15 Reasons Why Estate Agents Are Idiots

Jesus, you're an idiot

It can’t just be a coincidence or a conspiracy, can it? There’s definitely a reason why so many of us fantasise about the demise of estate agents.

I recently read the results of a national survey, which listed estate agents as one of the most hated people among society, sitting comfortably below ticket inspectors. I can’t clarify how reliable the source was, but it sounded about right.

I could probably sit here all day and night compiling a list longer than my… for why we all hate estate agents. And I bet you could too. Besides from the fact the majority of them are snake-oil parasites providing below average services for extortionate rates, I can also think of some other compelling reasons to loathe them…

1] No qualifications required

There’s no real science or mystical theory to why the majority of Estate Agents are spineless, mentally challenged turds. In fact, it’s quite simple- you don’t need a license or go through a training programme to become an Estate Agent, so any old fool off the street without qualifications or experience can set up shop as an Estate Agent (which is often the case). That explains a lot already, doesn’t it?

In fact, I’m convinced the only prerequisite an Estate Agent is required to have is the means to access a polyester suit and a can of Lynx.

2] Limited consumer protection

Estate Agents are protected from their own stupidity, because it’s not a hugely regulated industry.

It’s extremely difficult to claim anything against Estate Agents, unless they do something blatantly illegal. It’s amazing how British consumers have more rights when buying a tin of baked beans when compared to spending tens of thousands of pounds on bricks and mortar.

3] The Wanker Mobile

Need I say more?

Estate Agent Car

4] “This property is extremely popular”

Needless to say, Estate agents aren’t short of a trick or two. One of their favourite being, arranging two viewings to “accidentally” coincide, so the property appears to be in demand. Alternatively, the agent may often get someone from the office to ring while taking a viewing and pretend that someone has just put an offer in.

Buyer beware, idiot with a semi-functioning brain in operation.

5] That house is perfect for you, sir!

Ever seen an estate agent discourage you from a buy simply because it’s not suitable? Me neither. They’ll lie through their teeth in order to encourage a sale, even if they’re trying to flog a pile of shit.

Example:

Hey Mr Estate Agent, is that barn an appropriate living environment for my wife and my newly born child?

Well, let me see; according to my calculations, I get 1.5% of the sale price. So if I worked this out correctly- then YES, it’s a perfect living environment for you and your family

Stupid Landlord Comic

6] The Estate Agents perfect deal

Estate Agents don’t try and get you the best deals; they try and get themselves the best deals. It’s all about the commission. Regardless of whether you’re a buyer or seller, they have tactical methods of trying to exploit anyone at either end of the chain.

If you’re a buyer, the Estate Agent may try and make you pay as much as possible for a property, so their commission is maximized. If you’re a seller, an Estate Agent may try to under value your property, and then quickly buy the property via a “friend” Sounds far-fetched, right? Happens all the damn time.

7] Different planet

They each live on a different planet, and naturally, they rule all.

Typical Estate Agent Comic

8] Time-wasters

Estate Agents love taking it upon themselves to show prospective buyers properties that are completely out of scope from their initial requirements. Why do they do that? It’s usually when they don’t have enough properties in their books that match the brief, so instead of fessing up and saying, “Sorry, we don’t have any properties that match your criteria”, they take their prospects on a bullshit wild goose chase.

Here’s an all-time classic clip from Gavin and Stacy of a stereotypical Estate Agent that’s a total time-waster. It’s funny because it’s true.

9] Money-grabbing buffoons

The nutritious problem with any competitive commission based job (but especially in this industry), is that the positions get filled with a particular type of idiot; greasy, ruthless and willing to kill for the next buck. They either come that way or eventually get conditioned by the system.

It’s truly a sad state of affairs.

I’d fancy my chances at finding a unicorn before finding an agent that looks after my best interest before their own transparent agenda.

money hungry estate agent

10] They hate their own kind

‘Black on Black’ crime was actually inspired by ‘Estate Agent on Estate Agent’ crime.

What chance do we as consumers have if they hate their own kind? I’m not just talking about feuds between rival companies; I’m also talking about in-house war. They backstab each other by taking each others leads. Other peoples’ misery is generally their gain.

11] Flyboarding

Do you often seen those hideous “for sale” and “for let” signs everywhere and think, “How can there be so many houses for sale/for let?”? The reality is, half of them aren’t available, and that’s what is known as “flyboarding”

Estate agents leave those hideous, out-dated signs up as a means of cheap advertising. “Cheap” being the operative word.

False advertising.

12] Turbulent Work Ethic

If the property market is ‘hot’ and there is plenty of demand, Estate Agents are generally performing at their worst. Their level of communication will be at an all time low and they’ll be working by their own schedule.

However, if the market is dead, you may get the best out of them. They’ll probably pop round and drop off some sugar; build some common ground and try to ‘relate’ to you and your problems. It’s pitiful.

13] Mr Know-it-all

When an Estate Agent doesn’t know an answer to your question, don’t expect a confession, nor should you expect a respectable response like, “I’m not entirely sure, but I will find out for you and get back to you”

No sir, you should strap on your seatbelt and expect a train of verbal bullshit.

Example:

Hey, Mr Estate Agent, what are the local schools like around here?”

errr…well, they’re very good. Yeah, my daughter goes to the one around the corner. Highly recommended. Your children will be safe and well educated there”

The Estate Agent is lying. He doesn’t have a kid. He hasn’t even had sex with a human before, only with bags of money.

