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Written by rosalind renshaw

Asking prices for homes in England and Wales have risen 0.5% since the start of the year, despite ‘poor market fundamentals’.

Asking prices are now up 1.6% on a year ago.

The property search engine Home, which takes its data from virtually every property portal and website in the UK and produces its monthly reports in conjunction with Calnea Analytics, the Land Registry’s official number cruncher, said that it was hard to justify such optimism ‘in these difficult economic times’.

It went on: “Over-pricing in the current economic climate is simply folly. False optimism usually leads to disappointed sellers, but worse still, it could lead to a home buyers’ strike and consequently rapidly falling prices.

“We’ve already seen such a scenario play out in 2008 when properties piled up on the market and asking prices fell by 6%.

“No one would wish to see a repeat of 2008, but with both asking prices and supply rising despite dwindling demand, this could be a recipe for another disastrous year for UK property.”

The site reported that new listings were 12% up on a year ago and that the Scottish housing market has been flooded with a 48% rise in new listings.

It warned: “In a thriving economy where mortgage credit is abundant, GDP rising above inflation and job prospects look good, such a rise in the number of properties entering the market would be a sign of good fortune.

“However, in the current context of unemployment figures at a 17-year high, a contraction of lending by banks, shrinking economic output and over-burdened consumers increasingly resorting to payday loans to make ends meet, the foundations of a healthy housing market are deteriorating.”

In a separate report, in Scotland, latest figures show that sellers dropped their prices by 3.3% in the last quarter of last year – but purchasers still offered well under the asking price.

The average home sold for around £9,000 less than the asking price, according to the Scottish House Price Report.


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    A lengthy thread, but readers can learn 2 things from it.

    1. The poster Happy Chappy is a paracite
    2. The poster Realising Reality is a plumb

    So not a total waste in the end.

    Keep the 'ole pecker up.

    • 21 February 2012 17:47 PM
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    To make brief responses to a few comments, having been away for a few days:

    Fun Boy Agent on 2012-02-15 12:25:22
    IF (hypothetically speaking, at present) all the other agents should become more knowledgeable and professional at doing market appraisals for the benefit of their potential clients, or correctly, then all you'd need to do, to gain the instruction, is present the higher performance capability of your office and use appropriate charisma in the process. (You would no longer need to be over-optimistic on asking price to gain a reasonable share of the available instructions.)

    Jonnie on 2012-02-15 12:04:13
    I'm not saying it has to be made against the law but those who do it should be expected to complete on the deal, if they make a selling commitment to gain an instruction to sell from a vendor/client.

    Industry Observer on 2012-02-15 11:08:50

    Anon on 2012-02-15 10:09:27
    You summarise the present situation.
    What you say clearly indicates that change is needed. An improvement to the way houses are marketed is needed.

    wardy on 2012-02-15 09:43:30
    Self-incriminating, anti-client stuff if ever I saw it and yes, I can definitely explain my proposals. See the next blog.

    I'm posting on the more recent blog now.

    • 20 February 2012 09:22 AM
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    Happy Chappy:

    Sorry - but I think I explained it perfectly well the first time in the third paragraph of the post.

    • 19 February 2012 22:51 PM
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    peebee - "Everyone's a winner... except the Agent AND the Seller, that is..." please explain a little further, the feedback i have had would seem to indicate this is not the perception of those that are involved in the process.

    • 19 February 2012 12:01 PM
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    To have one of my 'PeeBeeisms' compared to a line uttered by the great Groucho Marx is an honour indeed.

    I suggest however that my comment is both more relevant AND more realistic...

    If the SELLER is better at chipping away the Agent's Fee thatn the Agent is at achieving it, then there is every possibility that the BUYER is just as able to get an extra grand or so off the price than with an Agent who can and does maximise on value.

    To coin another phrase, but to adapt it to the situation:

    "Everyone's a winner... except the Agent AND the Seller, that is..."

    • 19 February 2012 10:03 AM
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    I would reply,

    "stick it in the paper yourself, smartarse", and show you the door.

    It is a shame you had any success with your tactic. It wouldn't be with corporates. Poor indies might have been conned by you. It is a con.. nothing more.

    At LSL, Spicers, etc..

    Branch manager phones area manager and says, I have a smartarese here, wants to instruct us at less than 1%. Area Manager reply "tell him to eff off" 1.75% or go away.

    You are a parasite.
    That is my final word.

