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Are All Estate Agents Dodgy?

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Sorry if this has been posted but I found it BRILLIANT!!!

http://uk.biz.yahoo.com/moneyweekly/dodgyestateagents.html

Just some segments!

The situation is ludicrous. Estate agents reap huge financial rewards but offer, at best, very little service in return. At worst, they extract large sums of cash from consumers on false pretences. The government must step in.”

............................................................................................................

The Ombudsman received about 3,000 complaints against estate agents last year, and often has to deal with people who are unhappy about property descriptions. A two-bedroom flat might turn out to be a one-bedroom flat with a sofa bed in the sitting room. Or there's the house that's convenient for the station, which means the track runs along the bottom of the garden. And how often has a roof terrace turned out to be a couple of window boxes?

............................................................................................................

Estate agents are not supposed to give false or misleading property descriptions. However, the rules are open to some interpretation. Some complaints about agents are more serious. They often, for example, give high valuations to win a customer's business. They then suggest a more realistic price once they have locked a seller into a contract. A recent survey by Which?, the consumer group, found that Halifax valued one home in Tyne & Wear at £200,000, while Moody and Co suggested £325,000 – 63% more.

............................................................................................................

Bradford & Bingley thought a house in Liverpool worth £125,000, while Halifax came in 44% higher at £180,000. The best way round the problem is to make sure that you get valuations from a number of estate agents – and do your own research on sale prices in your area. The internet can help here, with lots of useful information on various property sites including Yahoo. Watch out for agents that stick ‘for sale' or ‘sold' signs outside empty properties to boost their presence in a town. The practice – known as flyboarding – is illegal.

............................................................................................................

A buyer could also pay over the odds for a property if an agent deliberately misleads a surveyor by lying about the value of other properties they have sold in the area. Don't expect agents automatically to pass an offer to a vendor: they might hold out for a higher offer so that they get a bigger commission. Failure to pass on an offer promptly and in writing is a criminal act. The agent is not, however, obliged to give details of offers to any potential buyers.

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Guest Winners and Losers

I can see what's happening here. The blame for the crash is being set up to be laid squarely at the feet of EA's. I told you before EA's, get out now before its too late!! :unsure:

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Having worked as an estate agent for about 10 years I can tell you that they have to deal with some of the most backstabbing, underhand, greedy, lying and selfish people around and these are the general public ie the buyers & sellers.

The number of complaints mentioned is a minute % of the total sales per year and you have to put that into context as any industry type, be it private or public sector it will have a bad element. When a popular property hits the market and everyone wants it, there are going to be a lot of disappointed would-be buyers even if you use sealed bids.

The Foxton's undercover programme was very interesting and highlighted some very serious shortcomings but I don't think that the majority of agents operate in this way.

For the estate agency business to be fair for everyone there should be regulations but one of the problems is often the value of the property and this is not an exact science, how much someone is willing to sell/buy for is their individual decision.

I'd like to see how regulations would cope with greedy vendors and buyers as they will find a way to get what they want. Buyers should be financially certified first so the cash buyer doesn't morph into someone relying on a divorce settlement or some other complex financial arrangement.

The general public are a tricky bunch of b@astards and the buying and selling of property brings the worst out of them.

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I think the valuation of properties should be taken AWAY from Estate Agencies.

A lot of these people are NOT QUALIFIED to value and an INDEPENDENT group - could be NAEA themselves - should do the valuations. They should BAND the properties as they do for POLL TAX and they would should not leave that BAND unless the same goveerning body decides it should be UPGRADED or DOWNGRADED based on an EXTENSION or it falling into dis-repair.

The problem with EA's today is they LIE to get the instruction. By lie, I mean they OVERVALUE to get the instruction. Anyone who says otherwise is NOT CREDIBLE. I dont agree with it but I can understand why - No Instructions/No Business.

We have a situation where the EA's role is to sell the property at the best possible price. In a lot of cases this is done via unscrupulous means, lies, criminal acts, deceipt or immoral acts. This is UNACCEPTABLE.