Estate Agent Lies

14] Ridiculous fees

Most of us have fallen victim to this nonsense; their piss poor service at bullshit prices. But it’s not just their prices that annoy many of us, it’s the way they create imaginative ways of swindling money out of us and then package it to us like they actually believe it’s a fair deal.

Some agents have the audacity to charge vendors even if they don’t sell their property after a certain period of time. While others force vendors to pay as much as 3% when they have merely found a “ready, willing and able buyer” Yes, it’s as ludicrous as it sounds- the fee is still applicable even if the sale doesn’t go through, as long as they find an interested party.

I’m sorry, WHAT? How about I bend over and stretch my arse cheeks wide apart for you, so you can lube me up with your pot of wetlook hair gel, and then get to work on me?

15] Chinese Whispers

You have to remember, the estate agent is the “middle-man” The problem with having a middle man, especially one that’s dressed in an oversized polyester Burtons suit, is that information often falls out of their head, meaning information doesn’t always seamlessly relay as it should. Strange that, innit?

It’s not uncommon for a lot of the lower-end offers to never get delivered to the vendor if the estate agents feels he can make more money from the deal.


Please note, I don’t actually think every Estate Agent out there is an unscrupulous tossor; I just think the majority have committed at least one of the sins above. I have no doubt in my mind that there are a few good men standing, they’re just not as easy to find as the remaining parasites.

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569 Comments- join the conversation...

Showing 519 - 569 comments (out of 569)
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Caro 5th August, 2015 @ 15:52

Hi Peter

Things I would do/consider:

Look at Rightmove's recently sold prices for similar properties in the area, also Land Registry, but make sure to compare like for like. Googling your street/block should bring up current and historic info, scroll down a few pages if necessary.

When meeting agents get a copy of their terms and conditions and fee structures.

Some agents are known to price more realistically than others. Try and find an established agent with an excellent local reputation, who won't undersell the property to get their grabby hands on your cash asap, or who won't overprice just to get you on their books.

Have a look at properties they are currently marketing. Make sure they are on Rightmove - this is crucial. Are their adverts eye-catching - Photos, spelling, etc - who will do the viewings? Who do they see as target market?

Negotiate on fees but cheapest might not be best. Avoid any agents that appear too desperate or say everything you want to hear. Once you sign with an agent you are usually tied in for several weeks.

Best of luck, keep reading around and try to find local info too.

Caro

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Caro 5th August, 2015 @ 15:59

Hi Peter

Some Things I would do/consider:

Look at Rightmove's recently sold prices for similar properties in the area, also Land Registry, but make sure to compare like for like. Googling your street/block should bring up current and historic info, scroll down a few pages if necessary.

When meeting agents get a copy of their terms and conditions and fee structures. They should give you a copy when they come out to value.

Some agents are known to price more realistically than others. Try and find an established agent with an excellent local reputation, who won't undersell the property to get their grabby hands on your cash asap, or who won't overprice just to get you on their books. Make sure they are members of the regulatory bodies.

Have a look at properties they are currently marketing. Make sure they are on Rightmove - this is crucial. Are their adverts eye-catching - Photos, spelling, etc - who will do the viewings? Who do they see as target market?

Negotiate on fees but cheapest might not be best. Avoid any agents that appear too desperate or say everything you want to hear. Once you sign with an agent you are usually tied in for several weeks.

Best of luck, keep reading around and try to find local info too.

Caro

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Matt 5th August, 2015 @ 16:00

Sold prices are out of date, of course they give you a guide but usually these prices from when they hit land registry were agreed in some cases 4-6 months before they complete, the market is changing monthly and prices in most areas are still rising. Id recommend having an asking price of offers in excess of 65k which leaves it open to receiving offers over your asking price as it says depending on the levels of interest. Best way is to have a launch weekend on a Saturday usually around lunch time, depending on te property have 15/20 minute time slots. To make this work you need a minimum of 2 weeks marketing so your property gets a decent amount of exposure. Oh and make sure your agent is on both zoopla and rightmove. There are agents who dropped zoopla for onthemarket.com which was a massive mistake, and won't reach a wider audience that zoopla gives. Hope this helps.

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Property wizzard 5th August, 2015 @ 16:24

I guess Matt must know the property to be able to give such advice at stick it on at £65.000 which could be too high and therefore no one turns up for the open day !! recent sales + area % increase to see where you stand

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Stacey 5th August, 2015 @ 16:53

Hi Peter, Why don't you give us a call on 01227 463839. We can help you get on the market and discuss your asking price with you. If you don't have one already you'll need at Energy Performance Certificate. We sell these for £65 but you can get them elsewhere too. We'll happily go through everything/any questions you have.
We don't take commission or fixed fees so we're not trying to pull the wool over your eyes on anything, but we're happy to help (free) if you would like it. www.buyandsellprivately.co.uk if you'd prefer to check out our service first.

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Peter 5th August, 2015 @ 16:54

Thank You all for the advice , They all pulled out their proof of recent similar properties in that area ,their was only one though on that street in the past ten years , the others were within 0.5 miles , That property went in 2007 for 52 Thousand. Unsure of the condition of it, this property is mint condition no work needs doing at all recent refurbishment. I am going to say to the 65 grand agent if he will do a contract for 6 weeks and to see if he can sell it within 10 percent of his valuation , see what he says. other than that I will just tell him to advertise it at offers over 50 grand . they use right move and are an established local agent of 25 years so we,ll see how it goes..

