone in the lurch, fail to return paperwork and delay buyers hoping to throw almost a quarter of a million quid at them do they? Now alarm
bells belatedly started to ring with the buyers. Ding dong – messer alert.

Early in May, after no discernable signs of life from Rose & Co or the seller, and the agent having pretty much washed their hands of it by now with embarassment, the buyer
decided to track the vendor down by telephone to ask a very simple question. She caught her on a Friday, but guess what? Yup, the Nobles were doing an Alan Whicker
impersonation again and going away for the weekend. “Try to call me on Monday” Elizabeth Noble tittered down the phone (if you have watched the video in part one, you will
have heard the silly titter as she belittles her husband).

Monday morning: The buyer devoted a full day to pinning Noble down; knowing it may take that long. Today would be make or break. She started calling the messer from 9am every
hour. Noble, knowing she was on the ropes by now, blurted out various excuses as to why she “couldn’t speak right now” each time she was called. She was “at work” for example
(although she had previously stated she didn’t work). You get the idea………

Around 3pm on what was maybe the sixth or seventh attempt, she was hit with one question before she made an excuse to hang up. She was requested to answer with a simple yes or
a no. “Is this house actually for sale?” she was asked. “No, sorry” she replied and terminated the call.

There you have it. Elizabeth Noble had strung along this buyer since late January, and it took until early May, not to mention the loss of thousands of pounds for her to admit
her hobby; that she was playing. This isn’t simply messing. This is prime time messing! This is playing with peoples lives and likely getting some kind of peverse kick out of

The buyers highlighted here lost over £5000 at the hands of Elizabeth Noble: Lost stamp duty relief, rent in temporary accomodation, searches, surveys and legal fees. Not to
mention three months of their life.

How many agents has she wasted the time of this way? Well, at least two have billed her for selling that house as they had done their job and ‘sold’ the house.

How many buyers has she strung along like this? Quite possibly double figures over the several years she has been marketing this house as a hobby.

How many poor saps has she agreed to buy a house from and then backed out? Again, likely double figures. During research for this article, we unearthed five!

If you are a hopeful buyer, pass over 10 Moreton Close in Dukinfield. It isn’t really for sale as you have read.

If you already think you are buying 10 Moreton Close in Dukinfield, quietly bail now lest you be her next victim.

If you are one of the few estate agents (who havent yet marketed this house) and are approached by Elizabeth Noble to market the house, politely
decline. You will pour hours and hours of your time into photographing and marketing a house that isn’t for sale.

Apathetic old-school solictors like Rose & Co enable people like Elizabeth Noble. Rose and Co should be avoided by anyone who doesnt want to go grey waiting week after
interminable week – months even – for each and every step. Getting any action whatsoever out of Rose and Co is like pulling teeth.

Have you any experience of 10 Moreton Close or Rose & Co? Do the house hunters, house sellers and estate agents of Tameside a favour and tell us and others using the comment
box below.

10 Moreton Close, Dukinfield, SK16 5RD

Thinking of buying 10 Moreton Close, Dukinfield, Cheshire, SK16 5RD? Read this first!

You may have been enticed by an estate agent listing for 10 Moreton Close in Dukinfield. Perhaps you are hoping to buy this house? Perhaps you are planning to put an offer in on this house? Perhaps you are one of the unlucky people who thinks they are in the process of buying this house and you are just waiting for the conveyancing solicitors to do their thing before you book a removal van?

I am sorry to burst your bubble, but 10 Moreton Close in Dukinfield is not for sale. Yes, it may have multiple agents boards outside. It can be found on Rightmove website and a handful of agents websites. There are even videos on Youtube designed to entice you to want to purchase the property. The price varies between £240,000 and £277,000 as the years, recessions and winds of change roll by.

Here for example, is one agents video where the ‘seller’ [sic] Elizabeth Noble describes the house during a guided video tour.

At the end of the video is a very telling phrase. “We will be very sorry to leave this house”. Well, that might well be the case if she had any intention of actually doing so.

She said those words on that video way back in 2010. She isn’t very sorry yet, because she is still there. Better still, she doesnt have the slightest guilt about costing potential buyers thousands of pounds along the way. Prime time messing is a hobby for some people. Read on…. the tale has only just begun.

The tale of Elizabeth Noble (there is a husband, but he seems to have little input, so we’ll ignore him in this article) not selling 10 Moreton Close starts several years ago.

She listed the house for sale with Taylor & Wood estate agents. Taylor & Wood are reputed to have found at least one funded buyer for the house. At the last moment, she pulled out of the transaction.

Then the house was listed with Home Estate Agents. They found at least one buyer who was ready to go on the house. Guess what? Yes, you are ahead of me – she bailed out again!

You may well be sensing a pattern developing here…….

This year, the house was listed with Red Roof (again). They found a funded buyer in double quick time, and guess what? After missing several planned exchange dates she bailed…… again! At the very last moment. The story of this last one is further down.

The house may have been listed with other agents not noted here; we are not sure. What has been established is that to date, Elizabeth Noble has led along the garden path at least five buyers of the house over several years. At what stage in the proceedings she bailed out is not certain with all of them. But, if the last one is anything to go by, it will have been at the very last moment when exchange of contracts would not wait any longer and potential buyers have spent money already.

To pull out of a house sale once might be understandable. Anyone can have a change of circumstances or family issues. But half a dozen? Several agents? Over several years?

Yes, you got it…. NOT selling this house is this womans hobby! It’s what she does. Its more exciting than watching Jeremy Kyle all day I guess. Who knows what her motives for these games are? What is more important is that potential future ‘buyers’ of this house get to know early on that the house at 10 Moreton Close isn’t actually for sale.

