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Written by rosalind renshaw

The Estate Agents Act should be amended, so that estate agents have a legal responsibility to sell a property at, or close to, their initial valuation.

If they fail to do so within an agreed timescale – say, three months – the seller would be able to require the agent to buy the property.

The proposals have come from an RICS member with more than 30 years of experience in the housing market.

Peter Hendry, of Property Match, in Mapperley, Nottingham, has written to the president of the RICS suggesting an approach to the Government.

He wants agents to stop over-valuing houses.

He said that the housing market needs to function more successfully, and to keep “functioning this way through several consecutive economic cycles”.


He says that if agents were confident in the accuracy of their valuation advice, they should be prepared to buy properties on the assumption that they could be sold-on within a reasonable timescale.

He said: “In this situation there should be an even chance that the agent will make a profit on half of the properties s/he is required to buy in this way, and so this new provision would not, in itself, penalise a genuine agent.”

He went on: “The great benefit of enacting such legislation would be that the housing market would be unblocked. People would, at last, be able to move more frequently and more confidently.

“An added benefit would be that the property market would remain open for business throughout changing economic cycles.”

Hendry said: “Even when the main economy is going into a downturn, the housing market could be insulated from the effects by using this method of pricing.

“Similarly in an upturn, the housing market could be insulated from over-exuberant pricing by these methods, which would self-regulate the prices estate agents chalk up.”

He said that good agents would not find the proposed new responsibility too onerous. He thought that they would be able to buy a property outright, from commission, after about 50 sales.

However, he said it would be a burden on firms which over-price properties.

Hendry said he had recently seen a property for sale through an estate agent. It was in very poor condition and yet its asking price was higher than that for which any comparable property in the area had sold.

A second property in the same road, on with another agent, had gone up 62% since being sold seven years previously – a rise of 9% per year. Yet the only material change was that this property had lost part of its garden. It emerged that the property had been on the market for a year.


Hendry said: “These two recent experiences underline the problems facing buyers, as a result of the methods used by estate agents to market houses, even in what are undeniably, extremely tough market conditions.


“No wonder agents are generally regarded with scant respect. The way they market houses needs substantial improvement.”

Hendry also proposes that vendors should have to commission an open-market valuation of their property at the same time as getting an EPC produced. He suggests a Domestic Energy Assessor could be trained to do this, using Land Registry information.

He said: “The need for the Government to intervene in the workings of the housing market is obvious.”

Comments

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    Very petty Mr Hendry, I think you are smart enough to realise your deliberate and childish attempt at an insult.
    I accept your challenge to discuss this openly and stand up for a profession I both love and am proud of. My Fellowship represents as much professionalism , dedication and learning as any doctor, dentist solicitor, teacher et all.
    Please deposit £20,000 of your own money with Rosalind Renshaw to secure my appearance and true identity. I will then be happy to appear on ego TV and give your scheme a little more airing. Once completed and published I will donate the £20,000 to CCLL along with a donation of my own.
    Please Google CCLL to establish that it is a worthy enough cause!
    The £20,000 will extend the lives, by about 2 years, a few of the 2nd and 3rd generation children following the nuclear accident in Russia 25years ago.
    I haven't bothered to read the rest of your posts giving you the element of surprise and a chance to win a few points off me during the debate.
    Get Ros to email me with details when she has the cash/bankers draft payable to CCLL.

    • 28 October 2010 09:13 AM
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    Better be what I paid for mine - or there'll be bother! ;0)

    • 26 October 2010 16:02 PM
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    PeeBee thanks, sorry for delay had a few days off.

    • 26 October 2010 13:55 PM
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    "...and I would be glad to engage in further discussions with them, including messes Wardy, Daws and of course, your good-self." Interesting idea - I'd be up for it. Bring it on, EAT! One small point, Mr PropertyMatch - the word you seek is 'Messrs. (with an 'R'.)'. The only one in a proper mess is YOUR goodself, Sir ;0)

    • 24 October 2010 11:27 AM
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    Actually I'd be delighted to have more full and frank discussions about this.

    This idea is still very much alive and kicking - despite various agents' attempts to pour cold water (and certain other stuff) upon it.

    Anyone who still thinks there's nothing wrong with estate agency, is totally deluded. I'm looking for those who are positive enough to wish to embrace change, and I would be glad to engage in further discussions with them, including messes Wardy, Daws and of course, your good-self. Maybe EAT could arrange?

    • 23 October 2010 08:53 AM
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    Oh, well - this article has now been relegated to page 2, so I suppose it will now be forgotten.

    Obviously, Mr PropertyMatch will be breathing a sigh of relief, as there were many perfectly legitimate and reasonable questions raised here by myself and others which he chose to overlook, so they will probably never have the chance to be answered (not that there was a satisfactory answer he could provide anyway, in my humble opinion...).

    EAT - perhaps you could invite Mr PropertyMatch to respond to the unanswered posts in a new heading, in the form of an interview, so that we will be able to make an informed judgement as to the credibility of his suggested path the housing market should take?

    I, for one, cannot wait to read the next thrilling instalment...

    • 22 October 2010 10:28 AM
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    Dear Mr Hendry

    I appreciate you might have been a bit busy yesterday but it would be nice if you would come back and engage in discussion you started.
    Its all very well to write whatever you like on your own blog, I don't have a problem with that but as soon you start down the "Look at me, Look at Me" self promotion route of blabbing how brilliant and sagely one is, one really ought to be on fairly solid ground. You sir are not.

    A property valuation is an educated guess at the economic price the parties to the contract will agree for sale/purchase of each individual property. There is only ever one purchaser for every property (even if more than one are showing interest) An Estate Agent valuation will often have a 20% spread from the distressed sale (sell it today) price and its very maximum price. The job of the estate agent is to provide the guide price and then set about finding the purchaser who is going to exchange contracts at a price and time scale that suits the vendor.
    Many purchasers would love to buy particular property and move in tomorrow but unfortunately and this is where your suggestion ends up on its arse. There are other parties to the contract besides the vendor and purchaser; naming one the mortgagee.
    Unless lenders have their criteria for borrowing fulfilled the sale will not go though, ignoring of the needs and desires of both vendor and purchaser to push a deal through and ignoring the fact that an agent is powerless to earn a single penny in commission or fee until the sale is complete.

    If a purchaser wants anything like a reasonable mortgage rate from (example)C&G right now, (2.5% over base rate) they need 40% equity. Anything less than 40% and there are mortgages but the mortgae arrangement fee hops up from £700 to 3% of value (£6000 on a typical property at £200,000)
    Perhaps we agents ought to learn from the banks, solicitors and people like you who earn a fee whether the sale completes or not and start charging for valuations, charging for advertising and marketing, charging for viewings, charging just for our advice and time. (£180/hour is about right) The thing is Mr Hendry most folk engaged in Estate Agency have worked out that the current system is a happy compromise which has evolved over several cycles of boom and bust in the property market, most of us are happy to carry on earning nothing, earning loads.
    Given the conciliation apparent in your last post I guess you now realise you are wrong, its alright to be wrong so please come back and lets fill in a few more hours while we wait for someone to wander through our doors.

    • 21 October 2010 08:37 AM
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    Property match, This is an attack on traditional agents, nothing more. For someone to have such a twisted misconceived idea of how the industry works after your years of experience is shameful.
    It cleary says at the top of your website that you’re not an agent. This is painfully apparent. The website looks like its been written by a 5 year old and I cant see a single thing you do that demands the best price possible for your clients. but hey, your not an agent so that’s ok.
    You are right about one thing though. The industry does need a shake up. I would start with rouge sell privately advertisers like you. I would make you all join redress schemes so your are accountable for the way you go about your business. You are not the first cheepo website and you wont be the last but do not come on a industry blog spouting flawed and ill thought out nonsense for your own personal agenda. I’m annoyed you have got the 'air time' you have. I could type on and give you some useful ideas on how to improve the industry but I doubt you’ll understand any of them.

    • 20 October 2010 11:52 AM
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    If you really have a genuine desire to improve the industry lets start with your basic claim.

    "if you were to ask most estate agents to define even what a valuation is, they wouldn't have a clue"

    I think there is genuine benefit to us all that you start replying to individual questions with concise answers.

    What is a valuation?

    • 20 October 2010 07:49 AM
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    Put your own house in order first, show us all the error of our long established ways or even the tiniest bit of sucess and maybe someone will take your egotistical rantings seriously.