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Stacey 5th August, 2015 @ 17:01

Hi Peter,
Why don't you give it a go for free first? If there's no interest then go with the Agent? It could save you quite a bit in fees and there's no risk....
If you'd prefer to go with the other Agent then best of luck - feel free to use our site for any Guides or Advice if you'd like it.

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Peter 5th August, 2015 @ 17:17

Hi Stacey what do you mean give it a go for free first ? give what a go for free ? what site are you talking about ?

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Stacey 5th August, 2015 @ 17:49

Hi Peter, you can sell you property through www.buyandsellprivately.co.uk completely free of Agency services. We've set up a new company to offer an alternative to the Estate Agents out there at the moment.
You can add you property on our website - free of charge (and free of commission when you sell) and get advertised on Rightmove too.

Visit the site to have a look or feel free to give me a call 01227 463839. I'll be running the online chat a bit later this evening (but unfortunately I'm just about to pop out to a valuation so can't meet you now).

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Stacey 5th August, 2015 @ 17:54

sorry I put a typo in there! free of Agency fees! we'll help with any of the services you may require.

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Peter 5th August, 2015 @ 18:12

Hi again Stacey. Very kind of you to show me the site , Ill have a good look at it later .cheers

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Stacey 5th August, 2015 @ 18:35

Hi Peter, I'm back online now and will be for a while. Just start a chat (bottom right of the website's screen) and I'll reply, or email support@buyandsellprivately.co.uk when you're free.

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Benji 6th August, 2015 @ 10:15

Peter,

These are very low values, below what mainstream lenders will lend on (40-50K minimum value).

I'm guessing properties have sold on your street but they aren't showing on Land Registry.

Find out who regularly does the local property auctions in your town and ask them. You might not like their valuation but at least it will be vaguely honest.

A further indicator for this price bracket is the LHA rate for your property. Work backwards from a 10% yield (or whatever reflects your area). Adjust for condition.

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Benji 6th August, 2015 @ 10:32

If you don't have one already you'll need at Energy Performance Certificate. We sell these for £65 but you can get them elsewhere too.

....for £40

"Honest, fair, unique"?

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Stacey 6th August, 2015 @ 10:53

Hi Benji,
Yes £65 is our price. I think you'll find other providers charge more than £40 when you actually look at the detail, but if you do ever find a provider you'd rather use you're more than welcome too. Simply use your own provider then upload the EPC to your property details on our site. Still free, still honest, still fair and still unique - do you disagree? We just can't promise to beat everyone's price on everything, but based on our research of providers actual final prices we do!

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Benji 7th August, 2015 @ 10:14

Stacey,

£39.99 fixed price EPC inc VAT, any size property.

First hit on google for 'EPC price uk'.

Same price that I pay.

Charge your punters £65 and pocket the difference- nice work if you can get it.

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Will 11th August, 2015 @ 15:01

@SimonMerlin...how many years experience did you say you've got?

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Stacey 18th August, 2015 @ 12:02

Hi Benji,

We published our first Rightmove listing on Friday (14th August) and have already received a full asking price offer (within 2 days) which the vendor has accepted.

The vendor has no commission to pay when they complete, saving him literally thousands of pounds, and we're available to support both the buyer and vendor throughout the process. The asking price was determined by the vendor after receiving four valuations from local Estate Agents as well as commissioning an independent valuation. We supported his asking price proposal based on online research and recent sold prices.

@Benji - he already had an EPC so he didn't need to buy one from us, we offer the service should people require it.

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Benji 18th August, 2015 @ 21:10

@Stacey,

The vendor has saved nothing until they complete the sale. They may even have lost money by wasting time.

When you get to 50 completions, people might start to take you seriously.

But my issue was not about your core business, I am not an estate agent and welcome any competition in the sector.

Charging £65 for a £40 product does nothing to engender confidence in your enterprise.

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Stacey 21st August, 2015 @ 10:44

Hi Benji,

Of course we want to try and offer our clients the best rate on all our products. We cannot find any provider which genuinely offers them for £40.

We will certainly let you know when we have 50 completions.

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Owen 26th August, 2015 @ 14:58

All very interesting!
So no other industry charges more than they pay for a product/service...???

It's a basic free market design no?
And as for @simon merlin
They majority of time spent progressing a sale is spent chasing solicitors... Because you all take on average 3 months to progress a sale..... Is this to justify the 1000-1500 fee you charge for a bit of conveyancing???
I bought my first house recently.... Did my own..... Took 3 weeks.....

But as you say we're all incompetent morons who can't write our own name........

If we actually delve into it the person that owns the estate agent.... Absolutely be angry with them as that's who gets the majority of the fee!
I'm a branch manager at an estate agents in Oxford (great market place, lots of competitions)
Even if I'm still in the office at 7.30 speaking to clients, 6.30 in the morning to update an international client or driving countless miles around town to assist my clients move! I make 5% of the fee.
Average fee in Oxford is around £3500 meaning before tax I make 175 quid for a sale.
That's around 4 months work (as soliciters take so long to do their job) meaning for an average house sale and months of helping... I make less than £1.50 per day for each sale...

But I'm a money grabbing little so and so because I don't have a law degree??
I have a degree in business management..... Therefore I manage a business?

Nobody seems to complain when a perfume company charges hundreds of pounds a bottle when it costs pennies to make...
If we're all so awful why do people use us?
I've worked in this industry for around 8 years now involving 60 hour weeks late nights in the office and most estate agents basic salaries are around 12-14k per year....
I expect yours is fairly close to that eh @simonmerlin???