Why not have EA's touting for business based on their CUSTOMER SERVICE, SPEED OF SALES, AFTER SALES SERVICE, HELPFULNESS, EFFICIENCY like hundreds of other industries.

I do agree that a lot of sellers can be greedy b"stards but If EA's priced-to-sell then they would not have the option to be stubborn. If 3 EA's said it was worth £120,000K then I would expect £120K +/- £2K. I woould not expect £135K! But unfortunately 3 EA's say £120K, £130K and £135K and human nature tells you that you go for the £135K. When I wont go down to £120 from £135K then whose fault is that - the seller or the EA?

Let them sell their services and not sell the public down the swanny!

TB

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EAs are not qualified to value properties for mortgage purposes, but if you choose a good one (based on them being reasonable, nice, experienced and not just their fees, how sharp their suit is or how high they value your house) you should be ok. They are there to give you marketing advice. They are there to say, I think the house is worth about £200k, let’s ask £210k and see who bites.

Surveyors may give a precise value, based on a more scientific process, but they often know an area less well than a good agent. And just because their valuation is £200k, does not mean another surveyor might not value at £220k or £180k (from memory 20% either way on a valuation is often regarded by the courts as acceptable, though in some city areas with lots of identical properties the values should be much closer.)

“A lot of these people are NOT QUALIFIED to value and an INDEPENDENT group - could be NAEA themselves - should do the valuations. They should BAND the properties as they do for POLL TAX and they would should not leave that BAND unless the same goveerning body decides it should be UPGRADED or DOWNGRADED based on an EXTENSION or it falling into dis-repair.”

Great. Should we do the same for shares. Shell shares are worth £10, in the middle of the £9-£11 band. Let’s wait for a government body to announce that Shells prospects have risen so that the price is allowed to jump to £12. I’ll happily vote for 80% income tax to pay for these civil servants, and I’ll stick my cross next to Stalin’s namenext time I vote as well.

“The problem with EA's today is they LIE to get the instruction. By lie, I mean they OVERVALUE to get the instruction. Anyone who says otherwise is NOT CREDIBLE. I dont agree with it but I can understand why - No Instructions/No Business.”

True. The problem is that is 75% of agents overvalue (some a little, some a lot) and 75% of vendors are greedy bastards who don’t realize their falling down hovel is not actually Buck Pal, then it’s hard to avoid that. A reasonable vendor who judges wisely and does there own research should sort the wheat from the chaff. (Having recently put my home on the market it was the highest valuation that came furthest from gaining my instruction).

“We have a situation where the EA's role is to sell the property at the best possible price. In a lot of cases this is done via unscrupulous means, lies, criminal acts, deceipt or immoral acts. This is UNACCEPTABLE.”

We need trading standards to enforce the law, and compulsory registration of EAs (including exams for new entrants)

“Why not have EA's touting for business based on their CUSTOMER SERVICE, SPEED OF SALES, AFTER SALES SERVICE, HELPFULNESS, EFFICIENCY like hundreds of other industries.”

Because the public wants to pay 1% commission. If the public were happy to pay 3% then the agent would have the time and inclination to engage in staff training, would be able to afford better staff, would be able to concentrate on all those things rather than squeezing sales through to get by.

“I do agree that a lot of sellers can be greedy b"stards but If EA's priced-to-sell then they would not have the option to be stubborn. If 3 EA's said it was worth £120,000K then I would expect £120K +/- £2K. I woould not expect £135K! But unfortunately 3 EA's say £120K, £130K and £135K and human nature tells you that you go for the £135K. When I wont go down to £120 from £135K then whose fault is that - the seller or the EA?”

If you are stupid you do that. If you are clever you do your own research and make an informed decision that your scruffy house is not worth £30k more than the immaculate one over the road that sold 3 months back.

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At the end of the day its 180 degree selling, and like any sales environment the game is to make a sale.

Surely we are all grown up and adult enough to understand that an Estate Agent does not employ the same proffessional conduct as...........say your local vicar.........or maybe is has more morals :D:D

Essentially if people dont trust an agents valuation, then they should shell out the 2K for a Chartered Surveyor to take a look................or SHUT UP!!!!!!!!!!

