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Written by rosalind renshaw

An agency boss is demanding an explanation as to why a council has been allowed to set up a residential sales and lettings agency, which is undercutting rivals including his own business.

Elsewhere, a letting agent has been sent to jail after fiddling thousands of pounds from landlords, highlighting the scandal yet again by which letting agents are using client money to keep their businesses afloat.

And letting agents have been named in a super-complaint to the OFT about credit card charges.

Don't miss today's top stories for the property industry

You can read them online at the brand-new Letting Agent Today.

http://www.lettingagenttoday.co.uk 

Comments

  • icon

    Mr Perfect: at the risk of boring you...

    Reputation is everything in Estate Agency. Those competitors of the Agency you refer to are already no doubt slowly pushing the company out of business, by doing what comes naturally to them - SELLING HOMES!

    There are two parts to every sale - the seller and the buyer. OBVIOUSLY the buyers see this company for what they are. According to the latest ridiculous figures from Mr Pryor, only 40% of homes have a chance of selling. Your mate's company (and others like it...) is obviously the cause of this low figure, as most Agents wouldn't settle for less than 60%. EVEN THAT is 30% too low, if you ask me...

    ANYWAY - no buyers mean no sales. No sales mean nothing to crow about: nothing to give new sellers reason to instruct. They will simply choke themselves with the properties they have, and sellers will instead realise that other Agents do not in fact charge "more" - they smply charge TO SELL!

    Now to the point you made to AoS. Your mate is unhappy, and wants to jump ship. Trouble is, once a pirate always a pirate. He is damaged goods. He needs to improve his reputation in order to improve his employability. I wish him luck in that respect. It is EASY - as you are well aware from this site if nowhere else - to get a bad name as an Estate Agent.. How does he expect to change that, if he continues to shaft the vunerable?

    • 26 February 2011 00:08 AM
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    PeeBee

    Fair enough, taking your previous offences into account explains a lot.

    Question for you, if you was an agent in my area what exactly do you think you could do to "drive this agency" out of business. The only thing I see happening is oeple dumping this agent after 6 months or so and then going with another agent, what's the point if they still want the inflated price ? What are these people thinking ?

    Ace, yes he does work for a Micky mouse independent agency, I know he's not happy with what he has to do to earn a crust and he is trying to find alternative employment but it's tough out there. I don't condone what he does, mostly I rip in to him as he has no defence (cruel I suppose).

    • 19 February 2011 18:36 PM
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    Mr Perfect: Prepare to possibly not be bored for once. Your 'friend' is all that Estate Agency is unfortunately renowned for. As a non-Agent, but with years of previous offences to be taken into consideration, I would say that WERE I AN AGENT who was active in the area, then I would work tirelessly to drive such a company out of business. Agents like your example work on what I call the Virgin Principle - that there is always a fresh one to shaft. Although vendors have a free choice as to who to use, they seem not to use common-sense methods of choosing who should be the most capable of handling their biggers and most personal asset. This will never change; sharks will always swim in the waters - but I do not and will not accept that this is the norm. For every one of your 'friends' there are many decent, hardworking Agents - from the Principles down to the weekend Negotiator - who take a pride in what they do and strive for customer satisfaction. And if you think that, by my constant crusading on here for a caring approach by Estate Agents and dropping the Numbers Game mentality; charging Fees that actually allow them to devote more time and trouble to their committed vendors, that I am boring... then BORING I AM! - and long may I bore you!

    I've got more stomach than you will ever realise. I will put it - and whatever else is necessary or appropriate - on the line to defend what I believe in.

    People like your 'friend' and his company, however, are on their own.

    • 18 February 2011 18:13 PM
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    In a nut shell, You have a mate who works for a Mickey Mouse branch and you assume this numpty is an ambassador for the estate agency industry.

    A) Why do you hang around with someone who has next to zero morals and doesn't give a damn about the clients who are paying him?

    B) Should you're 'attack' not be directed to him and other similar agencies - not every single agent in the coutry.

    That's like reading your comments and saying the WHOLE human race are daft, pathetic, a little bit clueless and on a wind up - that's not true for the whole human race. That would be a very unfair comparison.

    • 18 February 2011 17:36 PM
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    PeeBee

    One more thing, they don't do viewing either, it's down to the vendor to show potential customers around.

    Money for old rope!

    • 18 February 2011 16:27 PM
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    PeeBee

    Mr Chuckle said "if this doesn't cost local taxpayers any money and the public get reduced fees then everybody is a winner" What exactly is wrong with that ?

    Now if your upest about him saying "Really all EA's do is post and ad on Rightmove and show people around the house" let me tell you a friend of mine who works in a local EA, the agentcy he works for charge a flat fee of £800 +vat regardless of the valuation to market a property, £400 of that is payable upfront (plus another £40 if you want a premium advert on Rightmove).

    He's told, 'get the instruction no matter what' that means he's to go to a valuation ask the home owner if they have had any other valuations, if they have trump it by £5K to £10K. If no other valuations have taken place he goes in with details of other houses (like for like) that are currently marketed with 1/4 mile, shows the home owner, gives them some old flannel about their's is in much better condition etc, jobs a good un, £440 cheque in pocket and away to go.