Don't blame the estate agents because your generation ruined he housing market with 100% mortgages and great interest rates???

Let's look at the facts before all the keyboard warriors get involved!

A slightly disgruntled estate agent who regularly bends over backwards and does not spend time with my family and friends because I'm too busy helping my clients....

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Tracy 7th September, 2015 @ 16:18

hahaha

reading some of the old comments.... I think the dumbest estate agents are in Nottingham...

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Steve Merlin 7th September, 2015 @ 16:25

@SimonMerlin

A conveyancer claiming an estate agent is self-serving?

Hahahahahahahaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahahahahahahaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahahahahahahaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahahahahahahaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahahahahahahaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahahahahahahaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.

I've heard it all now. Seriously. All.

That was brilliant. A conveyancer sitting on a high horse, really, that's quite unbelievable, but there he was, right up there.

Come on Simon, leave us your number, and I'll laugh at you down the phone. I beg you.

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Louise 12th September, 2015 @ 12:58

Reading this has actually made me quite sad - yes, there are so many agents out there that fit into this category, but for those who do things legally, are qualified and don't have the regular branded Mini's or Fiat 500's (we completely went outside the box for our branded vehicle), it's actually quite depressing - and not because everything that's been written isn't true (about some of the industry), it's more because they are STILL there and people are STILL paying them to continue having a foothold in the market place.

At the end of the day, if you're using an agent to find you tenants, or to manage your property and you are not happy with them, MOVE AGENCY! It only takes a couple of phone calls!

The problem is, and I'm sure there are plenty of landlords on here that do this, that people STILL employ the terrible agents! If no one did, they wouldn't be there or they'd be losing out to their much better competitors and be forced to change their business model.

It's actually very simple - don't go for the cheapest fee, check who's qualified in the office and always check their client satisfaction stats. Don't just assume that because they have a huge glass fronted office with 140 inch TVs means they're good at what they do - it means they can spend your fee on unnecessary things and might not have the level of client care you need from them as your agent.

When we opened our agency we vowed to be different, and we really are (I'm not just saying it)! We have been nominated, and are/were finalists for 2 awards in our first trading year with 100% satisfaction rate and 5 star reviews from all our clients that have left them - this is completely up to date. We're either qualified or studying to do the qualifications (ARLA and NAEA), keep up to date with the law and legislation, have a marketing team to make sure all property is marketed in the very best light and are very picky with those who we look to employ.

Anyway, enough of me rambling!

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Iain 19th September, 2015 @ 14:27

Oh, reading this has really brightened up my day :) especially @Simon Merlin, who being a solicitor ( may have a law degree, many conveyancers don't) is actually the cause of most of the hate which gets aimed at estate agents - solicitors f**k up the sale through their incompetence, take too long, go on holiday, don't know what they're doing, insist on never phoning the other side but sending a f***ing letter!

But, at the end of the day the agents get blamed!

As to valuing houses - the vendor tells us what they want to sell for, we advise them on what we think is realistic - they tell us what they need to achieve to make a move work - our job is to try and achieve that - anyone who thinks that a property is on the market for what an agent values it at is an idiot...

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Nathalie 26th September, 2015 @ 08:12

Wow! The article has me giggling with a quiet morbid fascination. I feel as though someone went into my head and typed up 90% of what are my personal thoughts. Unfortunately, mortgage advisors are way worse. As visitor that will be in this country for 3-4 years....I have never come across such incompetence by mortgage advisors ever. One even made off with 275 GBP of my money only to left me with absolutely no mortgage when I finally found a house.

It's sad to see that if this article and the comments are true about estate agents in this country, makes things just really sad. In the U.S., they have to go through courses and then pass a board to be able to be an agent. Then you have specific buyer's and seller's agents. The buyer's agent does the real work in my opinion. My realtor/estate agent showed me 107 houses (bungalows) over a 2 month period. She was the most awesome agent there was. I get lost real easily. So I would meet her at a specific location and she would drive me around to see about 4-5 houses per visit. She would send me a list of properties, and I would pick out the ones I wanted to see. One of the first houses I saw with a pool, I was ready to make my offer. She asked me if I was going to take care of the pool. I told her no. She told me, to forget about buying the property, as she owns a house with a pool, and that is at least 20-30% of the property value. And if I don't take care of it (which she explained all the work that goes into it), then I am just wasting my money. She further told me, if I want a pool so bad, I am invited to come to her house to use her pool. There was another house that she showed me, that I fell in love with the garden bathtub. It was made of marble....it has been the best bathtub that I have ever seen. I was in love. I was ready to put my offer in. She told me, you are NOT buying this house. It has been broken into twice, and as you are a single woman living by yourself, I would not want to be watching it on the news that you have been a victim. ONE HUNDRED AND SEVEN houses later....and me being a freaking incompetent prima donna.... that estate agent bless her soul was a freaking angel here on planet Earth to save me from my idiocity at the age of 28. I got a totally gorgeous house (which I almost lost because I was playing hard ball....this wonderful angel that saw me through 107 houses over 2 months of me waling and moaning.....then further put up with my rubbish attitude when the negotiations weren't going quickly enough....I told her to shove it and that I was done with her....all this and she didn't even force me to sign a contract- which is typical of the realtors/estate agents until I sign the damn contract to buy.....no one would put up with the rubbish I put that lady through). When it was said and done, she only made 3% on a house I bought for US$112,000 (which the seller paid). That small amount of money was not worth all the hell she went through with me. I lost my keys or got locked a few times...and she is the first person I called to come jimmy the lock and get me into my house. When my mom came o visit me 6 months post me buying the house, she treated both my mom and I to lunch. We remained friends for 7 years after I bought my house until she moved out of the state. So, coming here to England....my battle has been with mortgage advisors....because no use looking at properties if I am not able to buy them. I have looked at a few properties. And I have to say...William H. B estate agent where I am....is absolutely the worst piece of rubbish there is. After owning my own home (which is now being rented/letted in the U.S) for 8 years prior to moving (now own it 9 years) which is a mansion 1700 sq ft(for US$112,000 or almost 73,000 GBP) and coming to the tiny little bungalows over here for 140,000 GBP for under 600 sq ft (my master bedroom in Texas would fit the whole house here in England) it is just a shock that I am dumping 1300 GBP on rent and in a sleepy little town because I am a visitor and can't get a freaking mortgage when my annual salary is 52,000 GBP. Anyway...I guess my ramble does not even support this article....Because, apart from one dirty scoundrel estate agent, I had one really motivated one (that was phenomenal)....and I met a few others that didn't seem to care either way. The one rotten one was a massive slap in the face after knowing what great service I got from my awesome one that showed me 107 houses and actually cared about me and the house I got more than the commission she was making. And that is a fact.