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I think the valuation of properties should be taken AWAY from Estate Agencies.

A lot of these people are NOT QUALIFIED to value and an INDEPENDENT group - could be NAEA themselves - should do the valuations. They should BAND the properties as they do for POLL TAX and they would should not leave that BAND unless the same goveerning body decides it should be UPGRADED or DOWNGRADED based on an EXTENSION or it falling into dis-repair.

I think the valuation of properties should be taken AWAY from Estate Agencies.

A lot of these people are NOT QUALIFIED to value and an INDEPENDENT group - could be NAEA themselves - should do the valuations. They should BAND the properties as they do for POLL TAX and they would should not leave that BAND unless the same goveerning body decides it should be UPGRADED or DOWNGRADED based on an EXTENSION or it falling into dis-repair.

TB,

Interesting idea which will work for some properties/vendors but there are just too many anomalies.

From previous experience you end up with a situation like this:-

Agent A - values @ £150,000

Agent B (me) - values @ £162,500 (almost identical property sold for £161,000 few weeks earlier, asking price £162,500)

Agent C - values @ £185,000

Owners know C is wrong but accepts that you are the more sensible alternative and wants you to offer it @ £175,000 just in case.....

The number of times I had vendors say to me 'Yeah but the other agent offered me £x' but you could not make them understand the 'other agent' wasn't going to write out a cheque for that amount as it was just a flawed opinion to get the house for sale, some of the comedy valuations were not deliberate but just stupidity.

I don't think you can have some universal body which will determine the price of a property as ultimately it is only worth what someone is prepared to pay or sell for and this set of circumstances changes all the time.

Don't forget that an estate agent acts on behalf of the vendor and therefore has to accept their instruction even if I think it was flawed. Have walked away from plenty of pie in the sky asking prices which mostly were never obtained but some did!

FF - agree

LJ - Have you read the Da Vinci Code, religion & morals - ha!

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FF and Seenitallbefore

Thank you for spending time answering all my points.

I have come across a situation this week where a vendor would not drop his price (I wont go into detail). The only thing SUPPORTING this point of view is the media.

SCENARIO:

We have been getting reports from Rightmove (which is ****** imho), Halifax and Nationwide ALL telling us that House Prices are up on their reports. What I am seeing on the local level is VERY LITTLE IS SELLING and a lot are selling at REDUCED PRICES.

Whilst we are getting these reports then it is hard for the seller to accept that they should drop their price on something that "in theory" is increasing in value. BUT...... when it is reported that House prices are continually falling (somehow I dont believe this will get the same exposure) then sellers would want to accept offers quickly as its depreciating.

I know HIPS has a lot of negative points but I agree with it as the speculative sellers will disappear. What I would like to ask is this:-

At what point does an EA value that property? After the HCR is produced?

And if so would they then downgrade their valuation based on the findings?

The reason I ask is I see that over 50% of the houses in my area all want to break the ceiling price for that road and a lot of them are shithouses!!! I mean absolutely crap houses. This is the main reason why I am not buying. I would pay TOP DOLLAR for a house that was FANTASTIC but not top dollar for a crack den!!

Thoughts appreciated...

TB

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The general public are a tricky bunch of b@astards and the buying and selling of property brings the worst out of them.

So thats what you think of your customers.

Tell me. What exactly do Estate agents do.

Answer: Sweet Feck All !

In this day and age of internet high street EA's days are numbered.

Try working for a living!

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FF and Seenitallbefore

Thank you for spending time answering all my points.

I have come across a situation this week where a vendor would not drop his price (I wont go into detail). The only thing SUPPORTING this point of view is the media.

SCENARIO:

We have been getting reports from Rightmove (which is ****** imho), Halifax and Nationwide ALL telling us that House Prices are up on their reports. What I am seeing on the local level is VERY LITTLE IS SELLING and a lot are selling at REDUCED PRICES.

Whilst we are getting these reports then it is hard for the seller to accept that they should drop their price on something that "in theory" is increasing in value. BUT...... when it is reported that House prices are continually falling (somehow I dont believe this will get the same exposure) then sellers would want to accept offers quickly as its depreciating.