    • 19 October 2010 19:26 PM
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    OUCH! That's obviously touched a nerve! I've touched a few more further down, Mr PropertyMatch - could you please be so kind as to respond to those also? Thank you. ;0)

    • 19 October 2010 18:24 PM
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    George Daws
    What Property Match (UK) is offering on the web is entirely separate from the proposals presently under discussion.
    We're talking here about improving estate agency and this is my contribution as an individual.

    • 19 October 2010 18:00 PM
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    Dear Mr Hendry

    Please could you explain how the asking prices on Property Match (UK)are established.

    P.S.
    I notice that there is no company registration number on your site. Are you a company?

    VAT, that isn't very clear either. Are you VAT registered?

    What was the cost to the vendor of sticking a card up in the window of the news agents in St Ives? a 640 mile round trip from Nottigham would have cost you ball park 256 quid (plus a couple of days out of the office)

    Having read your blog and looked at your site I am not surprised that you have a total of 2 (incomplete) testimonials to show for 14 years work.

    • 19 October 2010 17:05 PM
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    RJ: Firstly, I am genuinely appreciative of your comment - although I am first to admit that my 'knowledge' is far from complete. The first day I THINK I know everything is the day I NEED to walk away from it! I DO, however, have strong opinions on what I believe to be 'right' as far as Agency goes - and I will continue to voice those opinions wherever I feel the need. So - you want to know what I do. Boy! - you must be really devoid of interesting things to see and do yourself...! ;0) Okay - here goes. Spent my whole working life (32 years and counting...) involved in the property industry, split pretty much 50:50 between the New Homes field (where I am once again - at least part of the time...), and mainstream Estate Agency (corporate and independent, up to Director level). I was a Member of the NAEA (for the right reasons - not just the letters...) for several years. And just like everyone else, despite all of that, as soon as I think I know where the goalposts are someone picks them up and moves them into a different field! Wouldn't change for any other industry, though...! ;0)

    • 19 October 2010 15:52 PM
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    PeeBee – I am always amazed at your depth of knowledge (not a dig, genuine!) You are not an “agent, viewer, or seller” are you prepared to say just what you do to be so informed on almost every subject???

    • 19 October 2010 13:55 PM
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    PropertyMatch wrote: 'I assume you are saying that in cases where the vendor insisted on a higher asking price than the agent was prepared to commit to?'

    No, I'm not saying that. I'm saying that some houses appeal to a smaller market. For example, a converted windmill might have to wait for the right buyer to appear. If the agent has no one on the books already looking for a converted windmill, he or she may turn the property down.

    • 19 October 2010 13:14 PM
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    Mr PropertyMatch(UK): So far, all you have said to people in defence of yourself is "read the blog". So, I have. Several times.

    First thing I want to say is that if you are GENUINELY passionate for the good of the housing market; have no hidden agendae; and happy to work with the industry as a whole to make the process smooth and manageable for all, then you'll have my full support - as will anyone on here or any other forum site.

    MY problem is that your blog has more holes in it than the story above. Your whole proposition is fatally flawed; the thinking behind it naive to the extent that no-one with 30 DAYS in the industry should have mooted it never mind one with 30 years; and this makes me think that there is, as I have suggested, hidden agendae.

    Firstly, you say "Imposing this additional responsibility on estate agents would not be too onerous for them when considering that average fees for house sales equate to approximately 2%. Such fees would mean that after each 50 sales, a firm could afford to buy a property out of the commission recently earned." Come on - since when was 100% of EACH AND EVERY Agent's fee profit? No wages, premises, light and heat, POS material or any of the myriad of other costs? Get real. To say that one property out of 50 could be bought outright from fee revenue is ridiculous - a year 3 schoolboy wouldn't make such a mathematical wazz-up!

    Your suggestion to 'make the market flow' in this way will actually stem the flow to nothing. No Bank will finance Agents' requirements for cash - as there is no guaranteed return or even garanteed timescale; NO Agent has the required cash reserves to self-fund; and even if they had ONLY the richest would have the remotest chance of survival. So, you are left with a tiny core of 'SuperAgents', each with a small register of properties at KNOCK-DOWN prices in order that they fly out of the door in seconds so as to avoid purchase.

    Now lets look at the above in another light. Buyers will know the score (as many of them are also vendors...), and will be able to use this to their advantage and at cost to the Agent. I use as example 22 Acacia Avenue: Agent prices low; markets property at low figure - yet surprisingly, it doesn't sell. Agent is obliged to buy the property and resell in order to recoup monies. Agent markets property at price A (whilst displaying the 'Connected Persons' clause on all POS material as is required under The EA Act 1979). Buyers sit tight - as Agent starts to panic on day #2 and reduces price by 10% to cut losses. Nothing. Another 10% drop on day #30. Nothing again. You see where this is going... Buyers have bigger b@lls than sellers - ESPECIALLY when the seller is getting his malleted every day by the bankers! SAY for the sake of argument that the nice buyers relent and buy the property with only 20% reduction from the Agent's purchase price. That means that every five properties the Agent buys in, the fifth is given away FOC; gratis; nil; nada. WOW - no wonder Agents are 100% behind you on this one, matey... ;0)

    Look - the list of holes in your idea goes on. I just picked two of the widest and blackest.

    I really think that if you didn't want to be shot down in flames, you should have thought through your proposal first. I don't profess to know everything about the market. I CERTAINLY don't pontificate the way you do on your blog.

    I am a little luckier than most who post here - as I am able to put myself in the position of viewing things from the point of the Agent, the vendor, AND the purchaser - ALL of which are equally important to the smooth running of the housing market.

    • 19 October 2010 12:00 PM
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    AceOfSpades - not a bad suggestion at all! We all know that nothing will be infallible or immune from corruption by those who feel the need - but this would offer an extremely workable option (and in the 'ludicrous' scale it doesn't even register...). Nice one! :0)

    • 19 October 2010 09:39 AM
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    Now, now let's just calm down everyone. This is a VERY sensible suggestion. Now who wants to swing round One Knightsbridge tomorrow and 'value' a couple of appartments I've got for sale?

    • 18 October 2010 23:21 PM
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    Property Match – haven’t you given up on this yet?

    Im sorry but I cant give you another line on this site – as I said , I admire your determination but I think if I was looking at you eye to eye I imagine you would be rocking in your chair and spitting as you talk now.

    But to answer your question – free up lending, that’ll do it

    Can we consider this one dealt with now?

    Jonnie

    • 18 October 2010 17:41 PM
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    All agents to display key performance statistics for the last 3-6 months – listing price, actual sale price, time taken for sale, offers received and so on. This would be compulsory for all.

    There would be a set standard as to how this info is displayed, so it is the same stats you read for any office in the country. This would be clearly presented to the public in an easy to digest manner. The public then have concrete numbers to work with when making any decisions.

    This would force the small section of poor agents to operate professionally.

    I’m not saying this is THE way forward and not even saying it is necessarily a GOOD idea. My point is that I had this in mind after 10 seconds of thinking and it is 20 times better than your ridiculous idea. What a complete show of ssshhh. Moron.

    • 18 October 2010 17:10 PM
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    I can.

    • 18 October 2010 16:58 PM
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    "viable", you said it yourself.

    You do not make changes for the hell of it - your suggestion is abysmal.

    Jonnie - I'm regretting my last post - this guy is a prat.

    • 18 October 2010 16:49 PM
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    OK I rest my case. Now, who can come up with an improvement on what I have proposed?

    • 18 October 2010 16:41 PM
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    that is the whole point of "agency"
    An Agent a takes or chooses not to take instructions from his client.
    What you are proposing becomes a definite sale in 3 months time. "Either you find someone else stupid enough to pay an inflated price for my property or you will have to buy it"
    Find another name for your scheme but do not call it estate agency.
    Guarenteed sales schemes already exist but distressed vendors usually put up with sales prices 10-20% lower than open market value.
    Might be worth grabbing the URL "webuyanyhouse.com" so you can sponsor Sarah Beeney repeats on Dave!

    • 18 October 2010 16:21 PM
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    If nobody bothers to suggest viable changes, even when they might be unwelcome to those who want to continue unabated - thats bad and also pretty sad.
    Lets hope change for the better can be initiated from this very page, on this well-read weblog.

    Don't denounce ideas just for the sake of denouncing them. Explain why please?

    • 18 October 2010 16:08 PM
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    To Tim M:
    I think you need to go back and read this again before pitching in like this.

    • 18 October 2010 15:54 PM
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    To Tony_Harrison:
    Its time to wake up, smell the coffee, and think about what needs to be done to improve the housing market?