    You always want that though, so over to you for your reply

    • 18 February 2012 14:18 PM
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    FBA - your comments are hilarious so far you have called me an animal, gangster and a parasite. I provide a service for my clients who ask me to do this, for whatever reason that may be..(lets say its my 85 year old grandmother) i act in her interest to find the right service and best possible value for money. Please note: everytime i have done this the vendor has been happy the estate agent has been happy and i have been happy....thats why i am happy chappy. If i walked in your agency and made you an offer Mr FBA these are the details of my clients property, this is the valution they place on it will you be prepared to be instructed for £X a....its up to you how you respond!

    • 18 February 2012 13:34 PM
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    And is that for every listing, or just those above a certain value?

    • 18 February 2012 13:16 PM
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    yes, I use a professional photographer.
    I cant tell you waht I pay him. (unless I kill you after).

    • 18 February 2012 12:00 PM
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    @PeeBee "and an Agent who cannot negotiate better than the person they are negotiating with should not be appointed in the first place!"

    ...sounds like the old Groucho Marx quote: "I don't care to belong to any club that will have me as a member" ;o)

    As an aside FBA, you mentioned in a previous post that your lady would get pro photography. Is this provided by a third party and what would the cost for this normally be?

    • 18 February 2012 11:33 AM
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    A buyers agent does indeed buy property, not negotiate estate agent fees for perspective vendors. A different thing altogether.

    Buyers AGents are in the market like any other buyer. They will do the best they can for their client at negotiation and if a vendor sells we must assume a figure was agreed that all parties were happy with ultimately. No axes grinding there.

    This pillock 'happy chappy' looks to me like he is up to activity akin to Messers Richardson and Kray in the 50's & 60's. ----------He is saying to an agent (lets use £ rather than %) your fee is supposed to be £3500, but we are not going to pay that, we will pay £2,400, what do you think of that sunshine?

    If the agent caves, he has dropped the agent by £1,100 in earnings, then he takes a slice of that agents lost earnings say £400 or so, and sticks it in his pocket.

    As I said, no reason to stop at estate agents, he could do it to vets, car dealers, lets face it, any sales orientated business.

    It is parasitical in all respects. It is taking commission off of a salesman. If he gets away with it, good luck to him. But I cant see any reason why this would qualify him to make the many and varied comments he has made on this site in respect of the property market, house prices, estate agent fees, etc.

    A complete shyster. No more, no less
    I want nothing to do with such an animal.

    • 18 February 2012 11:33 AM
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    Unlike you, I have never had the pleasure of dealing with a Buyers Agent per se. Not really a call for them here 'oop north' - and certainly not in the 90s and noughties when I was on the tools...

    I would, however, love to be given the opportunity to down Mr Spencer in one go as an aperitif - then go back for the main course of Mr Pryor AND a couple of his pigs! Mmmmmmmmm... ;o)

    As I see it (...and understand from others...), a Buyers Agent thinks he/she is King D!ck; the only buyer out there so you'd better take what paltry sum they are offering - or suffer the consequences. What they seem to conveniently forget is that YOU, not THEY, have the upper hand - and amazingly they seem able to convince others of this also.

    Tell me if, in your experience, I have this wrong.

    Happy, on the other hand, is... well... happy, I guess, to take on a client (I believe from previous discussions that he has done it mainly for mates and mates of mates); do all the leg-work of "interviewing" a number of Agents; prioritising them; then hammering out a Fee package with them which, if cheaper than his client would have paid themselves (nice and subjective...!) then he gets a slice.

    Now as far as I am concerned, the Agent has a decision to make in this situation - and it can go three ways:

    * Roll over and lose a chunk of Fee - but get the instruction without a fight # :
    * Show him the door (this one sound familiar...?) - and not get the instruction ## ;
    * Find out who is the better negotiator: win or lose.

    As far as I am concerned, it should go to the third option - and an Agent who cannot negotiate better than the person they are negotiating with should not be appointed in the first place!

    # that be the case, Happy should be wondering if this is, after all, the 'right' Agent for his client.

    ## did this myself on more than one occasion. Got the instruction on at least two of those that I can immediately recall!

    Go on - tell me you wouldn't enjoy the thrill of locking horns with a 'pro'! ;o)

    • 17 February 2012 16:35 PM
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    Peebee.....thank you for the input,..you are right I don't make enough to make a living out of it I don't try to...this mainly started as something I did for a couple of friends, they have spoke to there friends who have come to me....for help .Fun boy thank you for the insult I take it as a compliment....I am no guru I don't profess to know how to be an agent I leave that to you, am I anymore more of a parasite than let's say compare the market Is to insurance. If you show me the door fine I am not begging you to take my clients business that will provide you with a profit.

    • 17 February 2012 16:32 PM
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    Thanks for your thougts.

    I have been an agent for a very long time (as you may have guessed). I have dealt with 'buying agents' many times, buying agents buy property for clients.