I know HIPS has a lot of negative points but I agree with it as the speculative sellers will disappear. What I would like to ask is this:-

At what point does an EA value that property? After the HCR is produced?

And if so would they then downgrade their valuation based on the findings?

The reason I ask is I see that over 50% of the houses in my area all want to break the ceiling price for that road and a lot of them are shithouses!!! I mean absolutely crap houses. This is the main reason why I am not buying. I would pay TOP DOLLAR for a house that was FANTASTIC but not top dollar for a crack den!!

Thoughts appreciated...

TB

Personally the valuation of property is an art.You also have to take in any dilapidations when valuing.I don't agree that because a propery sold for x amount in a certain road that an identical property can be valued at the same.Prices have been kept at an artifical level for years as have rents and when the bubble burst's the goverment aren't going to take the blame, the EA's certainly aint and your average homeowner isn't going to take the blame for being greedy.So when the bubble bursts and the morgage cost's more than what the property is worth don't say you wasn't told.

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Estate agents are not supposed to give false or misleading property descriptions. However, the rules are open to some interpretation. Some complaints about agents are more serious. They often, for example, give high valuations to win a customer's business. They then suggest a more realistic price once they have locked a seller into a contract. A recent survey by Which?, the consumer group, found that Halifax valued one home in Tyne & Wear at £200,000, while Moody and Co suggested £325,000 – 63% more.

= = =

Time to Modernise these Ea contracts...

HERE is what CAN be done:

Users of their service could come up with a new clause to be inserted in the contract:

In return for an "exclusive", EA's could agree that if they FAIL to sell the property within say 5% of the

"Valuation" within a fixed period (three months?), then their FEE is cut in half.

That would give them a financial incentive to produce Realistic valuations

AS IT IS, there is no financial disadvantage to excessive valuations, and the benefit of going

"over the top", is that they may win an exclusive mandate on a property that would otherwise go

to other agents. The resulting systematic OVERvaluation is one of the factors serving to push up

property values

Furthermore,

Any offers should be made to the agent, with a COPY to the Vendor. In this age of emails,

that is oh so easy

That is a good idea I may try that myself although they don't usually like to negotiate.

Most of the problem is the vendor themselves pushing and insisting the agent for higher prices because Mr Jones down the road sold his for X therefore mine is worth XX because I have gnomes.

We the public can also be a bit "dodgy" I sold my first FTB house with the largest agent in the area.

What do they do, well nothing much, one advert in the local paper and they'd phone up to tell me when people wanted to view. The agent did not accompany any of the viewings I personally showed everyone around!

As a consequence of this I personally negotiated a discounted deal to a young FTB couple and I took the house of the agents books and did the whole very smooth transaction myself, communcation was excellent and everyone was happy and no agents fees to pay.

Any guilt pangs for the poor agents? Nah! after all I did all the work.

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So thats what you think of your customers.

Tell me. What exactly do Estate agents do.

Answer: Sweet Feck All !

In this day and age of internet high street EA's days are numbered.

Try working for a living!

I am telling you what my experience was, the nicest people turn into nasty greedy b'stards if they don't get what they want, buyers and sellers alike.

The current high street scenario will probably change but more likely that agents no longer have to have premises in the most expensive locations and can locate themselves anywhere, the internet isn't the answer to everything.

The general public vote with their feet, if the estate agency business model was unsustainable it would have disappeared long ago, look at how something like 'Yes Car Credit' imploded when the public realised it was overpriced rubbish.

No one is forcing you to use an agent so the choice is entirely yours, lots of good ones out there but fully accept there are cowboys as well just as in any other business.

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Guest STR2004

So thats what you think of your customers.

Tell me. What exactly do Estate agents do.

Answer: Sweet Feck All !

In this day and age of internet high street EA's days are numbered.

Try working for a living!