    • 18 October 2010 15:52 PM
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    To Julia:
    What I am saying is that we too need a Home Report with a valuation. Thats fine, but in England it is the estate agent that decides the price to market at so its not the surveyor who needs to be penalised but the agent. The agent can disagree with what the surveyor has said (and does, frequently).

    • 18 October 2010 15:50 PM
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    To twl@live.co.uk:
    Good to have some support. Actually, I think the Gov. should make it mandatory for the agent to pay cash, although if they happen to prefer to arrange a mortgage, that would be fine as long as there was no delay.

    • 18 October 2010 15:49 PM
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    To Fortescue-Smyth:
    Good to have some support, thanks.

    • 18 October 2010 15:47 PM
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    To AnonymousCoward:
    If you want to come out and say something - be brave and reveal who you actually are! I'm afraid you need to understand more about things like the Caveat Emptor principle. Maybe lots of agents need a refresher on this?

    • 18 October 2010 15:46 PM
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    To Patricia:
    This thinking is half the problem. An increasing number of agents seem to think they are doing a valuer a favour when answering his or her questions about what has recently sold. Instead, this is about genuine information sharing. Both sides need to want to share for it to work. Clearly there are agents who don't want to share and think they know best? There also seems to be a fundamental problem when agents think there remit is simply to get the BEST price. It suggests no holes barred! It suggests they can fabricate any argument provided it results in the extraction of the max amount of money from the buyer. THis is certainly NOT a professional way to go about business.
    Its more like a dodgy car dealer's behaviour and the car industry as cleared most of those out long ago. Sorry, I think you need to think a lot of what you have said over, very carefully.

    • 18 October 2010 15:44 PM
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    To DeeHess:
    None of those ideas stand up, sorry. We want to get houses sold and completed "in the market" again - not sitting on agent books waiting for the return of the zenith of the market that may not be repeated for decades to come.

    • 18 October 2010 15:42 PM
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    Paul, Yes, that sounds about it. For the reasons please read the full article on the Property Match (UK) blog.

    • 18 October 2010 15:38 PM
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    AOS - you are right but bear in mind 70 of the posts / over half are from the chap who mooted the plan...........more support to the 'he's a loony' party as if it needed anymore

    • 18 October 2010 15:04 PM
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    Well put Jonnie.

    As usual alot of posts commenting about others views, it would be nice to here from someone who actually has a constructive and sensible SOLUTION to the problem which we could all benefit from.

    • 18 October 2010 15:04 PM
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    I totally agree with what this guy is trying to do and say, however this is not the answer and will never happen.
    I totally agree that some unprofessional agency need to stop over valuing and at the same time prostituting there fee’s to very low percentages , it seems the two come hand in hand. Over value and low fee.
    This is due to some agencies not have the sales ability or the know how to value or sell their service.
    One way to combat this is enforcing a certain standard that all agencies must run to and that all their staff needs to pass exams etc on the job they do. Creating a professional agent who can go and value a property with confidence and the ability to value correctly.
    Agents must be regulated and pass a high level of understanding of the job they do. To clean up our industry and cut out the dead wood that brings us down.

    • 18 October 2010 14:39 PM
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    Oh, dear - I bet the RICS are still mourning your decision...

    Explain, then, why this article describes you as "...an RICS member with more than 30 years of experience..."?? SOMEONE gave the journos the duff info - and the RICS will be MOST dischuffed if you are still taking their name in vain...

    • 18 October 2010 14:20 PM
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    "The difference between what an agent does and what Property Match (UK), the online way to sell direct does is: with Property Match, the seller decides what price to ask (not Property Match (UK) - get it?" Oh - so the SELLER prices the property? And that's it? So - Mr PropertyMatch - of your current advertised stock of property, HOW MANY WOULD YOU SAY THE SELLERS HAVE OVERPRICED?? Your argument is fatally flawed. Admit it.

    • 18 October 2010 14:17 PM
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    "Unfortunately, if you were to ask most estate agents to define even what a valuation is, they wouldn't have a clue!" Don't write such utter claptrap!

    "Also it seems that most agents really think that their job is to get as high a price as possible." Actually - it IS!!

    You not tempted to slink away in order to preserve the last tiny shred of credibility you have? OOPS - too late!

    • 18 October 2010 14:04 PM
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    "My first problem is if you are neither an agent, nor a surveyor and are not currently buying, or selling, why are you contributing?" You assume three things in your opening sentence. I only stated that I am not an Agent! The simple answer to your question is that I have an opinion on the subject - and the last time I checked I had a right to free speech! Secondly - I was responding to the post above from "Crazy" - nothing to do with the article. If you had read MINE properly then you would have realised. Get real - the whole world thankfully is not revolving around you although you have stirred up the hornets (myself included)...

    • 18 October 2010 13:23 PM
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    Whoa there Property Match – you’re tearing through here like a stabbed rat with your posts today!

    In some ways I love your blind devotion to this subject, you clearly believe you are right and all that but my god you are absolutely bonkers – if you were talking to us all (rather than writing) I imagine you would have a determined glare and speak in a soft monotone?

    You / we will not resolve the issue of overpricing, its part of a free market, it allows people to try a higher price and drop later, it allows people that haven’t found to try the market, it encourages negotiation, satisfies a vendor they haven’t sold their house off cheap………………………….it goes on.

    You are, im sure well intentioned but you’re embarrassing us all in the industry, and all of us would distance our self from such a suggestion - your principles might be right, your solution is, what the best way I can put this…………no, its no good, words escape me

    Well done on the coverage though - nice one but you appear to be very much alone.

    Jonnie

    • 18 October 2010 13:13 PM
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    BUYERS??? Sorry, Mr PropertyMatch - I thought this was all about VENDORS being protected from nasty-pasty Estate Agents doing a number on them by overvaluing to gain the instruction? You really want to get your act together! Your hidden agendas are coming to the surface in their droves...

    • 18 October 2010 13:12 PM
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    Many of you moan when EAT post an article that is in your eyes 'rubbish'. In fact, some have said that about this specific article.

    Yes, the suggestion is complete and utter nonsense and anyone with half a brain cell can see that. Why, oh why, do you feel the need to give this so much attention? So far, its 152 comments worth at this stage today.

    People will talk tripe and make even more stupid comments. There is no need for ‘professionals’ to get involved plastering their (self-proclaimed) knowledge all over such a pointless and petty article. It looks desperate, to the point where it looks like the article has genuinely touched a nerve – great for the public to see, especially as your time seems to be wasted on here! The general reputation of Estate Agents IS poor – get that into your heads.

    You moan about the current market conditions; get out there and do what you can to make yourselves as efficient/effective as possible. Wasting your time posting boring comments on articles with no carriage, let alone wheels is not constructive and is eating up an alarming amount of some of your time!

    • 18 October 2010 13:12 PM
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    The word 'muppet' comes rather temptingly to mind again.

    • 18 October 2010 13:04 PM
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    A good and intelligent question here. Quirky Listed houses, themselves have a market price of their own but a 12 week deadline to find a buyer should still apply. What we are saying here is the price of anything is that which can be obtained in (a suggested maximum period of 12 weeks - in the market.

    What I'm proposing is that a guide price would first be produced and sent to the owner, along with the EPC.
    Clearly, the EPC would have to be ordered direct, by the owner, not through an agent. I suggest this should be done via the owner's solicitor.
    The selected agent(s) would then discuss and agree terms for marketing the property as happens now but everyone would know that the appointed agent would be liable to purchase the house himself if he had not found a buyer at 12 weeks - provided of course the owner still wanted that. However, if the owner didn't agree, or changed their mind, they could, of course, withdraw the property from the market instead. This would alway be at the owners' discretion.

    To answer your point about agents simply declining to act, that's the precise reason for this new proposal. I assume you are saying that in cases where the vendor insisted on a higher asking price than the agent was prepared to commit to? Then yes, the agent could and should decline - but so should all the other agents too if they are wise. What's the point of any agent wasting time with a vendor that isn't serious about selling within 12 weeks?

    • 18 October 2010 13:03 PM
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    PeeBee, For someone who is not actually practicing in the market, you like writing in this blog - a lot.
    There's no hidden agenda. Its to get the market back into shape. Am I right?

    • 18 October 2010 13:02 PM
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    No. Its the vendor that appoints the agent. He sanctions the terms of sale through the agent. However, if the agent were to realise that the price could be bettered, and he were a good agent, he's arrange 'offers over' invitations from all interested parties; sealed bids even.
    The agent is in the driving seat - not the mortgage valuer, but he must get a sale. Its his job.