Marketing Moreton Close is just a hobby for Elizabeth Noble. Not returning calls, choosing dire, old-school, quill yeilding conveyancing solictors to enable her, going missing, holidaying, filling out property information forms wrong (and its not like she hasn’t had enough practice), not disclosing information leading to further enquiries, etc., is what she will do to delay it to get her kicks. She has it off to a fine art.

Elizabeth Noble thought that her antics would never be disclosed. She thought if she just kept moving estate agents and conveyancing solicitors, she might continue her hobby of NOT selling 10 Moreton Close for years to come. There are two things she didn’t figure on:

The first is that estate agents across Tameside and beyond talk to each other. Because all this time she was pretending to sell her house, she was also agreeing purchases on um… ‘the house she would be moving to’ at other agents. On the last pretend sale alone that she didnt exchange on, she is rumoured to have agreed to no less than FIVE other purchases that she then also bailed on.

That’s five other sellers who thought they had a buyer. Assume those five are an average, multiply those five by the unknown number of ‘sales’ of her house that she has agreed to; that might put twenty or thirty or forty sellers of other houses in a cosy place thinking they had sold their house. Only to later find they had met a prime time messer and hobby ‘buyer’.

The second thing she didnt figure on was meeting a couple of would-be-buyers who are professional landlords themselves, and who own property across three countries. One is a university psychology lecturer, the other is a published author who just happens to be a search engine optimisation expert. Oops!

People who can read you like a book, who have seen it all before, and if you stiff them can put you on page one of Google exposing what you are, are not the *ideal* people to play ‘lets pretend to sell my house and cost some strangers thousands of pounds’ with. Especially when they are pushed for time, need to complete quickly and do not suffer fools gladly. Oh, and you found this on page one of Google didn’t you? Just saying……..
So, for those of you still with us, let’s take a stroll through the course of events that led up to Elizabeth Noble NOT selling her house in 2012.

We’ll start in late January 2012. The house was being marketed with Red Roof at £250,000.

That was a bit optimistic in a major economic downturn, because the house is quite tired and wants some major updating. The garden is quite pleasant though. The plot isn’t terribly large, it is surrounded by tall light-blocking trees and adjacent to some public ground where a constant stream of people take their dogs to empty their bowels.

Let’s hope travellers never find that field or it will be full of caravans and gas bottles too.

So what’s ths house like? This was the opinion of an experienced landlord who has bought and sold dozens of houses:

“The house has a twenty year old boiler the size of a small car on the verge of expiry, the kitchen is past its best and badly designed, the bathrooms – two with no windows and the other with an odd window near the ceiling shaped like a letter box – are almost retro. Plastic shower panels and mud-coloured scalloped toilet seats anyone? And it still has the god-awful white eggshell doors it was built with fitted. Let’s not mention the swirly artex, faux Georgian brass door handles, 1985 light fittings, ‘real coal effect’ gas fire, too-small conservatory and fleurs-de-lis carpeting.”
“It’s clean though (sans a damp smell in one bathroom), and the ground floor feels spacious, but overall it is very tired and very dated. If you are looking for American style fridge freezers, Smeg fires, wood floors, granite worktops and Poggenpohl kitchens with stainless steel fittings – this isnt for you. If you still play “Walk like an Egyptian” on 45 and like dodgy bathrooms with pie crust toilet seats and musty smells, this is right up your street!”

“It is reputed to be four bedrooms. However, if you are larger than Richard Hammond, you will need to knock two into one to make a decent master bedroom. So realistically, it is a three bedroom (and the remaining two could not be described as spacious). Assuming you were born after 1965, it wants at least £40,000 spending on it to bring it into this century and inject some taste into it.”
Accordingly, £9000 was dropped from the £250,000 asking price in a heartbeat, and the agreed price for the buyer featured in this article was £241,000. (£235k or less would have been nearer the mark in this climate, but the buyers were in a rush and didn’t sweat the extra cash to close the deal fast).

The agent delegated the initial viewing to the seller (probably knew it wasn’t worth turning out), and Elizabeth was pleasant and courteous (well practiced you might say). The best aspects of the house were highlighted and the worst ones glossed over. Overall, the house feels spacious downstairs, half the garage needs converting to make an office/study (which most people need) and the driveway is way smaller than the “five or six cars” stated on the video – think one van and a car in comfort.

For an identikit Barratt-style commuter box thrown up in the early 1990’s, it is amongst the better ones if you have a big budget to update it.

However, it isnt really for sale as we will find out……..

The would-be buyers – despite being experienced property professionals in a corporate environment – by buying in personal names, qualified for the chancellors first time buyer stamp duty holiday that finished on March 24th 2012. That means at this level there was no Stamp Duty if the sale was completed by March 24th. That meant a saving of £2410 which allowed them to bid above *actual* value to make a quick deal. A once only opportunity…..

This was conveyed to Elizabeth Noble to which she replied:

“Oh, it absolutely MUST be compeleted by March 24th as we are going to Australia for a month and the house MUST be sold by then!”
Home and dry, yes? An impecunious pensioner couple itching to move out. A funded, younger couple with a toddler itching to move in. A price agreed. Conversation revealed the vendors had a large extended family, so somewhere to stay would be no hardship till they found a new place with cash in their pocket. The deal was done!

She gives would-be buyers her email address (which she doesn’t reply to) and her mobile number (which she seldom answers either). Even asks for information on storage and van removal services. The woman and her hubby are good to go, yes?

Um… no. It’s all a game.

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