I tend to agree with this. In my time I've bought and sold 7 homes (mainly because of work commitments) and each time I've felt something between 'completely ripped off' and 'mildly ripped off' by the estate agent. I just don't see how 2 sides of A4 describing your property, an occasional ad in the local paper and someone to sit in an office and take & make calls from and to buyers/sellers can warrant a £3700 fee (what I paid last time around). It's simply taking the p*ss. I'm of the opinion that traditional EAs will become obsolete as more and more vendors realise that they can sell online for about a 10th of what an EA charges.

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I tend to agree with this. In my time I've bought and sold 7 homes (mainly because of work commitments) and each time I've felt something between 'completely ripped off' and 'mildly ripped off' by the estate agent. I just don't see how 2 sides of A4 describing your property, an occasional ad in the local paper and someone to sit in an office and take & make calls from and to buyers/sellers can warrant a £3700 fee (what I paid last time around). It's simply taking the p*ss. I'm of the opinion that traditional EAs will become obsolete as more and more vendors realise that they can sell online for about a 10th of what an EA charges.

You're dreaming. As has been pointed out, most people are devious sods. They won't sell on the internet because it means dealing with potential buyers and buyers directly. They like having an agent to do their dirty work for them.

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FF and Seenitallbefore

Thank you for spending time answering all my points.

I have come across a situation this week where a vendor would not drop his price (I wont go into detail). The only thing SUPPORTING this point of view is the media.

SCENARIO:

We have been getting reports from Rightmove (which is ****** imho), Halifax and Nationwide ALL telling us that House Prices are up on their reports. What I am seeing on the local level is VERY LITTLE IS SELLING and a lot are selling at REDUCED PRICES.

Whilst we are getting these reports then it is hard for the seller to accept that they should drop their price on something that "in theory" is increasing in value. BUT...... when it is reported that House prices are continually falling (somehow I dont believe this will get the same exposure) then sellers would want to accept offers quickly as its depreciating.

I know HIPS has a lot of negative points but I agree with it as the speculative sellers will disappear. What I would like to ask is this:-

At what point does an EA value that property? After the HCR is produced?

And if so would they then downgrade their valuation based on the findings?

The reason I ask is I see that over 50% of the houses in my area all want to break the ceiling price for that road and a lot of them are shithouses!!! I mean absolutely crap houses. This is the main reason why I am not buying. I would pay TOP DOLLAR for a house that was FANTASTIC but not top dollar for a crack den!!

Thoughts appreciated...

TB

TB, sensible discussions always good!

One thing that seems to be ignored/forgotten about is that estate agency is a 'cottage industry' and that the local markets vary quite considerably so what works in your area doesn't in mine. During my time we went through the phase of the banks etc buying chains of agents and enforcing corporate ideas everywhere. Dragging Romford's finest out to rural England might seem a good idea but it doesn't work, entertaining it was though!

To answer your question I imagine that an agent may want to revise the asking price if on seeing the HIPS details that the heating is knackered or it needs a new roof, HIPS won't force the vendor to change the price but in theory should provide the buyer with all the relevant information from the start so no nasty surprises.

In my opinion all these monthly reports, year on year and seasonally adjusted stuff is confusing and Joe Public will always pick up the headline but forget that the starting point ie their asking price might have been wrong anyway so now it is wrong price + 5%. Quarterly reports and comparison to the same period in the previous year makes sense to me but anything else is just trying to massage the stats.

The problem with vendors and asking prices is simply greed and over estimation what makes their house better than the next because they assume having a new 10k kitchen adds 10k which it doesn't but won't accept that the neighbour’s knackered caravan obscuring the view lowers the appeal.

It sounds like you are being cautious which is sensible, ultimately a property is only worth what you are prepared to pay and not someone's fantasy.

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You're dreaming. As has been pointed out, most people are devious sods. They won't sell on the internet because it means dealing with potential buyers and buyers directly. They like having an agent to do their dirty work for them.

I cant say I agree with this. My G/F mum sold her house privately and when they came to the agreed price she passed it onto a solicitor that sorted out the rest. It cost her £300.

