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Written by Rosalind Renshaw

The founder of a property portal has called on the BBC to axe a controversial property programme.

Axe the Agent? has been appearing on BBC1 during weekday mornings and a second series is planned.

The programmes follow vendors who try to sell their own homes – with mixed results.

But now Lee Bramzell, chief executive of Property Index, has written to the BBC director general, Mark Thompson, claiming that the series is antagonistic and irresponsible, and could affect the livelihoods of 125,000 agents.

In the letter, Bramzell says: “Estate agents are expected to pay their TV licence fee yet the BBC use this money to create a show which could result in the loss of their jobs and ability to pay the licence fee.

“I unequivocally believe that estate agents are absolutely essential for both the buyer and seller. From establishing accurate property valuations to working to secure the best possible price during the negotiation phase, estate agents really are the only experts.

“The safety net that estate agents provide extends beyond accompanying all the viewings for the peace of mind of the seller, but they also drive the different members of the chain to ensure completion.”

He added: “I doubt the BBC will be encouraging their viewers to axe their GPs, fire department or police.”


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    Yeh, the writer of this letter is so concerned about the well being of Estate Agents that he is helping EBAY top launch their property portal service......

    • 17 April 2009 13:47 PM
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    After having a weeks leave to spend some time with my family i feel that the show SUCKS completely.

    I didn't see a massive number / list of buyers names and numbers and there-for cant see the vendor getting the right price or even a sale in the near future.

    Handing out print off's of your home in a market place ? Please,,, Get Real and use a Professional...

    • 17 April 2009 11:27 AM
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    I would begin by stating that I have not seen the said programme. I therefore have no intention of criticising it. HOWEVER, perhaps we should concentrate on getting our own house in order first.
    By doing so we would prevent programmes or news articles like this being made or even being newsworthy.

    I, like many agents pride myself on carrying out my duites to clients with professionalism, dilligence, honesty and integrity. However the minority continue to spoil our reputation for the rest.

    Putting aside current professional regulatory bodies and associations codes of practice. The sooner there is a licence to trade and or recognised standards to which we are accountable, and which carry weight in the minds of the consumer then this sort of sensationalist reporting and programming will have a place in our society.

    None of us the industry are perfect, myself included. I believe having such regulation if properly thought out and drafted, will sharpen us all up, reward the true, bring the errant in to line and most importantly root out the rotten to the core "chancers". Those whose actions bring the rest of us down and provide ammunition to the media will be removed. I am sure a programme about such would I am sure be welcomed by all!

    • 08 April 2009 10:17 AM
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    Well done Lee Bramzell from PropertyIndex.com, a portal that actually looks like it genuinely cares about the well-being of the agents. It's about time more portals stood up for the agents instead of just trying to fleece them. After all, the agents are the lifeblood of the portals, without them they would not be in business, especially the big 4 portals (rightmove and co) with their obscene profits...

    • 07 April 2009 17:58 PM
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    Any property programmes shown during the daytime only attract those that are unlucky enough to be unemployed, or are retired, plus a few others who are at home for another valid reason.

    The mainstream of people who might be interested in the programmes are by and large, out at work, and therefore the BBC will not attract that many viewers. It's not seriously worth worrying about, and will soon be forgotton about.

    • 01 April 2009 14:14 PM
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    I don't think this programme does us any real harm. Private sales are ok if there are no complications, good solicitors up and down the chain, no impatient vendors or purchasers, everyone sticks to their word and everyone can complete the enquiries without blinking at the mass of paperwork. And we all know how often that comes together! Another mis-leading trashy 'reality' tv programme from an organisation that frankly is in no position to cast stones. The feedback we generally get from clients and customers is 'thank goodness we used you' and to be fair I think most agents get the same recognition at the end of a sale.

    • 31 March 2009 10:32 AM
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    In my experience the agent was not acting in favour of the vendor / potential buyer. Therefore stealing money from the vendor by not passing on offers / information of other interested parties to no doubt bag a back hander.

    If a private sale goes on you know exactly what is going on.

    • 31 March 2009 09:46 AM
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    Could we all get together and create a programme called "Axe the BBC"?

    • 31 March 2009 00:05 AM
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    Don't loose any sleep over the show. The one I saw, none of the properties had any viewings and the clients were standing on street corners at night trying to get a non captive audience to take property particulars. At the end of the show the BBC said they were both now looking at instructing an agent. Can the BBC make a daytime show that doesn't involve houses or antique auctions.

    • 30 March 2009 12:00 PM
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    • 30 March 2009 11:46 AM
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    Since when did the Estate Agents Act and The property Misdesciptions Act apply to private sellers. Has there been a change in the law today?

    • 30 March 2009 11:37 AM
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    We estate agents shouldn't be so precious. I do believe we provide a valuable and necessary service otherwise we wouldn't be here. We have nothing to fear as long as the BBC's programme is fair and points out the downsides of private selling. Even if it's unfair, because it's daytime TV, we still have nothing to fear!

    • 30 March 2009 11:27 AM
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    I certainly would not be losing any sleep over this programme.
    I doubt it attracts many viewers in the first place. Whoever watches one episode would need to be brain dead to watch another one! It is aimed at the lowest common denominator.
    The one episode I stumbled accross showed the 'experts' telling a vendor that she needed to tidy her home, make it look more presentable and remove the smell of dogs! If she needed to be told this then all the best to her with trying to negotiate and even converse with potential viewers, HIP providers and Lawyers!
    I dont think Sarah Beenie, Phil Spencer and Kirstie Alsop will be losing much sleep over this excuse for a Property programme.

    • 30 March 2009 11:27 AM
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    Estate agents are as important as GPs and fire men? Now I have heard everything!

    • 30 March 2009 11:24 AM
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    I take it the BBC will indemify the private sellers against property mis-descriptions and the Estate Agency Act 79.

    • 30 March 2009 11:22 AM
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    I fully support Lee Bramzell of Property Index in his crusade. The majority of Vendors in the UK prefer to instruct an Estate Agent. The BBC have shown irresponsibility by trying to tip the balance.

    • 30 March 2009 11:17 AM
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