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Why Do We Need Estate Agents? [Serious Thread]

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I wanted to ask the members why [in the UK] do we need EA's.

After 10 years of privately renting, all through EA's, I do not actually know what t entails to be an estate agent.

  • Do they need a degree or qualification?
  • Are there standards for them to follow?
  • What amount of legal paperwork do they have to do for a sale, or rental?
  • What are they being paid by owners who want to rent or sell?

Some EA's I've come across have been alight, but most have been awful. Entitled and arrogant, they think they are making you a favour when showing you a properteeh. I've started to suspect, being an EA is not too complicated, and with HPI+++, it may be seen as a quick way to get rich. If so, wouldn't there be a massive boom in Estate Agents chasing an ever decreasing pool of customers?

Every town or city in the UK has rows and rows of EA's with fancy names, on what used to be little shops run by families. This can't be sustainable, surely.

Looking at these streets makes me sad, it looks horrible.

Another question. Why can't owners, deal directly with tenants or buyers?

This happens in every other country in Europe I've been in. It's cheaper to cut the middle man, so why is it that in the UK, the Vast majority of sales and rents are done through EA's?

I was going over the classics sections when I came across this

http://www.housepricecrash.co.uk/forum/index.php?/topic/6386-the-future-of-estate-agents/

The OP, wondered the internet would put EA's out of business. It certainly hasn't happened.

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In 1976 I sold my house by putting a home made advert in the window.

We wanted £10,000, I was in work and a couple called and my wife sold it to them for £9,750.

This took just one week.

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Vendors want to get the highest price possible. An estate agent's job is to go in, pull a sky high figure out of their ars3, then manage down the vendor's expectations until such time as they cross paths with a willing and able buyer.

We need estate agents because the internet couldn't massage a vendor's aspirations in the same way that a shiny suited spiv can. And no vendors would mean no market.

That's the only reason imo - there's certainly no need for them from a buyer perspective.

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Vendors want to get the highest price possible. An estate agent's job is to go in, pull a sky high figure out of their ars3, then manage down the vendor's expectations until such time as they cross paths with a willing and able buyer.

We need estate agents because the internet couldn't massage a vendor's aspirations in the same way that a shiny suited spiv can. And no vendors would mean no market.

That's the only reason imo - there's certainly no need for them from a buyer perspective.

Estate agents help with moving things along but you should never pay the large % some ask 0.5% is the most I would pay.

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Vendors want to get the highest price possible. An estate agent's job is to go in, pull a sky high figure out of their ars3, then manage down the vendor's expectations until such time as they cross paths with a willing and able buyer.

We need estate agents because the internet couldn't massage a vendor's aspirations in the same way that a shiny suited spiv can. And no vendors would mean no market.

That's the only reason imo - there's certainly no need for them from a buyer perspective.

Pretty damned accurate I would say.

In other words fluff merchants.

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As buying a house is most people's largest purchase in life, they need someone to say (lie) "Yes, you're paying the correct amount." Sellers need someone to sell their property as most people would probably be mildly self-depreciating, going on about one of the neighbours being '*****', although some would be overly optimistic about the value of living so close to a crappy new town or airport.

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I'm a first-time renter and shocked at the large fee the EA wants if they sign me up. However I've noticed BTLers seem to enjoy being in local "mutual support property clubs" , or something, not sure what they really call them. I'm hoping anyway that one of these will be happy to feed me to its members and I can therefore avoid EA.

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As buying a house is most people's largest purchase in life, they need someone to say (lie) "Yes, you're paying the correct amount." Sellers need someone to sell their property as most people would probably be mildly self-depreciating, going on about one of the neighbours being '*****', although some would be overly optimistic about the value of living so close to a crappy new town or airport.

You get a surveyor to tell you if you are paying the correct amount. The Estate Agent is the vendor's agent, hence it can be assumed that everything they say about the value of the house is a lie.

I doubt anybody would be "self-deprecating" about their property, but they need an expert liar to lie on their behalf as some mild questioning by the buyer might expose their falsehoods. Estate agents have years of experience at making up stories on the spot.

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I'd always go with an agent on the basis that they might at least cover the cost in getting that much extra in the sale proceeds. It possibly looks a bit amateurish going DIY and indeed viewers might wonder whether that extends to the quality of maintenance on the house or whether the asking price is valid (yes I know, no asking prices look valid). That's not going to go down well on here I suppose. :unsure:

Edited by crashmonitor

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You get a surveyor to tell you if you are paying the correct amount. The Estate Agent is the vendor's agent, hence it can be assumed that everything they say about the value of the house is a lie.

I doubt anybody would be "self-deprecating" about their property, but they need an expert liar to lie on their behalf as some mild questioning by the buyer might expose their falsehoods. Estate agents have years of experience at making up stories on the spot.