I have a hatred towards certain EA's. Lets say the FOXTONS of the north but not as bad Im sure. I have made it quite clear that if we see a ouse we like I will say to the seller. If its NOT sold by the end of your contract then I will buy it privately.

I CANNOT and WILL NOT get emotionally attached to BRICKS & MORTAR.

As some people know, my views on business are ruthless. No one does you a favour. You have to detatch yourself from emotions.

TB

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Guest STR2004

You're dreaming. As has been pointed out, most people are devious sods. They won't sell on the internet because it means dealing with potential buyers and buyers directly. They like having an agent to do their dirty work for them.

I can't speak for most people and I suspect that you can't either although I'm happy to listen to why you think you can. Personally I have no trouble dealing directly with 'Joe Public' if it means I'll save £Ks. I think people sell through EAs at the moment simply because 'it's the way it's always been done'. Ten years ago very few people bought anything on the internet preferring rather to go to their local high street store. Having woken up to the MONEY they can save more and more people buy online. I think it's always the same when peoples' hard earned cash is at stake - they'll take the option where they have to part with as little of it as possible and this is the reason I think EAs will struggle.

Edited by STR2004

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I can't speak for most people and I suspect that you can't either although I'm happy to listen to why you think you can. Personally I have no trouble dealing directly with 'Joe Public' if it means I'll save £Ks. I think people sell through EAs at the moment simply because 'it's the way it's always been done'. Ten years ago very people bought anything on the internet preferring rather to go to their local high street store. Having woken up to the MONEY they can save more and more people buy online. I think it's always the same when peoples' hard earned cash is at stake - they'll take the option where they have to part with as little of it as possible and this is the reason I think EAs will struggle.

I have recently purchased a house through a private vendor. I paid £20k, maybe even £30k less than a half decent agent would have got for it, but lucky vendor, he saved £3k in agents fees.

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Guest STR2004

I have recently purchased a house through a private vendor. I paid £20k, maybe even £30k less than a half decent agent would have got for it, but lucky vendor, he saved £3k in agents fees.

Well done FF, you're on the way to realising the HPC on your own :D . I assume you're implying that the vendor would have benefited from the services of an EA? Or is it that you were lucky enough to buy from someone stupid (or desperate)? Are you arguing that this would always be the case? I seem to remember that you are (were) an EA (apologies if you're not) and so is your opinion biased in some way? All good stuff anyhow.

S

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Time to Modernise these Ea contracts...

HERE is what CAN be done:

Users of their service could come up with a new clause to be inserted in the contract:

In return for an "exclusive", EA's could agree that if they FAIL to sell the property within say 5% of the

"Valuation" within a fixed period (three months?), then their FEE is cut in half.

I actually tried something like this (although not quite as severe as cutting the fee in half) a few years back when trying to sell our house. I can't take the credit for the idea and forget where I saw it, but it was on some money website or other with a "selling your house / dealing with estate agents section"

Basically, you agree the "realistic" valuation (say 295 - 305K) and agree to pay the agents standard commission (say 1%). However, you then agree a "shared risk / shared reward" type deal around this. So if the house sells for between 280 - 295K the commission reduces to 0.7% but if the house sells for between 305 - 320K then his commission increases to say 1.3%. The house would initially be marketed at 320K

This way, as the seller I am a little more cofident that the agent will genuinely try and sell at the higher value and if successful shares the reward. Equally, if his marketing / selling skills are not as good as I'm led to believe and I am forced to consider a lower offer, then I know he will share some of the pain (and more pain than he would otherwise have done on a flat % basis).

I put this scheme to 3 agents - 2 were regional type multi offices and 1 small local independant. The 2 multi offices understood where I was coming from but wouldn't go with it (I'm guessing they didn't have the authority or couldn't be bothered to run it by head office) - the independant had no trouble signing up to it.

Would have worked great, except house was on the market for 3 months with a fair few viewings but didn't receive any offers. In the end we decided to stay put for another couple of years.

