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Under Offer - Ea "mockumentary"

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It is a grossly unflattering film that shows estate agents as their many detractors would imagine them – as obnoxious, sleazy, unprincipled louts. But while property professionals might be expected to distance themselves from the appalling behaviour shown in the new internet spoof Under Offer, the film has actually been made by staff at an upmarket London agency. They have certainly lent credibility to the ‘mockumentary’, which has quickly become a viral hit, with many viewers convinced that the outrageous fly-on-the-wall-style scenes are genuine.

The film –which Mr Mead said was intended only for industry insiders –revolves around ‘James’, played by James Turner, one of the firm’s negotiators. He is seen making vulgar sexual remarks, applauding his boss’s policy of employing only good-looking women and describing a female colleague as an ‘uptight b****’.

In one scene he bursts in on a naked couple in bed while showing a potential buyer around a house, then smirks to camera: ‘That’s not the husband.’

There are also all-too-plausible snobbish asides: ‘We are a representative bunch from all walks of life. There’s a guy in the Balham office who went to a state school.’

At one point, Turner leaps from his car when he spots a rival estate agent’s For Sale sign –and attacks it in a frenzy with an axe. Ironically, Mr Mead is on the board of the Property Ombudsman, which seeks to improve standards among estate agents. The film was professionally shot by director Lee Helliar of Real Property Tours, which films properties for estate agents.

Leading property figures have been quick to condemn the YouTube film, and raised questions about the wisdom of Douglas & Gordon’s decision to get involved. ‘Is it humour or hubris?’ asked Henry Pryor, of housingexpert.net.

‘With the housing market as bad as it is, it is extraordinary a leading estate agency would appear to be involved with a film such as this.’

Comments on YouTube underlined quite what a risky experiment the film proved to be. ‘This is just proof of what we have always feared . . . do we really trust these guys to sell us the most expensive thing we will ever buy?’ said one post. Another added: ‘Unbelievable!! This explains why everyone hates estate agents. Makes bankers look like saints,’ while a third said: ‘And they wonder why their reputation is so dreadful –seems like it is fully deserved.’

Mr Turner was unavailable for comment last night.

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Apparently highlighted some of their bad points as well.

I seriously think its far too complementary. It portrays them as intelligent, sharp, focused public schoolboys and girls when generally they are dullards in cheap suits who are so thick they can't even see when they are running themselves out of business until its far too late.

Nope, this is far more accurate:

<iframe width="420" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/8X-WdrSCKR0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

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  • 433 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

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