    His agency has 193 properties on their books, just 20 are SSTC! Lets do the maths for you, money taken up front is £84,920. Vendors chance of selling, slim, very slim, it's all about the money, get the money now, we'll get them to drop the price a few times, if not they'll switch agencies, they don't care though, they already got half the cash!

    Not difficult is it ? Do you need to be trained to conn greedy home owners ? No you just need to be greedy and have a lack of morals, nothing more required.

    Still got the stomach to defend the undefendable do you ?

    • 18 February 2011 16:26 PM
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    WELL HELLO, Mr Perfect! Nice to see you again.

    Rude... Aggressive... Who me??

    If you believe that Mr Chuckle's "point of view" is anything other than a wind-up, seeking retaliation, then that is your opinion. My opinion is that he has his head lodged firmly within the confines of his lower intestine. Not that it matters, as I also am of the opinion that the organ within his head has either been removed or siimply does not function. I stand by my comments on both fronts.

    What problem (apart from sheer boredom...) do you have with my point and opinion relating to licensing and examinations?

    What, prey share with us, is YOUR opinion with regards to Mr Chuckle's comments, and those of Mr Adam Smith? I assume you do have opinions that you would be so kind as to share with the readers, Mr Perfect?

    Your repeated opinion that I am boring has become... using a property term... "lived in", I would suggest. (Only my opinion, of course... )

    • 18 February 2011 13:28 PM
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    @ Patricia

    I like it! will have look at that more when I get home!

    • 18 February 2011 12:55 PM
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    Barry I take it you are a fan of:

    www.dontevenreply.com

    • 18 February 2011 12:31 PM
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    PeeBee

    The point I made a few days ago about you being aggressive, rude and unable to digest or appreciate other people's point's of view and opinions are refelcted in your posts on this topic.

    Your boring me again, don't you have anything better to do than try and force your limited opinion onto others ?

    Are you short by any chance ? Only child perhaps ?

    • 18 February 2011 12:00 PM
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    @ BarryChuckle

    Congratulations, that should double the size of your CV! Just out of curiosity, what is your current job? Diplomat? Customer Service Rep? Walking target? Or has the employment industry caught on to the fact that your interpersonal skills are sadly lacking, and that you have the ability to inspire digust and laughter at your obvious lack of charm and common sense?

    Either way, do me a favour? Admit that you simply do not like agents, have no knowledge whatsoever of the work and problems we deal with, and then go and play in the traffic.

    • 18 February 2011 11:58 AM
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    Adam Smith: "Only when Estate Agents need to be licenced in England and pass exams will the profession of selling houses be taken seriously. It is easy to sell houses during a boom - in fact the houses often sell themselves. In challenging times such as these, the best agents will shine and rise to the top." Licensing and certificates on a wall do NOT guarantee an Agent (or ANY OTHER professional...) to be "the best". It simply shows that they can pass a test or two and appear to keep their noses clean. NO EXAM IN THE WORLD has been introduced that would allow situations such as bereavement, divorce, pending repossession and a myriad of other scenarios that present themselves to Estate Agents on a daily basis to be 'measured, assessed and marked' for competency. Don't look for an opportunity to roll out a bandwagon where there is none needed. No-one will climb aboard THAT travelling circus...

    • 18 February 2011 11:42 AM
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    @Country Lass

    Good point. I'll have to add "able to use a telephone" to my CV.

    • 18 February 2011 11:05 AM
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    Only when Estate Agents need to be licenced in England and pass exams will the profession of selling houses be taken seriously. It is easy to sell houses during a boom - in fact the houses often sell themselves. In challenging times such as these, the best agents will shine and rise to the top. The rest will run out of puff and go to the wall.

    • 18 February 2011 11:02 AM
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    Barry C my old mate, about 15 years ago I had my house valued by an experienced and well regarded estate agent. If my memory serves me right he said he should market it for £125,000.00. I said I thought it was worth a few grand more and decided to advertise it in my local paper myself. Found a buyer, sold it and made a lot more money and saved on agents fees. Not for everyone I know, but a true story nevertheless.

    Look forward to seeing a Chuckle Agency in our towns and cities soon. Just wondering if most of our lawyers are related to you , always lot of "to me" "to you" going on with them!

    • 18 February 2011 09:33 AM
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    Barry: Your "view" is obviously extremely limited, owing to the absence of light inside your lower intestine...

    And I ain't an Estate Agent!

    • 17 February 2011 16:59 PM
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    Barry, I have to agree with your 'brother' on this bit. I don't know what it is you do for a living, but I am fairly certain if someone came up and classed you as a 'low-skill' industry when they do not see 90% of the work that you do, you would, rightly so, be rather miffed.