Hmm, the solicitors I got seem to be worth their grain....in that the no good estate agent sat on her fanny and did nothing when I was trying to move in by the end of November last year in the property that the seller/vendor agreed to sell me. Needless to say, 10 days later and I heard nothing from that little turd. I had never had the pleasure of meeting her...because she was too good to show up to the appointments to show me the property. The solicitor (conveyor) was the one who I asked what was going on. He found out that the vendor did not plan to move out before CHRISTMAS! So I walked!

Write an article on mortgage advisors and I will tel you how worthless they are. Stupid punks.

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Nick 28th September, 2015 @ 15:08

I'm still trying to work out how Stacey and her website make any money. It doesn't mention costs of any sort anywhere. Fair enough there may be a slight markup for arranging EPC's etc, but unless the buyer is paying by Tender I'm unsure?

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HousingCrisisUK 1st October, 2015 @ 16:57

I've met many EA's over the years, mainly in London, and they're not really a bad bunch - some are unscrupulous, but they're only trying to make a living.
However there are some serious problems with housing in the UK -
1. 75% of MP's are private landlords, so there is not a single chance in the BTL market being reformed. Every time someone who already owns a house buys another one they don't actually need, they've just taken one away that a FTB could have bought. This is simple economics and why housing generally is in total crisis in the UK. People buying extra houses for themselves, for profit reasons, pushes prices up and restricts supply permanently.
2. We need a government that cares about all people, not just people that vote for them. Sounds naive, but until this happens we will get what we deserve - an Emperors New Clothes property market, no new council houses/ "build to rent" schemes and a whole generation of people who will never own and/or are being ripped off by Estate Agents/ Buy to Let landlords.
3. There needs to be firm Rent Controls, especially in London. Don't believe me? Do the maths, in 4 or 5 years time a 3 bed house will be 2.2K pcm to rent and that is totally unsustainable. Not to mention immoral. And that is why Estate Agents have such a bad reputation, because they bury their head in the sand about the direct and indirect human misery their commission chasing has caused for years. Local Housing Allowance + 20% would be a reasonable level. It should also be illegal for agents/ landlords to to advertise "no DSS". That's just discrimination and needs to be stopped.
4. The taxation system needs reforming, to maximise CGT for the the country (not minimise it for payors) and ringfence this money for build to rent schemes like in Germany. It should be linked to your income tax rate, like it used to be, with no exemption band.
5. The whole banking system and Estate Agency sector needs radical reform. Don't believe me? These two intertwined systems, that serve only rich people at the expense of the poor, have been responsible for bringing this country to a crisis point. If you voted Tory at the last 2 elections then you too are responsible for the pain so many other people (i.e. not you or your family, but still other human beings) suffer while you count your money and houses. The country can't take another recession/ housing crash, but they are inevitable and reform will then be critical...

I leave you with an apology for going on so long, am passionate about this stuff as I work for a homelessness charity, but also with a quick story which sums it all up for me. Recently I spoke to an agent, who once I told them I wasn't interested in a property I'd viewed really let their guard down and spoke "off the record". He said he was looking for property himself and the cheapest in his area were studio flats in Cricklewood going for £400K. When I asked what he thought they REALLY should be on the market for, he said £150K. This was the exact figure I had in mind too, and there you have the problem in a nutshell. Property is 50% overvalued, a few people are doing really well out of this fact and don't care about anyone else, and until significant reform along some of the lines above happens, then we do have a huge housing crisis. Estate Agents would improve the perception of them as an industry if they admitted and understood their integral role in this crisis and the amount of pain they cause ordinary people...

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steve 9th October, 2015 @ 13:30

rentstar in brisbane, They don't care what their tenants do to the property or the neighbours. Avoid them if you have a property as they are failing to protect their owners by failing to act

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Brian 20th October, 2015 @ 14:10

UK needs to wake up

In Canada you have to take a two year course to become an agent and pass a difficult exam that has less than 37% pass rate on the first go around.

Then an agent must work for two years under license agent before obtaining one's license from the central license agency. In short it is highly regulated.

All rental or sales contracts are standardize and it illegal for any agent to use any contract expect what has been all ready approved.

This is why most properties in Canada are sold without lawyers, as non are needed as the industry is high regulated.