    • 18 October 2010 13:00 PM
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    Starting with 'Hang on' is in initial warning about what's to follow!
    This rather proves, turkeys aren't going to vote for Christmas.

    • 18 October 2010 12:59 PM
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    ace, All new ideas are considered to be crackers at first; only some are not! Please read the blog.

    • 18 October 2010 12:58 PM
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    Agents all need to be able to 'value' when giving market appraisals. That's the point. If they did that, they would all closely agree on what a particular house should currently be worth. Competition between agents would then based more on how good their firm was at 'marketing' rather than lily-guilding and sweet-talking just to get more instructions as happens at present.

    • 18 October 2010 12:57 PM
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    My first problem is if you are neither an agent, nor a surveyor and are not currently buying, or selling, why are you contributing?
    No-one here is suggesting sellers should guess their own correct asking price. Please read the whole article again, slowly?

    • 18 October 2010 12:56 PM
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    Don't you think it would be better if agents were trained to give accurate market appraisals?
    I think they have an absolute duty to their client to give accurate market appraisals. This proposal would encourage them all to achieve that.

    • 18 October 2010 12:55 PM
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    I gave up sniffing glue a long time ago. You?

    • 18 October 2010 12:53 PM
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    "Its the agent who still decides what the market will pay." Ahem - I don't think so. It is the BUYER who decided what the market will pay. "30 years experience" - of what, I ask??

    • 18 October 2010 12:53 PM
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    Well I guess you would think that wouldn't you! Its a pity that so many other estate agents also think along similar lines. These are all the people that this new idea is focussed upon. Its time the buyers had some protection from getting burnt fingers in the present housing market. At the same time however, I still hope your finger is on the mend, I do.

    • 18 October 2010 12:53 PM
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    Thank you. You've got it.

    • 18 October 2010 12:50 PM
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    Ray, No he doesn't mean that! I mean that if an agent seriously mis-quotes a house's value, in a bald effort to talk the market up, that agent should have to buy that house from his client at the price stated after three months trying to sell it. What he can then sell the house on for, is then his problem alone.

    • 18 October 2010 12:49 PM
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    I have a problem with this.
    Where did the idea that if agents provide comparables to surveyors, they are are doing them some big favour, come from? Agents should be only too happy to provide the comparables used in order to justify the sales they have achieved, IF they have done correct valuations in the first place of course?
    If they haven't, obviously they won't have any comparables and will naturally be rather furtive about things!

    Even in the teeth of a sale agreed, subject to mortgage and subject to contract, they is still only ONE current market price - and its not necessarily the price agreed prior to exchange of contracts.

    • 18 October 2010 12:46 PM
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    Thank you. I agree the public seem to be totally fed up with the status quo. Bring on the change, but maybe not the water-boarding - except of course for properties being bought in Guantánamo Bay!

    • 18 October 2010 12:44 PM
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    You can't argue that. The 'market' would determine how much estate agents could charge in fees for offering this service. I agree that they would probably be able to increase their charges - but the market itself would (and must) decide by how much.

    • 18 October 2010 12:44 PM
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    Dear Rick, No-one can regulate house prices themselves. A good valuer however, can determine what they currently are. Its a pity there aren't more good valuers in estate agency. Its high time there were. Adopting this idea will bring good valuers into estate agency - by necessity.

    • 18 October 2010 12:43 PM
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    Oh!, but it is Ray. Please read my full explanation on the Property Match (UK) blog.

    • 18 October 2010 12:40 PM
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    Change is necessary in this World; and it does happen. All new ideas are considered to be crackers at first; only some are not!

    • 18 October 2010 12:39 PM
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    Estate agents usually refer to the price they give as a 'valuation'. Unfortunately, if you were to ask most estate agents to define even what a valuation is, they wouldn't have a clue! Also it seems that most agents really think that their job is to get as high a price as possible. In the process, they manage the destroy the market, the level of activity in that market, and their own profitability in the process. I agree its time 'reality' kicked in.

    • 18 October 2010 12:37 PM
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    If you're the same Michael that spent some time in Aus., please look at this afresh. It is a serious proposal for taking house marketing by estate agents forward, not just in the UK but it could be deployed across Australia too.

    • 18 October 2010 12:34 PM
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    If you check, that already happens - its called an action in negligence. Unfortunately it doesn't yet apply to estate agents' house valuations, or market appraisals.

    • 18 October 2010 12:33 PM
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    Oh! Mr Anonymous again? The only thing we might agree on is that the word 'muppet' does come rather temptingly to mind!

    • 18 October 2010 12:32 PM
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    Ian, No-one's disputing the fact that quite a number of houses that agents have on their books are priced by the vendor. The question is, what can you estate agents do about it. I believe this is the answer; for you, the vendors, and the market .com!

    • 18 October 2010 12:31 PM
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    Ironic is the fact that valuers don't value most of the time. They do a condition report and then go to the estate agents offices and ask for a price which they then put down on paper. How come one RICS survey values is different to anothers on the same property !!! ... now thats no different to agents market appraisals!

    • 18 October 2010 12:31 PM
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    Certainly we would Mike.

    • 18 October 2010 12:29 PM
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    No problem with buying at below valuation. No problem with using the valuation as the basis for lending. No problem with reducing the length of the agency contract to 12 weeks. We have agreement!

    • 18 October 2010 12:27 PM
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    I think you need to read the full proposal again. Its the agent who still decides what the market will pay. The thing is, if he is over-optimistic about it, HE pays. This keeps the market moving though.

    • 18 October 2010 12:25 PM
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    Its people like you who have contributed to the debacle we are now facing.
    All new ideas are considered to be crackers at first; only some are not!

    • 18 October 2010 12:24 PM
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    We've already done that (left the market alone) and look what a mess it is now in! Sorry but someone has to take a lead and get this mess properly sorted out; and soon.

    • 18 October 2010 12:23 PM
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    Bravo! The difficulty facing many agents in this debate though is that turkeys aren't going to vote for Christmas. It is going to need our Government to get involved in sorting this mess out for everyone.

    • 18 October 2010 12:20 PM
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    You may be the last to agree with this, but I'm sorry to say its exactly your kind of agency that this proposal is aimed at - in the interests of everyone.

    • 18 October 2010 12:19 PM
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    Eureka! Humptydumpty speaks wisely, even if only just before a fall.
    However, to be effective, the solution needs to be self-policing. Just reducing an agents fee (presumably via a court action) simply would not do that.

    The market needs to be kept moving and the way to do that is to make the selling agent BUY the houses they over-valued, to get initial instructions.

    • 18 October 2010 12:18 PM
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    I agree in essence. Perhaps more than 2 weeks should be allowed though? The whole point is to get agents to be realistic from day one, yet remain competitive.

    • 18 October 2010 12:16 PM
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    Unfortunately vendor surveys are no good because an owner has a right to offer his property for sale in whatever way he likes. He could be forced to commission a survey but its no good if the buyer won't be prepared to rely on that advice. In the initial idea for HIPs, a survey was to be included. So many people didn't like that idea that it was later shelved.

    Anyway, even if such surveys were to be acceptable to buyers, why should the cost be passed on to them when it was in the vendors interest to commission one in the first place?

    At least the last part is in line with my thinking. Agents need to be instructed on their merits and ability to market the house, not on their ability to over-value!

    • 18 October 2010 12:15 PM
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    This idea is too weak, its insufficient. Asking too high a price stultifies the market. We need houses to sell, not languish for months on end.

    Agents that ask too high a price need to be forced to comply with best practice but even more importantly, the house needs to be sold so that others can move and the market can function again.

    I'm glad you think that certain agents are still well known for over-valuing in order to get more instructions and that 'this is holding up the market in a big way' Its therefore time something concrete was done about it. As you may remember the BBC tried to expose this in Dispatches but no-one ever faced charges. The law was never tightened up either. So what should we do next? Doing nothing is both nuts and crackers - not what I'm suggesting.

    • 18 October 2010 12:13 PM
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    Its time, after your 27 years that you see the need for change - please? I'm glad, at least, you see there IS a need for it.

    • 18 October 2010 12:11 PM
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    The set-up in Aus was to counteract the tendency of agents to UNDERvalue. That has not be the problem over here, in fact its quite the reverse. Therefore the same regime as was devised for Aus could not work here.