    Today for example, I have updated several of my vendors on why their property hasn't sold, including some rather uncomfortable home truths that have resulted in ME disinstructing THEM. I have also shown some people round houses, spoken to several solicitors and mortgage advisors, plus other agents and repossession agents. In between that, I have been bouncing between an asset manager and a buyer trying desperately to stop the poor gentleman about to exchange contracts from losing his soon-to-be new home. I have arranged further viewings, and spoken to the people I showed round yesterday.

    To take a break from all that and stop my head exploding, I popped onto EAT to see that I am being lumped in with street-cleaners (not that there is anything wrong with the job before anyone starts!) that I get in the way of negotiations and all the suits I own are cheap. The £60 job I am wearing at the moment had it's feelings hurt on that one by the way.

    Can you see why EA's get annoyed when people think we don't do anything?

    • 17 February 2011 16:43 PM
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    Barry – to me……………

    Look the reason this lot (and me) are just being horrid to you is because they know the market mate and if it really was as simple as you say then they’d all be a lot richer, need to employ less staff, not bother with marketing, rent, rates…………..it goes on so I wont bother now with it. But the bloke who has made sense of it all is Mitch (see below) what he says is on the money – have a read of that post.

    Anyway, to you……….

    • 17 February 2011 16:10 PM
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    Wow, who rattled your cages? I thought that the idea of these comments sections was to hear different points of view rather than to indulge in a little confirmation bias. My view is that estate agency is money for old rope and it's good for the council to make a bit of easy money.

    Ask vendor what they want for house, stick ad on rightmove, show buyer(s) around, get in the way of the negotiation, job done, buy cheap suit.

    ps. Paul, can you help me with this ladder?

    • 17 February 2011 15:51 PM
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    It sthe same as affordable houses. The govt has 4 weeks to sell them to people while local agents who empl;oy local people wanting to buy a house get left on the side lines.

    No common sense anywhere with govt.

    • 17 February 2011 15:42 PM
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    Im really sorry about my brother everyone – he’s a bit of a plonker and spouts a lot of old cobblers about stuff he knows nothing about, you should hear him in the pub, banging on like a madman about loads of stuff that he has no knowledge of while every one nods politely hoping he will keep drinking until he passes out and finally shuts up.

    Please don’t take any notice, he’s a very sad under achieving no body that has a hateful little job and while he hates estate agents he like to hang around web sites such as yours…………..he’s also a bit narked that he hasn’t managed to buy a house yet and thinks its all you fault.

    …………Now come on Barry, time for us to go say bye to the nice people

    Paul Chuckle

    • 17 February 2011 15:33 PM
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    Barry Chuckle: Prey tell, what job will you now be able to apply for, following your unsuccessful application for the position of brain donor due to lack of relevant qualification...

    And while I'm at it - you may consider those who clean your streets and empty your bins to be in "low-skill industries", but you'd be RIGHT up sh!t creek without them - and I guarantee you wouldn't join them for ANY money!

    • 17 February 2011 14:09 PM
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    "Really all EA's do is post and ad on Rightmove and show people around the house."

    I am guessing from that uninformed comment you are not an Estate Agent. If you had been a fly on the wall when I have spent days going between buyers and sellers, and their solicitors and any other agents involved in the chain, trying to keep everything together then you would certainly not make comments like that, about subjects you obviously know little, if anything, about.

    • 17 February 2011 13:39 PM
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    Barry, if you think that all is involved with street cleaners and waste disposal is the man walking down the street with a bin or the boys turning up on a Wednesday morning with their dispoal lorry, you are truly stupid.

    • 17 February 2011 13:28 PM
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    Councils are well known for providing quality service at low cost, which is why they are all cutting millions from budgets of course! They will never compete in the real world.

    They are out sourcing services as they have now been found out!

    I know a bin man that gets paid for Bank Holidays, then get treble time to work the following Sat, is always home by 2 or 3pm.

    Will they be so keen when the benefit cheats get sorted. No conflict of interest here then?

    • 17 February 2011 12:53 PM
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    I think that councils can be trusted with low-skill industries that don't require innovation such as waste disposal, street cleaning, estate agency. Really all EA's do is post and ad on Rightmove and show people around the house. There must be loads of savings to be made. Maybe the taxpayer can even take a profit.

    • 17 February 2011 12:11 PM
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    Indeed, yes! Let's have everyone putting their property sale in the hands (ultimately) of the Government! Because polititians so far have done a bang up job over dealing with the property market. If the council wants to set up it's own agency purely for the (few remaining) council houses and their tenants/buyers then fair enough, but by undercutting existing agents they are going to be driving the agents out of business, and having the potential for those newly unemployed agents (and admin staff, cleaning companies, board companies etc) to have to go to other areas. This will mean the income for the area will be reduced, and no-one will want to live there!

    And I'm not saying that if a few estate agents close then the whole area becomes a black-hole of lost revenue and empty shops, but by allowing a council to have it's own version of any industry with all their funding and backing will be good for no-one in the long term.

    • 17 February 2011 11:39 AM
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    I guess that if this doesn't cost local taxpayers any money and the public get reduced fees then everybody is a winner. A great idea, lets see more of this.

    • 17 February 2011 11:12 AM
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