Actually I was an EA for a short time, 3/4 months, back in the early 90s and the properties (in a very nice area of Surrey) sold themselves. All EAs I met were arrogant shysters who could lie the hind legs off a donkey. The job requires very little skill but a lot of patience as for the majority of the time you're just sitting in an office with arrogant shysters who could lie the hind legs off a donkey, waiting for the phone to ring. You could do the job whilst doing a real job and the vendors wouldn't notice.

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Actually I was an EA for a short time, 3/4 months, back in the early 90s and the properties (in a very nice area of Surrey) sold themselves. All EAs I met were arrogant shysters who could lie the hind legs off a donkey. The job requires very little skill but a lot of patience as for the majority of the time you're just sitting in an office with arrogant shysters who could lie the hind legs off a donkey, waiting for the phone to ring. You could do the job whilst doing a real job and the vendors wouldn't notice.

I'm sure you've seen a lot in your time. An EA during the 90's bubble that popped on black Wednesday.

Care to share some stories?

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Beats me why England doesnt adopt the Scottish 'Sealed bids' method of selling, it cuts out almost all of the BS involved in buying a property, there are also far far fewer Estate Agents in Scotland.

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I'm sure you've seen a lot in your time. An EA during the 90's bubble that popped on black Wednesday.

Care to share some stories?

Two days training in some anonymous training room that Black Horse had hired, most of the other trainees were also young and a few were idiots, answered the land line office phone when it rang, showed a few people around different houses, the office was given a case of particularly drinkable champagne after a sale and I drank half the bottle off of my girlfriend's body, another time she and I had sex in the office when it was closed. Fun times.

This was in '91, before BW, the area wasn't hugely in demand back then so we'd have a few viewings per day, 1/2 sales per week.

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Two days training in some anonymous training room that Black Horse had hired, most of the other trainees were also young and a few were idiots, answered the land line office phone when it rang, showed a few people around different houses, the office was given a case of particularly drinkable champagne after a sale and I drank half the bottle off of my girlfriend's body, another time she and I had sex in the office when it was closed. Fun times.

This was in '91, before BW, the area wasn't hugely in demand back then so we'd have a few viewings per day, 1/2 sales per week.

I guess to produce a good brochure with details and photos plus a floor plan are generic skills most of us possess. Most of us probably know a bit about the local market too and values. Actually it is difficult to be objective about your own house, though you could get around that by using a free market appraisal.

I certainly wouldn't want to leave all those generic skills to a kid on the job for two days mind.

I would still go down the agent route myself because 1-1.5% is still a drop in the ocean compared to the proceeds( which ought to be made up at least by the better coverage available to the estate agent such as rightmove). No rightmove and you have lost 90% of your potential audience.

At the end of the day 98% of us go the agent route, we are either a bit 'fick' or there are positive benefits.

Edited by crashmonitor

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I guess to produce a good brochure with details and photos plus a floor plan are generic skills most of us possess. Most of us probably know a bit about the local market too and values. Actually it is difficult to be objective about your own house, though you could get around that by using a free market appraisal.

I certainly wouldn't want to leave all those generic skills to a kid on the job for two days mind.

Still go down the agent route myself, because 1-1.5% is still a drop in the ocean compared to the proceeds, which ought to be made up at least by the better coverage available to the estate agent such as rightmove.

You just need a template, a couple of photos and some examples to copy the language used;

Estate agent speak - “The property has excellent transport links”

Translation - “There’s a motorway and or busy railway line right next to it”

Estate agent speak - “In need of modernisation”

Translation - “This property hasn’t been updated since the 1970s and needs a complete refit”

Estate agent speak - “An ideal purchase as your first three-bedroom home”

Translation - “You can barely fit a bed into the third bedroom”

Estate agent speak - “Set within a purpose-built residential development”

Translation - “This property is in the middle of a large housing estate”

Estate agent speak - “A cosy property in a rural location”

Translation - “This property is small and the nearest shop is 20 minutes’ drive away”

That'll be three grand please.

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You just need a template, a couple of photos and some examples to copy the language used;

Estate agent speak - “The property has excellent transport links”

Translation - “There’s a motorway and or busy railway line right next to it”

Estate agent speak - “In need of modernisation”

Translation - “This property hasn’t been updated since the 1970s and needs a complete refit”

Estate agent speak - “An ideal purchase as your first three-bedroom home”

Translation - “You can barely fit a bed into the third bedroom”

Estate agent speak - “Set within a purpose-built residential development”

Translation - “This property is in the middle of a large housing estate”

Estate agent speak - “A cosy property in a rural location”

Translation - “This property is small and the nearest shop is 20 minutes’ drive away”

That'll be three grand please.

I'd still like access to rightmove. Presumably not allowed for DIY?

Edited by crashmonitor

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Playing devils advocate, and I'm not friend of EAs but I live alone and work full time, so I don't have time or inclination to show people around my house so l would let them deal with it. Also it's easier to let a third party deal with negotiations then do it yourself, depending on your attitude. Some people find it all a bit stressful.

I trust EAs about as much as I trust recruitment agents though, that is to say, not at all.

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