A mystery online petition is urging Rightmove to filter its advertisements “in a bid to curb down inflationary / speculative / fake property advertising and block rogue estate agents.”
The 700-word petition appears to be from people from outside the industry although it has some ‘informed’ wording.
It claims that for every house sold in England and Wales, Rightmove receives an average of £260 in revenue and adds: “In the south where one [in] every 12 viewings materialises in a sale, this means more or less a cost of £20 per viewing. Does Rightmove offer good value for money at £260 per property sale? The simple answer is absolutely NOT and this is why.”
The petition then claims that “for every genuine property sale advert on Rightmove there are five to eight speculative adverts. In other words, a genuine home seller will bear the advertising cost for another five to eight adverts which never materialise in a sale.”
The petition then uses as an example London E12; it claims that on September 23 there were 113 Rightmove property listings for sale within this postcode from 41 agents. However, the petition then claims that there were 16 properties sold each month in the first half of 2017.
“Only one in seven advertised properties will sell. Why are not the remaining six properties selling?” it asks.
The petition then claims some listings are not for sale at all while others are “speculatively put on the market at unjustifiable high prices.”
This is because, the petition claims, “estate agents commonly use these tricks – it makes them look busy, they collect buyers’ data and keep property prices inflated.”
After other lengthy allegations - including naming one specific agency - the petition then asks Rightmove to do three things:
- Allow advertisements only for properties which have the legal pack already prepared and immediately available to the buyer. This shows commitment on behalf of the seller and it will reduce the completion time by approximately one month.
- Limit the advertising period to maximum 30 days. After this limit the advert should be automatically removed and blocked for another three months before the property can be advertised again. This will encourage sellers and estate agents to advertise the property at the correct price.
- Introduce a Feedback tool whereby buyers and sellers can report on rogue estate agents. The petition also adds “Block these agents from using Rightmove.”
Estate Agent Today has attempted to find the source of the petition (which you can see here) so far without success.
In a statement yesterday evening, Rightmove told Estate Agent Today: “We review all feedback that we receive from our customers and users, and we have a dedicated team looking after the listings on Rightmove to help provide users with the most relevant and up-to-date properties. A call for changes to legislation such as legal packs for buyers and time limits on marketing properties would be something to get in touch with the government about.”