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S

I am a little biased as an ex-EA, and I am saying that an agent would have got more money. I am not sure that the guy was desparate, all a bit odd really... he was being repossessed, but equally that seemed to be through choice - didn't want to pay the mortgage!!!! When he showed me the house he had hundreds of keys with him and he seemed to be a pretty big landlord. The funny thing is that his opinion of the value when renovated was much much higher than mine, but as things are progressing it would appear he may have been more right than me, certainly no less right.

I am not arguing it would always be the case, but professionals tend to obtain a higher price than private sellers. Like cars. If I told 2 people to go out and by a vauxhall vectra with under 60k miles and under 5 years old, one had to buy privately and one had to buy from a second hand car dealer, who would get the cheaper car? I'd bet money it'd be the buyer who went to a private individual.

bubb / leftysmate

a good local agent who believes what he is saying should be flexible enough to accept a contract that is unusual. Another thing is sole agency period. Yes, 2 or 3 or even 4 months is fairly standard. But if the vendor wants their property priced to sell and isn't going to hold out for every last penny, then why shouldn't the agent be prepared to sign them up for a week or 2 only?

FF

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They like having an agent to do their dirty work for them.

Very good point. Large sums of money bring out the worst in everyone... whether it's blatent profiteering or just fear of missing out on something which is "rightfully their's", or which might hold them back at a later stage in the ladder. Ok, the unrestricted nature of Estate Agency practice makes the business in general much less trustworthy than it ought to be, but I think it's unfair to blame the lightning rod for what is -- when all's said and done -- a fairly universal human failing... greed.

All the more reason why government should have stepped in long ago to impose a framework on the whole housebuying business to minimise the potential trauma and excesses involved in moving home. I'm sure nobody would welcome that more than the majority (I hope :-) of perfectly decent EAs.

Andrew McP

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Guest STR2004

I am a little biased as an ex-EA, and I am saying that an agent would have got more money. ....

I wouldn't argue with that FF although I do doubt that in general an EA would gain as much as you have. I suppose the fundamental question is whether people will realise this and opt to go with an EA or whether they'll see a couple of £K as an un-necessary expense? Who knows? Time will tell.

S

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Why not base the selling model on the car industry, where the EA's would have to buy the properties themselves from customers, then add a percentage profit and sell on? an industry guide book similar to Glass' or CAP would soon come into being, and the EA's would soon be discounting 'over age' properties that have been on their books for longer than a few months for fear of all that money tied up in an unsaleable house. No one would be telling a customer that their house was worth 20 grand more than the next EA either.

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Having worked as an estate agent for about 10 years I can tell you that they have to deal with some of the most backstabbing, underhand, greedy, lying and selfish people around and these are the general public ie the buyers & sellers.

The number of complaints mentioned is a minute % of the total sales per year and you have to put that into context as any industry type, be it private or public sector it will have a bad element. When a popular property hits the market and everyone wants it, there are going to be a lot of disappointed would-be buyers even if you use sealed bids.

The Foxton's undercover programme was very interesting and highlighted some very serious shortcomings but I don't think that the majority of agents operate in this way.

For the estate agency business to be fair for everyone there should be regulations but one of the problems is often the value of the property and this is not an exact science, how much someone is willing to sell/buy for is their individual decision.

I'd like to see how regulations would cope with greedy vendors and buyers as they will find a way to get what they want. Buyers should be financially certified first so the cash buyer doesn't morph into someone relying on a divorce settlement or some other complex financial arrangement.

The general public are a tricky bunch of b@astards and the buying and selling of property brings the worst out of them.

As another current EA, I completely agree with your points SIB, however the level of distrust by the public at large and buyers in particular is worrying. Buyers often feel hard done by but many fail to recignise that an EA is paid by the seller to get the best possible price, not the buyer to get it as low as possible.

Valuing a house is a long way from an exact science, and many surveyors are little better at it then EA's. A house is worth what someone is prepared to pay for it - therefore it is impossible to come up with a figure and say that house is worth X exactly. We have recently dealt with a house that had been on for a year with the best offer about 10% under asking price, then after one weekend 2 buyers made offers and the agreed price was 3% over asking price!! :o Buyer who didn't get the house now thinks we are sc*m but the seller is over the moon..... B)

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  • 301 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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