Amendments are allowed but first must be approved by the central agency law firm that controls all agents, who all agents must get a license from
in order to represent one as an agent. And to continue to be an agent, an agent has to take approved courses on an on going bases and pass them or their license is taken away until such time they can pass upgrading courses. It is taken serious because it the largest expenditure for most people, buying a house or renting.

In contrast in the UK (where the single biggest expenditure for most people is the purchase of a home, or the single biggest expenditure per month is rent)anyone with a heart beat can be an agent. It gets worse on the office of fair trading website it explains how person in the UK can become an agent
if they have been convicted of crime. No wonders people are using agents less and less in the UK. If I was an agent in the UK I would have system changed. This why 9/10 people in Britain hate agents, because it basically unregulated. Why

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propertywizzard 22nd October, 2015 @ 11:44

The fact is the Government are not willing to implement licencing, I spoke with both Grant Shapp the housing minister at the time HIPS was abandoned and Eric Pickles I asked them why they did not licence the industry, well after 3 minutes of politician waffle I was non the wiser, they had no good reason and it should have been done at the same time as EPC's became law, in the meantime if you use an agent make sure they are members of the NFOPP ARLA NAEA, that they also have deposits bonded and display a deposit recourse scheme, it wont guarantee 100% satisfaction, but neither will licencing, all very frustrating, made more so by our quirky Leasehold system which would exclude transactions being completed without the use of a lawyer as you suggest.

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Rosey 3rd November, 2015 @ 17:36

Bingo!

I have rented for 8 years now and I wholeheartedly agree with this article, you even nailed the wanker mobile.

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Nathalie 22nd November, 2015 @ 06:21

@Paul post from 19 Nov 15, I don't see your post on the thread above, but both your posts made it into my e-mail box, I am not certain if the moderator is unscrupulously removing posts that they don't agree with or not. My experiences with estate agent here as previously stated is very limited. There is one agent, the first one I met that work with Mr. W. H. Brown, and it is my opinion that after the 27 years that she supposedly have been doing her "job" as a estate agent that it's people like her (Leslie) that give your trade a bad rap. She was the laziest person I ever came across. Over a 3 week period, she "showed" me two houses....neither of which she of which she showed up to (never met the the woman...yet, she was going to be benefiting from a pay check and not showing up to a showing when she said she would). The second house I decided to buy and wanted to move in within a 30 day period 1 year and 1 month ago....needless to say, she wasted 2 weeks of my house searching time on a property where the people were not planning on moving out until after the New Years.....I wanted to move in before 25 Nov 14. After signing the agreement to purchase....I did not hear from her again...all my contacts via e-mail and phone went unanswered. My solicitor was the one that finally got me some answers. Now my experience in the U.S., worlds of difference! I had my "buyer's agent" because I was a buyer not a seller....and she was interested in my interest and made sure I wasn't buying something that was not suited for me. We looked at 107, yes that is right ONE HUNDRED and SEVEN houses within 2 months.....and she physically drove me to all those properties herself. The house was US$110,000.....and she only made 3% on that....which I as the buyer did not pay. The seller pays the seller's agent 3% and the buyer's agent's 3%. So your 6% for US estate agent aka realtor is not 100% accurate....it is accurate if you are the seller. If you are a buyer, you do not pay the agent's fee unless otherwise agreed upon.

Each state in the U.S. has a governing body/board that govern their realtors/estate agents. That is stated on the contract you sign. When I signed with that lazy wretch named Leslie, I never saw such a documentation that she is governed by all those so-called rules that you stated in your post. The mortgage advisors on the other hand did give me the paperwork under who the watchdogs were and what recourses I can take if I believe I was unscrupulously dealt with.

Paul, you yourself could be an excellent agent......and there is no doubt that there are other hard working estate agents out there...because I met a Jane from a completely different agency than the guy W. H. Brown and she was superb in showing me about 5 houses within a 2 weeks period, it would have been more....but I was weary of seeing too many houses that did not fit my criteria on paper first. No way was I going to look at 107 houses again. No estate agent here in England or even the U.S really could match the service I got from my realtor (Velia) in 2006, she deserve sainthood after dealing with me. God bless her soul.

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Nathalie 22nd November, 2015 @ 06:26

p.s: Let me just clarify now, ALL 107 houses I saw before I went to go look at them, ALL made the criteria on paper.....so yes, my realtor was only sending me houses that match the descriptions I was looking for.

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Nathalie 22nd November, 2015 @ 06:59

