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Dave Beans

Liz Jones - Estate Agents. Spawn Of Satan, Or Hard-Working, Knowledgeable Folk?

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Estate agents. Spawn of Satan, or hard-working, knowledgeable folk who have been having a hard time of it these past two years? I’ve just put my farm on the market. Like a woman who has given birth to a giant breach baby, I had forgotten the pain of my last house move, from North London to deepest Somerset. When I made that move, I swore I’d never do it again. But, finding myself resolutely single, and with a growing menagerie of animals, I now find I need a much smaller house, and a bit more land.

And so I have plunged head- first into the mire that is the property market, where men are called Jasper and the women are blonde and stupid and inevitably work part-time.

Where nothing is ever as it seems. ‘Stunning small equestrian estate on Bodmin’ is, in reality, a tiny white hovel with a couple of old caravans out back and a field piled high with hundreds of tyres (where do all these tyres come from?).

I have entered a parallel universe where the English language is routinely slaughtered: ‘Taunton, being the county of Somerset.’

Or how about: ‘The rear of the house is complimented perfectly by a pergola.’? Hmm.

‘You are such a lovely house, so grand, so imposing!’ cried a small structure of balsa wood and one tatty vine leaf.

Even when you pick up the phone to enquire about a prop erty, you are asked con des cendingly: ‘Have you registered with us?’ What are you, an NHS dentist?

‘Can I have your postcode and telephone number? Will you have to sell a property to buy this one?’ But I haven’t even seen your property yet. Why do I have to give you my inside-leg measurement and bra size in order to find out how many acres of land it has?

I was shown around a house last week by a posh man with a florid face. ‘It needs a lot of work,’ I said, looking at the rubble in the office, the damp and the terrible concrete floor in the sitting room.

‘All farmhouses in the South West need work,’ he said incongruously. ‘Do you hunt? Because they will be galloping past your front door most weekends...’

The next day, with a rush of blood to the head, I offered the asking price. I never heard back from anyone so, me being me, I chased them up with a stern email and a phone call.

‘Ahh, Mrs Jones . . .’ the posh man said slowly, uninterestedly. ‘Miss!’ I shrieked. ‘You already took down my details!’

‘I want to be completely straight and honest with you,’ he began, which immediately set off alarm bells.

‘We’ve accepted a cash offer. With a house to sell, you’re not really in a strong position. The market is not what it was.’

I had almost given them my property to sell, but his attitude made me change my mind, especially when he told me that, in the country, the vendor has to pay, up-front, for the cost of photography, brochure, floor plans and field plans.

‘But you just copy the plans from Google,’ I said, nonplussed. ‘It’s a recession!’ (This last bit was admittedly a non sequitur, but I just can’t stop myself uttering it all the time.)

How, honestly, do these cack-handed morons stay in business? I went to see yet another property on Wednesday. ‘It has only just come on the market,’ trilled the blonde lady showing me round. ‘The brochure was hot off the press today.’

I loved it – remote, with a tiny, two-roomed house – and when I got home I started looking it up on the internet. I found a feature on it in a newspaper back in April, at the exact same price, and learned it had been on sale, but not found a buyer, in 2008. The next day, I phoned the estate agent to make an offer at the asking price. She never got back to me, so I chased her up.

‘Ahh, Mrs Jones. I don’t work Thursdays, I’m afraid. The vendor says thank you, but you are in no position to proceed, are you?’

I pointed out he hadn’t yet found anywhere to move to, and if he could say he was, in agent-speak, benefiting from an offer, then he’d be in a far better position himself.

‘Well, it’s early days,’ she said, her tone reminding me of Joyce Grenfell. ‘It’s only been on the market 48 hours.’

No it hasn’t, I said. I’ve got a feature about it here in front of me, dated April 2010. I spoke to your joint agent, and she said she had valued the property back in February.

‘Really? Well, we’ll keep your offer on file. Have you registered with us?’

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And so I have plunged head- first into the mire that is the property market, where men are called Jasper and the women are blonde and stupid and inevitably work part-time.

Sounds like she learned something from her neighbors

I like Liz Jones. A few weeks ago, she was saying how she received £2k per year for having 7 acres of grazing land, under the Single Farm Payment scheme. She then went on to explain what a money making racket this scheme is, basically getting wads of cash, just for keeping the hedgerows tidy. I have always wondered why a single mum with 3 kids gets "BENEFITS", yet a farmer getting the same handout gets a "SUBSIDY". Whats in a word, eh?

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The womans a grade AAA nutter

with her interest only mortgage and her rack of

debit cards maxxed out to the full

she is the epitomy of why we r screwed

If she lived within her means she would be lookin at a caravan

I really cannot take her seriously about anything

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  • 399 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

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