    My proposals also deal with the vendor who wants more than the agent is prepared to mark the house up at. Its done by getting unanimity between agents, who should all value to the same standard. If all agents quoted close to the same price for any particular property, the vendor would be forced to accept this.

    Those vendors that still refused and tried to order an agent to go above his market appraisal could still have him market the house, but if it didn't sell after 3 months, the vendor would have NO recompense from the agent and would have to suffer not having sold his house.

    However, if it was mandatory for initial guide valuations to be made available on the particulars, this should put any greedy vendors left, off being too greedy?
    In essence, we seem to agree that this new regime is the one thats needed, when you think about it.

    • 18 October 2010 12:09 PM
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    Its true that small agents without sufficient resources may well be taken out. I think agents need to be big enough and successful enough to be able to deal with their responsibility to their clients, otherwise they should not be trading. To trade successfully, agents need to be able to price houses correctly, so that they sell in current market conditions. Isn't that what estate agents should be for?

    • 18 October 2010 12:06 PM
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    No this could not work because the whole point is to get the house sold at market price, so that everyone can move without chains snapping etc. There's much more to selling a property than knowing about the 'buyers beware' (or 'caveat emptor') rule.

    • 18 October 2010 12:04 PM
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    Actually in a falling market, the agent and the vendor would be best to sell at less than the advertised price - obviously, surely.
    In a rising market, the agent should get best offers over …

    However, this proposal is that the vendor would have the option to require the agent to buy at the price advertised.
    This should make the agent responsible to keep the asking price in line with the market.
    If s/he reduced the price but then got two or more offers at the reduced price, s/he should naturally go to best offers over.

    If the vendor decided to disagree with what the agent re-prices the house at and insisted on getting more for his property, even when offers came in at the agent's asking price, a vendor would still be entitled to do so. However, this would mean the house would remain unsold at the vendor's insistence. He could not later ask the agent to buy at the marketing price!

    • 18 October 2010 12:03 PM
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    Doesn't sound v nice, a bit negative. Anyone can say that to anything! Maybe 'M' is right, some late night bloggers are …

    • 18 October 2010 11:59 AM
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    What do you wear - just so that I can recognise you first!

    • 18 October 2010 11:57 AM
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    Why are you another anonymous guy? Have you a better suggestion? Alternatively could you possibly explain what it is about this suggestion that could not work?

    • 18 October 2010 11:56 AM
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    Why are you another anonymous guy? For the record I'm not speaking on behalf of the RICS. I resigned from that Institution before the last house price crash as they would not 'institute' appropriate action. To stop looking ridiculous, its now time to face up to the situation and change for the better.

    • 18 October 2010 11:55 AM
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    Yet another anonymous guy - why? Hi, What the public are WILLING to pay for a house is exactly what this is all about - so whose the idiot!

    • 18 October 2010 11:53 AM
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    I think we have encountered each other before on this blog! Doesn't look like much listening has been going on then or since! The difference between what an agent does and what Property Match (UK), the online way to sell direct does is: with Property Match, the seller decides what price to ask (not Property Match (UK) - get it?

    Actually there IS no hidden agenda. Property Match exists purely because agents are manipulating the market and deceiving the very clients they are supposed to advise professionally.

    • 18 October 2010 11:51 AM
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    No. Actually I resigned from RICS before the crash because they were not prepared to look at how to improve the matters everyone now seems to admit, need improving.

    • 18 October 2010 11:49 AM
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    Best see the answer given to Gary. I'm glad you think that certain agents are still well known for over-valuing in order to get more instructions and that 'this is holding up the market in a big way' Its therefore time something concrete was done about it. As you may remember the BBC tried to expose this in Dispatches but no-one ever faced charges and the law was never tightened up either. So what do you think we should do next?

    • 18 October 2010 11:47 AM
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    No, a market valuation is a price that CAN be achieved.
    The agent is always in the driving seat - not the building society valuer (except that the valuer influences the building society about how much they should lend. The agent always needs to take this into consideration when setting the asking price - N'est pas?

    • 18 October 2010 11:45 AM
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    No, its still the agent, and the agent alone, who s deciding the price to market at.
    On your second point, it sounds as if you don't wish to co-operate with valuers by discussing actual comps? Don't you see the problem there?

    • 18 October 2010 11:44 AM
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    Let me get this right. So you are saying that agents would be happy to fabricate documents? I'm glad you think that certain agents are still well known for over-valuing in order to get more instructions and that 'this is whats holding up the market in a big way' Its therefore time that something concrete was done about it. As you may remember the BBC tried to expose this in Dispatches but no-one ever faced charges, and the law was never tightened up. So what to do next?

    • 18 October 2010 11:43 AM
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    The agent DOES risk incurring the penally if s/he takes on property at a price that can't possibly be obtained. That's the whole point?

    • 18 October 2010 11:40 AM
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    Yet another anonymous guy? These are usually the rudest ones! A bit negative; or what? Please read the full posting again.

    • 18 October 2010 11:39 AM
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    Yet another anonymous guy? If all surveyors who supposedly undervalue houses are called Dr Death, there's one common denominator showing up here. Its actually the estate agents who are over-valuing. Please read the full posting again.

    • 18 October 2010 11:38 AM
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    OMG is a bit theatrical my love. The undervaluing ploys of some estate agents are themselves testimony to the fact that Gov. intervention is still very much needed. Hopefully, these proposals would also fix such underhand behaviour.

    • 18 October 2010 11:37 AM
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    A tad negative. Why, please?

    • 18 October 2010 11:35 AM
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    Its true there is a risk for agents valuing in a falling market. But thats what they are paid for - its to advise on the correct price at which to trade whether the market is falling, or rising. They are clearly not achieving much success at this currently so, new ways of pricing need to be brought in to help them.

    You actually highlight the point well. If the building society surveyor 'down-values' as you put it, and the purchaser can't get the finance to buy, the sale falls through - so the price you thought was good, wasn't. That's when the Gov. need to say to you, YOU've goofed. You must buy the property, so that the vendor can then move on. This way the market will no longer be damaged by your rather serial and failed efforts to sell.

    I don't disagree with you views on letting - but that is an entirely different matter from this one.
    Your conclusion is itself a clueless one, read the full proposal at my blog, please!

    • 18 October 2010 11:32 AM
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    No, are you?

    • 18 October 2010 11:27 AM
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    ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha......

    Where's a gun when you need one!

    • 18 October 2010 11:26 AM
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    If you think this is just a laugh, you need to look into the problems that have beset the housing market for decades now, especially if you are involved in advising sellers.

    • 18 October 2010 11:26 AM
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    What do you suggest in order to improve things then?

    • 18 October 2010 11:25 AM
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    Fine, but what are you prepared to do to improve the extremely poor standing of estate agents?

    • 18 October 2010 11:24 AM
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    That metaphor has recently already been used and is worn out, sorry. Whats the matter, don't you want things to get better?

    • 18 October 2010 11:21 AM
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    No-one is going to lend money to buy the property you over-valued, that's the whole point chum.
    Instead of the poor old vendor having to wait and wait to sell, you the agent should be made responsible to carry the can and buy - with your cash.
    We want to get houses sold and completed "in the market" again - not sitting on agent books waiting for the return of the zenith of the market that may not be repeated for decades to come.

    • 18 October 2010 11:20 AM
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    That's not my plan. Just banning bad estate agency, I think.

    • 18 October 2010 11:19 AM
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    Yet another anonymous guy? No, I'm really serious about the need to improve estate agency.

    • 18 October 2010 11:17 AM
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    Yet another anonymous guy? Not my plan. Just banning bad estate agency is what's needed, I think.

    • 18 October 2010 11:16 AM
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    Another anonymous guy are you? Have you something to hide? See Patricia answer:
    An increasing number of agents seem to think they are doing a valuer a favour when answering his or her questions about what has recently sold. Instead, this is about genuine information sharing. Both sides need to want to share for it to work. Clearly there are agents who don't want to share and think they know best? There also seems to be a fundamental problem when agents think their remit is simply to get the BEST price. This suggests no holes barred! It even suggests they can fabricate any argument provided it results in the extraction of the max. amount of money from the buyer. This is certainly NOT a professional way to go about business.
    Its more like a dodgy car dealer's behaviour and the car industry as cleared most of those out - long ago. You need to think a lot of what you have said over, very carefully.

    • 18 October 2010 11:14 AM
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    Very funny.

    • 18 October 2010 11:09 AM
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    Sorry, I think you need to go back and read this again.