@Post #546 aka HousingCrisisUK, while I can see the sense in your post, the only problem I saw outright that was off is your 50% over-valued of housing....from the example you gave, the true worth of the house $150K to the $400K it is being sold for would make that 267% overpriced. I live in a little bitty town in suffolk county, and the cheapest you can get a 2 bedroom bungalow on average is about $150K. Some of these houses are under 600 sq ft, and before the housing bubble ballooned up and popped in 2008 ( a mere 7 years ago), these houses were on the market for about $40K-$60K maximum. What a difference the so-called unregulated price hike has done. The pop, that took place, barely corrected the over-inflated price. My house that I bought in Texas (U.S.) was 1700 sq ft and I paid U.S$110K (~70K GBP)in 2006. The houses in my neighborhood is still the same prices pre-the 2008 pop as it is the same now at 2015. Granted, there is always inflation in different neighborhood....but my neighborhood (a decent one, with well kept up homes, no violence that I am aware of, family oriented, over 40 years old.....I am the second owner of a house that was built in 1972)....the size of my Master bedroom, if I remember correctly is 440 sq ft....here in England, that is almost the size of the WHOLE house....and even though my house is my house is 3 times as big as the typical 2 bedroom room bungalow, my house is less than half the price. If I compare size to purchase value of my house in Texas to England, my house would be worth 450K GBP (not the 70K GBP) that I paid. That is a 643% inflation to the rate in Texas. Granted, there are houses in other parts of Texas that is a whole lot more expensive....and other parts of the U.S. like California that can be super expensive.....bottom line is, if I am comparing an area that is similar to where I bought my last home....then I gotta say...the inflation here is a freaking killer. I was all set on buying a house here....withdraw money from my retirement to do....but after jumping through all the wrong hoops because the mortgage advisors(92% are idiots)....out of 12 of them, I finally came across 1 that knew what he was talking about, unfortunately it was 1 year too late.....so now, the penalty I took against my retirement....and the interest lost from it not accruing anything sitting in a currents account losing value the more the GBP lose out against the US$....not to mention I am paying and additional 4% interest on the loan....not to mention I lost US$3,000 due to the loss in value when I first exchange....and now I am bitter on this whole country and their backward systems. So, ce la vie....I am going to take that retirement money and start traveling and enjoying life, forget the UK and their unscrupulous housing practice.

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george 22nd November, 2015 @ 11:29

Natalie,
Your experiences in UK housing market concurr exactamente with mine, so much so we will not deal AT ALL with certain estate agents/realtors, especially Messrs W.H.Brown.
The UK situation is so bad I've almost given up trying to buy a house, even though I have the hard cash to do so. Also, I'm sick of looking at dilapidated, damp, old and overpriced houses. I won't even consider anymore a house that's not at least interwar.
As I forecast some time ago, the zero inflation rate is still with us, in MHO will be with us for many years yet. Therefore, overpriced houses will not sell after a good while because of inflation as was in the past; there isn't any inflation now. Natalie, your US experience makes refreshing reading.
Look out for the attempted "dumping" of ex-rental houses and flats on the UK market. It's already started up here in the general Leeds area. The changes in tax allowance on loans to buy rental property, the laws now on landlords being responsible for their tenants (see the BBC1 tv morning show on this), the enforcement by local authorities of these laws that rental houses be fit and safe to live in, the huge percentage of private tenants being in arrears of over 8 weeks, all are convincing many private landlords to try and get out of this market altogether. Some of these houses are being sold from under the feet of current tenants; when viewing, you could cut the atmosphere with a knife if the tenant is there. Now, I WILL NOT EVEN CONSIDER AN EX-RENTAL HOUSE AT ALL. Apart from anything else, the areas are often "benefit street" districts, and I don't want to live in such a place. See the tv shows in UK recently on this very problem.
G.

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Nathalie 22nd November, 2015 @ 12:18

@George,
I refused to look at any other Mr. W. H. Brown properties regardless of whether they fit all the criteria I am looking for on paper, that Leslie woman has left a very disgusting taste and feels in my outlook to the point where I cut out any and all properties under that entire company's listing. I finally decided to throw the towel in 3 weeks ago. And just purchase a nice vacation for a 4 day weekend for myself in Italy....loan 3,000 GBP to an acquaintance business that is about to close down...and decide to stay in my over-inflated furnished lodging 1,300 GBP for a two bedroom place. I am a visiting U.S force, if as a military member, I don't get any preferential treatment....seeing as the U.S military has been in this country assisting over 80+ years (the most they will give is some business allowing us to use our VAT discount....where we as military members have to jump through a few hoops to get it).....bottom line, I will stay the remaining 3+ years in an over-inflated temporary lodging permanently (till I leave, and I have no remorse tat I could live in a much bigger place for 900 GBP....the military pays for it...so I will let them.....they sure didn't do me any favor for not paving the way for me to purchase....so why save them a few bucks extra?).

Traveling, here I come......no more living like a pauper trying to build up beyond the 10% deposit I had in hopes of getting a mortgage no one wants to lend to an American.....apparently, my money is not good enough.

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David Votta 4th December, 2015 @ 07:54

I never take these blogs seriously and neither should anyone else. It's typical of the age we are in where an outspoken individual decides they want to vent their thoughts to create a mass debate (excuse the pun) it would be like me saying all solicitors are money grabbing time wasters because I have never been impressed by one I've dealt with. Or all Muslims are terrorists. The reality of these kind of blogs are it's a generalised one-sided statement. Some of it is accurate like you do not have to be qualified but the rest is just perception and a very poor one at that. I for one am a member of the Association of residential letting agents which does require a qualification also ongoing personal development. Therefore I need to know the law in order to be as good as I am in order to out do everyone of my competition and I'm yet to meet at my agent that understands the law as intimately as I do or gives as good service. feel free to look up on the trust pilot website site for David Votta at Ward And Partners. Customer reviews speak volumes. And we are running a nine point five out of ten rating. Unfortunately the author of this blog doesn't understand that the industry that we operate in is full of monkeys with regards to landlords, buyers and sellers. You don't have to be smart to own a property let's face it, however every vendor/landlord believes they have the best property in the world even though the one three Doors Down sold for for less than what they are asking and is in a far better condition. Agents have a business to run so in order to run the business effectively sometimes we have to keep our mouth shut take on properties we don't want to at the prices we don't want to and sell or let them otherwise we cannot run a business. The general public are wise enough to understand what kind of properties they want and what they don't want as well as what they are willing to pay and the beauty of Internet searches is that you can look up the property before booking the viewing or wasting everyone's time. yes the photos do look lovely with the professional agents however surely everybody knows the professional photography is there to make things look better and enhance them and give a good service to the person you are working for??? I could go on and on and on and pick holes in this blog and argue the points raised however I'm going go open up my branch and make someone else's day because that's how I roll!!! Feel free to pop down to my office if you'd like to talk about my qualifications and legislation dating back to section 18 of the distress for rent at 1737 right up to the deregulation act of 2015 and I'll show you how I am able to contradict everyone of your points. Ramsgate branch.