    • 18 October 2010 11:07 AM
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    Nick: I have had plenty to say against your postings in past - but I write now to completely agree with your thoughts! the only 'fault' I could mention is that you are seeing only the tip of the iceberg (although I presume that the reason for this is that is your particular area of interest...): Mr Hendry's crazy suggestion would see all but the easiest, 'guaranteed-to-fly-out-of-the-door-at-the-asking-price-or-above' sales be marketed by Estate Agents. Of course, his ickle hidden agenda goes far deeper than that...

    • 16 October 2010 23:14 PM
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    i wonder what this helmet has experience in - being a total fool?

    • 16 October 2010 13:52 PM
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    Mike...You have not got a clue have you?!You simply cannot lay the blame for house price fluctuations at the feet of the Estate Agent's. A huge percentage of properties that come onto the market, as we all know, are priced by the Vendor and our advice brushed aside. May I suggest you log off this site and do one...?

    • 16 October 2010 13:27 PM
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    Don't know if I'm wasting my time making a comment here (I'm not an agent so obviously know nothing) but I can see a rather obvious flaw with this idea. Would it not lead to agents declining to take on houses that they thought might be difficult to sell? I'm not just talking about houses in need of a price drop. What about quirky Listed houses that will be loved by the right buyer but avoided by most? Such houses may take longer to sell than somewhere plain.

    • 16 October 2010 10:43 AM
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    how the pilot went. Presumably as an intelligent bloke wishing to find favour with his peers there will have been some sort of trial of this magnificent scheme.
    In periods of high demand is it to be assumed that agents will also be required to stump up a bit of extra cash if the vendor, advised by a learned RICS surveyor, feels the property was flogged off a bit cheap.

    • 15 October 2010 21:00 PM
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    Hang on - all of you that think this bloke is bonkers might be wrong - think about it;

    If an agent is late for a viewing he could be hung.

    If one doesnt follow up a viewing they should have to hand over their children

    If they dont get a sale through in 4 weeks they should have to force bees into their eye balls

    There are so many things that would improve the industry.................

    The best one for me though is that if you are a mad old goat running a hateful little business and your brain has turned to mush to the extent where you insult your proffessional body by demanding legislation that a GCSE business studies kid would be laughed at for suggesting then you should be quietly carted off and put on a plane to Switzerland where they have just the thing to help you.

    Jonnie

    • 15 October 2010 19:51 PM
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    sorry. Write**

    • 15 October 2010 17:55 PM
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    personally i think you should right why its a ridiculous idea, because it is, some people dont seem to think so! DO IT! :D

    • 15 October 2010 17:54 PM
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    I am both an agent and surveyor with 25+ years experience.

    I could write endlessly on why this is a totally ridiculous idea, but I will resist the temptation.

    • 15 October 2010 17:10 PM
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    Instead of forcing agents to buy the property themselves, why not make it a PMA offence to "misdescribe" the price? With such puny descriptions of property undermining the art of estate agency...... Similalry, if 30% of the available fee wnet to the agent who most correctly valued the property in the first place, lying to vendors just to gain instructions would probably disappear overnight. That said, if a new Act, the VMA (Vendor Misdescriptions Act) prevented vendors form lying to us, that would be lovely too!

    • 15 October 2010 17:09 PM
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    Look, pal, speaking in my capacity as a non-Agent, I would much rather rely on the opinions of two or three people who spend their whole working lives dealing with property similar to mine, than to guess for myself how much it would be worth. What I WOULD be worried about, is if they thought it was worth more than I DO! So what if they aren't "qualified", as you put it? If they can sell my property at a figure I am happy with, then that's that. I neither need nor want the press to tell me that my Agent is 'unqualified'. I want them to do the best job for me, and for that I will happily pay them the agreed fee. What's YOUR problem with that?

    • 15 October 2010 16:54 PM
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    Mike Wilson: How about everybody leaving the housing market alone to find its' own level, instead of filling folks' heads with magic that prices will return to 1930's levels? That would be a start...

    • 15 October 2010 15:48 PM
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    This is why Estate Agents currently give Market Appraisals not Valuations. They are not qualified and should only be expected to appraise. Nonsense really. What should be focused on is more publicity about the fact that agents cannot value etc...

    • 15 October 2010 15:31 PM
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    This is why Estate Agents currently give Market Appraisals not Valuations. They are not qualified and should only be expected to appraise. Nonsense really. What should be focused on is more publicity about the fact that agents cannot value etc...

    • 15 October 2010 15:31 PM
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    Whereas you're happy for your industry to go down the pan! At least he suggested something. You're all sitting there hoping the banks are suddenly going to be your friends again and re-start the insane lending practices that got us into this mess.
    What's your suggestion for getting the market moving again?

    • 15 October 2010 15:10 PM
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    Whereas you and your colleagues will be able to co-operate on a book called 'How to survive in a housing market with a third of the transactions of a normal market' by 'The Estate Agents that overpriced an entire market for 10 years and broke it'

    • 15 October 2010 15:07 PM
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    are you kidding me! im sorry surveyors obviously get it right all of the time. If the price is wrong the property wont sell. If it does then the so called 'proffesional' checks if the price is correct. this guy has been sniffing glue !

    • 15 October 2010 14:59 PM
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    Dear Timmy - try telling that to my mate who had to off load all his stock last year of second hand BMW's at a loss of between £850 and £2k per car as the market slumped - they now monitor prices one hour - and to think I once thought it would be a good idea if the RICs regulated residential estate agency! (come back NAEA all is forgiven)

    • 15 October 2010 14:38 PM
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    This is really scrapping the barrelllf or news stories, I cant believe that such an item would go to print, it is the biggest load of garbage i have ever read and should be taken of immediately, i have just caught my finger in a door and cut it, i think this is a more interesting story

    • 15 October 2010 14:23 PM
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    Paul, He means we should actually BUY the property and mark it up by some 20 to 40 percent to resell!
    It shows how little he knows and he should retire to a dark room to recover!

    • 15 October 2010 14:18 PM
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    How does a surveyor value residential property on behalf of a bank/building society? Is there a magic formula none of us know about?? NO, they get their instruction from the building society/bank etc and trot off to the local estate agents/developer etc. They ask for comparable evidence of property sold near or close to the property in question. They then knock 10% off the price given to them and send their 'valuation' off to the lender/bank with their disproportionate fee. Job done. Now, how did the estate agent come up with that valuation he surveyor relies on? He used comparable evidence of similar property recently sold coupled with a fair knowledge of the current market conditions (dictated by supply and demand)at the time, plus of course the Vendors input as to value (which in most cases is higher than the agents recommendation, as everyone is a property professional these days). No matter who you ask, Estate Agents are disliked for whatever reason. The simple truth is that if only half of the so called 'problems' with estate agents were true - we wouldnt have estate agents. As with every business there will be individuals in that industry who we would prefer not to associate with, but in the end the market wins and they are exposed and fail. This is not a science, we are brokers, in all walks of life, we all want the best price at the time for whatever we are offering for sale, be it a house, a car, a painting, fine wine - Estate Agents by and large achieve this, if we didnt, Vendors would do the job themselves.

    • 15 October 2010 14:12 PM
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    Chuck, are you serisously suggesting that the owner of the business purchase the property if a sale is not agreed?

    • 15 October 2010 14:09 PM
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    I cannot understand why people think this is a ridiculous idea. Many markets operate in this way i.e. 2nd hand cars and financial markets. Car dealers, stocks and share Market Markers, Block traders and IPOs; they all buy onto their own book and sell later. If they misprice, they take a hit. Hence fewer mispricing!

    This just shows me how backward the residential housing "market" is and their "brokers", the estate agents.

    • 15 October 2010 13:51 PM
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    back in the old days before rightmove for best price and land registry data we used to "price" a clients property with some accuracy based on KNOWLEDGE of our local market.We used to gety it pretty right and sell the house.No tecnology or rocket science.now we have new tools to help us. HOWEVER we know that Charterdd surveyors cant even yet "value2 blind without being told ,by theagent - the asking price and the selling price and then theyt go away and either agree or in most cases disagree

    • 15 October 2010 13:11 PM
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    Therefore it is not feasible in the real world?

    • 15 October 2010 12:43 PM
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    It's perhaps worth remembering that the public at large viscerally despises EAs, seeing them as heartless market manipulators who are ruining ordinary lives!

    Frankly, I suspect that punishing EAs for overpricings is an idea that would have massive public support. I am only surprised nobody has suggested waterboarding or perhaps the pulling out of fingernails.