My summary of your blog is similar to that of everyone who goes on Facebook and has an opinion about the current economic climate and political views, everyone thinks they are righteous and knowledgeable

A little bit of knowledge is dangerous...

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Simon Merlin 4th December, 2015 @ 14:57

............and most estate agents I have come across don't even have 'a little bit of knowledge' :-)

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Billy Haynes 3rd February, 2016 @ 17:18

Estate Agents Uncut...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LflqZhxbjEM

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Sam 17th March, 2016 @ 16:47

This web blog is funny, I agree estate agents are idiots... :)
even in Spain... !!

but if there any website out there advising on how to annoy estate agents!

I know one trick, don't register when you call estate agent to inquiry, they are obliged to give out info on the property without the need to register your full details..

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Joe 11th April, 2016 @ 11:40

The Ombudsman service is as bad though! they are in bed with the estate agents, most useless services... how come no one mention it..

Thanks

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Rich 11th April, 2016 @ 12:30

The ombudsman is rubbish but not in bed with agents. They take forever to make a decision which also looks bad on agents. There should be an Ombudsman for Ombudsman!

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David Votta 11th April, 2016 @ 16:51

Sam

Yes they probably are obliged to give you the information but what's the point if you don't register? you are not going to get the property your just wasting yours and everyone else's time??? Bit like this blog I suppose....

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Joe 12th April, 2016 @ 11:56

Majority of case workers at the Ombudsman were estate agents, they will always favour the agent, they never look at any case from legal prospective.. that is a scam to start with. Also takes 6 - 9 months average

regards

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David Votta 12th April, 2016 @ 21:44

In my experience they always look at the facts and what's reasonable (in my experience anyway) I had a case with a woman who escalated to the ombudsman, she also has a Twitter page for her dog. Needless to say we failed to meet her expectation on the complaint (which wasn't a complaint just her failure to understand)

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Itmakessense 19th April, 2016 @ 14:51

Almost all Estate Agents are liars and greedy little gits whipping everyone into a frenzy to rush through the next commission. I thought everyone knew that? Brighton is one of the worst places for lying agents and the solicitors that pay clients money to the agents are just as bad. We now have agents who will refuse to show you a house unless you use the solicitors they are in cahoots with. Hey, Guess what, the solicitors (if they are qualified) they use are usually really poor at what they do. Always use your preferred solicitor and never be bullied by an agent or a new build developer either. The only reason for a new build developer to fear you using your preferred solicitor is if they have something they don't want you to find out. If selling, do you really want to put your property on the market with an agent that will refuse to sell it to someone just because they won't use their lawyer, look how much they are charging you anyway. Like I siad, greedy little scum bags. Soon, hopefully high street agents will be a thing of the past, can't come soon enough!

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Joe 5th May, 2016 @ 20:27

I totally agree with the person "It make sense", and think almost all estate agents are lairs, is nationwide and not only Brighton.

A friend of mine who left office maintenance work to start as a estate agent, she said it was a mistake, they were actually training her to hide the truth! which is basically lay.

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Eli 13th May, 2016 @ 12:21

All ( and really mean it all) estate agents are rubbish and stupid.

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jimbo 26th May, 2016 @ 14:57

Been having the most ludicrous exchange with Burns & Webber, the estate agents who sold us our house 3 years ago. Had at least 4 sales calls from them, even though we're on the telephone preference list, and the last time, when i asked to stop being called she said, "oh it's just a courtesy call". When i said politely, "well no it isn't is it, it's a sales call" she hung up.
Then the next day i got this email;

"I have been made aware of a telephone call you have just had from my colleague during which you were unnecessarily rude.
As a company we do not tolerate this and I will ensure that you are now removed from our database, as you do not wish to be called again anyway."

Had lots of emails back and forth with the MD and though he apologises for the calls and for making me angry about this email, he won't accept that i wasn't rude...i didn't swear, as i had every right to do, and they either don't record their calls or just refuse to check it. Unjust, insulting and patronising!

Here's what being rude is actually like: you're a bunch f**cking lying moronic tw*ts.

Urban dictionary definition of courtesy call...
"A sugarcoated term used by telemarketers which really means sales call. One of the most deceitful and misleading phrases ever since there is nothing courteous about it".

..and this is ignoring the ridiculous idea that i might have not considered selling my house but, thanks to the "courtesy" call, i might now think it's a great idea.

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David Votta 27th May, 2016 @ 21:09

jimbo,

At least you Now know never to use burns and Webber again what a terrible attitude they have. They need to read a bit of dale Carnegie 😂

May I ask what is the defining decision when you guys and girls choose your agents? I often meet clients that make their choice of agents due to the fee. they pay a low fee and wonder why they get a terrible service.... Vicious cycle.

Can i ask all of you to please contact me when you decide to sell or let again because I love it when My customers receive a great service and shares that experience with others.

Then we can create a new blog

💪🏼

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