    Still, there's time eh?

    • 15 October 2010 12:43 PM
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    The idea is "feasible", in principle, and works quite well in the second-hand car industry, and is quite acceptable to the general public in that industry. However, it is financed by a mark-up on purchase (equivalent of our "commission") of about 30-40% or more. I expect, if we tried to offer that service, most vendors would run a mile at the cost of it to them!

    • 15 October 2010 12:12 PM
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    THis bloke is a nutter.
    Why publish such nonesense ?

    • 15 October 2010 12:03 PM
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    What is all this nonsense, calling it a 'Valuation'?
    We should stop calling it that.
    In my 40 years in the business Estate (Selling) Agents are only ever recommending an 'Initial Asking Price', but they should not to be stupid over it.
    The real price (value) is what is paid and on existing criteria it is our job to make that as high as possible.
    Peter Hendry is living in la la land.

    • 15 October 2010 11:52 AM
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    What a cretin!!! Ive never heard anything so ridiculous in all my life. 30 years experience?!?!? experience in what? Telling jokes?

    • 15 October 2010 11:34 AM
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    Its funny a surveyor is suggesting this, as I was considering lobbying Government to pass an Act, whereby for everything works that a surveyor misses that they foot the full bill to have put right!

    • 15 October 2010 11:34 AM
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    What a muppett !!!!!! Best laugh iv'e had in years. Whatever this guy is on i don't want it. He should write a book on how not to run a successful estate agency business.

    • 15 October 2010 11:30 AM
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    In other markets (US, Australia), valuation is done independently by a valuer (RICS equivalent), and the banks use that as the basis for lending. Hence it's possible, elsewhere in the world, to negotiate a purchase at below the valuation, but to borrow against the valuation not the sale price (i.e., you can buy a property at 85% of the valuation, borrow at 85% LTV, and buy a house for no money down.

    I'm not necessarily advocating this, just observing!

    I would say that if tied-in contracts were restricted in law (ideally to a notice period only, but at best to, say 8 weeks), agents wouldn't over-value. We have no tie-in, but we see clients locked in for 24 weeks, which encourages agents to massively overstate the initial marketing price.

    • 15 October 2010 11:01 AM
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    Erm... I've just thought of something here. The Estate Agents Act 1979. The old connected persons cherry(and you don't get more 'connected' than the company itself...).

    So - every vendor would be entitled to an independent RICS valuation to ensure that correct open market value is being paid.

    Mr PwopertyMatch - how you gonna get over THAT ickle flaw in your cunning pwan...?

    • 15 October 2010 10:55 AM
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    Like that's ever going to be implimented.....What a load of tosh!

    • 15 October 2010 10:49 AM
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    Paul - just read his blog/website. 'nuff said! ;0)

    • 15 October 2010 10:48 AM
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    David: This seems a good time to reiterate my previous mantra on this subject. As I understand it, EAT will get their articles from a number of sources - data feeds, article websites, direct from source, being just a few. The point is that the article is out there in the public domain. ANYONE can submit pretty much ANYTHING - as this proves. I would argue that EAT are doing us all a favour by publishing these articles as they bring to our attention matter which you may not be aware of, but someone, somewhere, is reading. "To be forewarned is to be fore-armed" as the old saying goes...

    • 15 October 2010 10:43 AM
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    Oh f*ck, I'm in a mess, I have £18,700,000 worth of property which has been on the market for over 3 months. I'm not sure my bank manager will extend my overdraft that far. Perhaps the Government will bail me out?

    • 15 October 2010 10:39 AM
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    Whilst I cannot agree with his solution I do agree that there are too many agents who either cannot value correctly or are directed to value high. Personally I beleive that agents should be made accountable in some way for misguiding vendors in extreme cases. I would suggest that if an agent is unable to acheive a level within a tolerance of 5% then their fee should be reduced accordingly. Even in a market downturn 5% is quite some tolerance, which should allow for this to be attained. Something needs to be done when agents basically con vendors into using them with very well presented recommendations which are then woefully under acheived. What do you all say?

    • 15 October 2010 10:38 AM
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    I've got to say that I think that this is very, VERY funny. Remember Caveat Emptor - Let the buyer beware. A home owner is "buying" the services of the agent they employ - it is just a shame that their own greed and vanity often get the better of them so they WANT to be lied to by unscrupulous over valuing estate agents. They expect it and WANT it. Oh well, nevermind!

    • 15 October 2010 10:38 AM
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    If all agents worked on a two week rolling contract no agent would have the luxury of 4-6 months to batter the price down and we would all have to be realistic from day one.

    • 15 October 2010 10:37 AM
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    Clearly the idea does not work, but how about having every property fully surveyed by an independent surveyor before any agents are invited to value. The surveyor will then give a ceiling price of what will be offered from a lender on that property. An official letter is then sent to the vendor which covers a four month period and then must be presented to the successful agent upon instruction.
    With the vendor paying the survey fees but with this being passed on to the purchaser in the completion statement.
    It would mean that all surveyors would be on the same panel and would be instructed by vendors rather then them simply receiving work by being on a lenders panel, also and more importantly agents would be instruced on the merits of their ability to market a property at a competitive price and not on just their ability to over value?

    • 15 October 2010 10:37 AM
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    For 27 years I have operated as an agent constantly frustrated by the competition over valuing. Whilst this RICS chap is completely nuts on how to solve the problem he is completely right in wanting to solve it!! If we all valued correctly & honestly, customers would not be able to ask too much and in a sense we would be more likely able to avoid such extreme peaks and troughs in the market and its prices. In my mind agents are partly responsible for the extremes and it is usually poor agents with poor ability who cause the problem. Asking the the agent to buy the house is crackers but whats wrong with the following situation. If an agent does not achieve within 5% of the asking price he can only claim a much smaller percentage of his fee.
    I believe that agents who over value would no longer and some of them would go out of business. If you consider a new market ahead of you, where ALL properties are correctly price the dysfunctional market we ALL moan about would probably become functional. Any comments

    • 15 October 2010 10:34 AM
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    He is obviously being provocative, but the central point is sensible. Estate agents only have a business if property on their books actually sells at some point. Differentiation is hard so a major way to get vendors signed up is to flannel them that ridiculous prices can be achieved. In the end this does no-one any favours - not buyers obviously, not vendors who especially in this market will struggle to sell at silly prices, not agents who need the turnover. Phony expectation setting is bad business and a recipe for misery; the sooner the profession wakes up to this the better.

    • 15 October 2010 10:31 AM
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    with 27 years experience in the property market I can honestly this is the most unenforceable and ridiculous idea I have ever seen, having said this, agents do have to be more responsible when valuing, no matter how great the temptation is to out value the opposition !!!!!!

    • 15 October 2010 10:28 AM
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    Very flawed. But when I lived in Oz some years back, in Victoria if agents were found to have UNDER guide priced to get people to auctions, if the guide averaged over a year of sales was more than 10% wrong then they got fined.
    Most sales agents claim not to overvalue to get the instruction, its always the other agents who do that! I try very hard to set a realistic price and am earning a reputation for this. It is galling to miss instructions due to a greedy unrealistic vendor wanting to hear more. Even more so as a recent case, I valued at about £130k. Vendor wanted to test at £147k. I did at £145k & got a solid buyer up to £132k. Vendor refused & swapped to another agent at £147k. Is now very unsold & I've wasted my time, effort & money.

    • 15 October 2010 10:27 AM
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    Hold on guys this is a brilliant and well thought out idea. How many Agents would be in a position to purchase several properties per month? A few wealthy Independent ones plus all of the Corporate ones. Suddenly the market would swing to the Corporates and as they have tried everything else imaginable to control our business I wouldn't put it past them. Most Independents would have to close, being unable to raise funds to buy a stock. Just a thought, almost as silly as the idea of us buying our own stock but who knows?

    • 15 October 2010 10:27 AM
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    There is merit in the motive of Peters idea and human nature does result in greedy vendors.
    His idea is not new as I have heard and discussed this for years.What would be more practical would be to make agents pay a propotion of the amount they over value by with thresholds.Even this gets in the way of vendors being able to ask what they like,their right and vendors with problem properties may not be able to find an agent prepared to offer them.
    Buyer beware still has to be bettered.

    • 15 October 2010 10:24 AM
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    I think this guy just has a beef with estate agents!
    We are a country of people that like to negotiate, but this process will mean that to buy a proeprty you must buy it at the valued price as vendors will not sell for less if they know the agent will buy at the 'valued price' if it doesnt sell.
    Also one big thing we are all missing is that it is the vendor that will inevitably sell for the price they are happy with as most agents are not listened to on price anyway!

    • 15 October 2010 10:24 AM
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    Paul - "Even if you value at the right price whats to stop the vendor from putting on for a higher price..." I think that would be at the Agent's risk, wouldn't it? Don't worry - it CAN'T and WON'T happen!

    • 15 October 2010 10:22 AM
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    THIS MAN IS ON DRUGS. AVOID HIM AT ALL COSTS. HE'S EASY TO SPOT AS HE'S THE ONE IN THE COCO THE CLOWN OUTFIT. !!!

    • 15 October 2010 10:19 AM
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    Fruit cake, 30 years to come up with that suggestion? And we wonder why estate agents are not taken seriously when fools like that make pathetic ill though out suggestions like that.

    • 15 October 2010 10:17 AM
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    "The need for the Government to intervene in the workings of the housing market is obvious."
    Um, HIPs were abolished largely because of RICS' attitude to them & general dislike of government intervention. What chance does mad control freakery like this have? None, thank goodness, but what a great way to make RICS look ridiculous.

    • 15 October 2010 10:17 AM
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    Try placing the same pinciple on assets such as art...value a Warhol at £5M and then if it doesn;t sell, someone buys it for £5, does this guy not know that something will always sell for what the public are WILLING to pay for a house??? Idiot

    • 15 October 2010 10:11 AM
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    Got you all talking though! I think he's got a point - it wouldn't half focus the mind of all those "buyng" stock through daft valuation. No doubt LBG, RBS et al will be scrambling to offer attractive "agent only" mortgage products...

    • 15 October 2010 10:09 AM
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    Madness. Complete bonkers. The man is making a mockery of the whole industry with this insane suggestion. But then, PropertyMatch makes a mockery of the industry every time it posts its' drivel on this site (yeah, I know, Emma, AOB et al - kettle calling frying pan...), so we should be well used to it by now.

    Perhaps the said Mr Hendry would like to show the world how this proposition would work, by offering to buy every property on his website which is still available after three months? Nowt like putting your own danglies under the hammer first to prove you mean business.

    Oh, hang on - of course - PropertyMatch isn't an Estate Agent, is it? It's a sell by owner site.

    No hidden agenda there, then...!

    • 15 October 2010 10:04 AM
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    After his name, on his business card. Does it say PRICS??? haha

    • 15 October 2010 10:04 AM
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    Were Foxtons marketing his property!!! This is the only reason I can think of, he is upset that they told him it was worth X and are now ringing him to get the price down. What a pratt.

    • 15 October 2010 10:02 AM
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    Surely this is a joke! A "Market Valuation" is just as it says.. A Market price that you would hope to achieve.

    So when Mr RICS Surveyor down values a property on behalf of his client shall we ask him to purchase that property at the lower price, because he's recommending that the lender doesn't lend against it!? Surely if he thinks it is worth less than a buyer is willing to pay then surely he should "Put his money where his mouth is" and buy it as well!!

    Absolute tosh!

    Seriously this has just wrecked my Friday morning! I would really love to meet this complete and utter waste of space, and he calls himself a surveyor!!!

    I would like to remind him that a surveyors price is based on comparible properties, which is exactly how us Agents work! And then they come into our offices to ask us Agents how much we think things are worth!!!!

    Ros, please dont post things like this on here, us Agents need some positive news for once please!!

    • 15 October 2010 10:02 AM
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    How about RICS valuing all properties first then the vendor deciding what agent they wish to instruct based on the best service. Then if they don't sell at their price then this monkey from RICS can buy them back!!! Surveyors never listen to the agents on price but always want comps???

    • 15 October 2010 10:01 AM
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    Even if you value at the right price whats to stop the vendor from putting on for a higher price, then what. And how would this be policed, will it be based on valuation letters that can simply be backdated by an agent to show a different price.
    Also making the agent liable is simply the most ridiculous idea EVER period!
    although saying that I do actually tyhink that something should be done about over valuing as it is holding up the market in a big way, also Foxtons would have to close down which would really make my day!

    • 15 October 2010 09:54 AM
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    Is it 1st April!!!. Maybe after 30 years in the business its gone to his head.

    • 15 October 2010 09:54 AM
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    Oh dear God! RICS you've just been embarrassed beyond anything before. I can't stop crying with laughter. What a plank. And to think this guy may have been valuing houses for 30 yrs. Poor clients. I wander if he's the same surveyor we call Dr Death who constantly under values! Good argument here for not raising the retirement age! Where have your marbles gone?

    • 15 October 2010 09:53 AM
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    O.M..G
    why can't he buy a Harley or take up triathlon like other men when they have a mid life crisis! We have an agent who used to do exactly that. He always ended up saying to his clients (mainly elderly frail ladies) "well madam, as we can't sell your home, I'll buy it off you at the original valuation price" hey presto, one refurb later, he'd turn it! nce

    • 15 October 2010 09:52 AM
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    Here in Scotland, we still have Home Reports, with a surveyors valuation part of this - this pretty much determines the sale price. So going by this article, the surveyor would have to buy the property as they value it initially. Sounds great to me, a guaranteed buyer after 3 months!
    Suspect Scottish surveyors might not be so keen.....

    • 15 October 2010 09:52 AM
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    Surely this is the funniest thing anyone has ever heard :-) Is he from "One flew over the Cuckoo's Nest Property Services"???????

    • 15 October 2010 09:51 AM
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    Honestly, EAT why you publish this self publicising drivel is a mystery to me. I usually take the articles in your website with a degree of seriousness, but may have to start reassessing that view. i'm surprised that hard bitten journalists like your selves were taken in by this nonsense. You do yourselves no favours in giving it the oxygen of publicity.

    • 15 October 2010 09:50 AM
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    I needed a laugh, that has cheered me up.

    • 15 October 2010 09:50 AM
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    Seems we are a bit thin on real news?
    I feel the comments made are for publicity only. The idea has more holes than swiss cheese and is completely unworkable on so many levels!

    • 15 October 2010 09:47 AM
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    Rodney, want a plonker. THE END

    • 15 October 2010 09:47 AM
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    This is an outrage! This man should be taken in front of the RICS Disciplinary Panel and chastised (slowly).


    I'll tell Mrs Harrison about this - she'll be vexed. How's an honest HGV driver like me expected to make a living these days?

    • 15 October 2010 09:43 AM
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    May I also respectfully suggest that this proposal may influence the golden rule - getting the best price for the vendor? Besides, who is going to lend me the money to buy the property we valued - and how funny if someone agrees and it then gets down valued.

    The thing about prices is that RICS purport to provide valuations using the tried and tested method of asking local Estate Agents. Some naughty agents may relish a competitors property being down valued.... just a thought.

    • 15 October 2010 09:23 AM
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    Its the most ridiculous idea I have ever heard, but hey. Imagine a valuation given in good faith, another financial crash, prices fall.....

    Or perhaps we provide a valuation, find a buyer at that price, and the surveyor down values the property!

    The most pressing amendment needed to the Estate Agents Act is to have lettings agents included. At the moment it is insane a sales agent has to be registered for money laundering with all the check undertaken by solicitors and lenders and not a sniff of any cash - yet lettings agents who handle cash without the additional involvement of lawyers and mortgagees are exempt.

    Really
    Inept
    Clueless
    Suggestion

    • 15 October 2010 09:11 AM
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    Anonymous, if you don't like estate agents, don't use one, it's simple. Good luck in trying to sell a house though! The easiest law would be to ban greedy vendors that think there house is worth more than everybody elses for no reason.

    • 15 October 2010 08:50 AM
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    If I write a pointless and ill thought out letter to the government, can I have it published on here to. This site is one big wind up merchant.

    • 15 October 2010 08:48 AM
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    the easiest solution would be to enact a law banning estate agency.

    • 15 October 2010 08:42 AM
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    i have never read so much nonsence in all my life!!! Perhaps the RICS should stop undervaluing....many RICS surveyors dont have a clue on value and often ask us agents our opinion!!

    • 15 October 2010 08:20 AM
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    Away with the fairies.

    What on earth was he doing for those 30 years ?

    • 15 October 2010 07:58 AM
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    His proposal would stop overvaluing and replace it with undervaluing.

    • 15 October 2010 07:46 AM
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    Ros, please check the embargo date on that press release. I bet it says 'April 1st'.

    • 15 October 2010 07:40 AM
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