    This guy is saying he has set himself up as a guru of estate agency performance in his part of the world. He is also saying he will get lower fees for his clients.

    He could try doing the same with solicitors, accountants, dentists, etc.. you get the drift I expect.

    parasite, whichever way you top or tail it.

    If he approached my business he would be shown the door.

    • 17 February 2012 15:56 PM
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    Fun Boy Agent/Happy Chappy et al: If I may jump in here with my own observations...

    FBA - from what I understand and remember, Happy offers a service whereby he will select who he believes to be "the right" Agent to market a property for his client on the basis that he will negotiate a fee discount - and of that discount he will receive a %age. To be honest with you, I don't have a problem with that. All I know is that if he instructed me to sell three hundred houses on behalf of his clients he wouldn't get enough to pay for a Mars Bar out of it - but he'd get one HELL of an Agent in the bargain!

    (in fairness, I'd probably buy him a multipack just for the Hell of it... ;o) )

    There's Buyers Agents out there - they "take money off you" (at least that's what they convince the buyers...) by hardballing you down to the price that you'd probably agreed with the vendor already - then charge them a hefty chunk of the "saving" they have made: there's Agents like you who will (legally and above board) do what they can in order to get the best sale price possible for their vendors: there's the you-know-whos of this world who will stick your property on an unknown website and charge you for the privilege whether ot not it ever gets a single hit... - so why isn't there a place in all this for the Happys of this world?

    I'd kinda like to do what he does! The amount of times I've heard Agents - and some VERY GOOD Agents I would add - roll over on Fees the second someone asks what they are, I reckon it would be money for old rope, as long as you had enough clients (which I doubt)

    But - it keeps him busy (and Happy...) in his spare time so let him get on with it. And don't be so quick to ridicule. He may just be on to something - and I would say there is FAR more chance of that being the case than with some of the chancers we get to hear about here on EAT...

    There. Sorry for butting in - I am sure Happy will add his own two penn'orth! I just hope you guys keep it cool!

    • 17 February 2012 15:34 PM
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    Happy Chappy helps members of the public decide which agent they are going to use, including online agents, and charges the vendor to make this decision?

    If I have got this right I am totally gobsmacked.

    • 17 February 2012 14:38 PM
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    I do not have an online business and I am not anti agent. However, I do think there is room and a need for both on line and traditional estate agent.. I have told you before I help vendors choose and instruct a model and agent that suits them not just the agent...Many vendors do not have a clue how to do this or what alternatives are available.
    I have at no point been taking the pee at all....and at no point did I say I would be a competitor to you I said I would have saved your client money and got the same result...I stand by that....my quote was from the film Taken.

    • 17 February 2012 13:11 PM
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    Somewhat dissapointed that Happy Chappy is just on Online agent an not relevant, I sort of thought he was better than that, oh well dos rather put his posts in the bin now. Shame really.

    • 17 February 2012 13:04 PM
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    No nerves hit whatsoever.

    Your business acumen 'as you put it' is on the low side, going towards none.

    Stop talking in riddles like a schoolboy turd,

    If you have an online business, say it.

    Talk plainly about what you are on about, and I may (just may) give you some credit.

    All you prove to me here is that you feel you are a competitor to me as an Estate Agent, you could do a better job than me but for cheaper, but you have no idea how to do it other than rip the wotsit out of genuine EA's on this site.

    Pure 'tosspottery' (as someone calls it)

    • 17 February 2012 12:31 PM
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    FBA - did I hit a nerve wow what a vitriolic response, fyi I make money out of the industry all ready but it is not my primary source of income....what do you know about my business acumen. .“I have a particular set of skills that make me a nightmare for people like you” lol.
    Yes I have no plans to be an EA (it was a little joke), I have an opinion on house prices it is probably not the one you often accuse me of.

    For what it is worth I did genuinely mean that I admired you approach probably the right course of action from the estate agents perspective and probably what I would do if I was one. But as I asked please demonstrate where you were working in the interest of your client.

    • 17 February 2012 11:42 AM
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    Go for it Happy.

    Stick your money up and be an EA.

    How much money do you think you will have kissed goodbye to before you received your 1st £1 income?

    Let me know once you have done so.

    You are so wrong it is not worth a reply, you can rotate your thoughts in your own world that is your mind and thoughts and claim high ground without basis. You obviously have no idea about business and EA. You have opinions on house prices, if I were you I would stick there.

    Such tosh is woeful in the extreme.

    You are truly misguided

    • 17 February 2012 09:07 AM
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    FBA - nice work this is a good example of how to do business as an agent I am not joking I admire it. . Now let's look at it from your clients perspective what percentage did you charge ..did you agree to lower your fee after 3 weeks because it didn't sell.....will you offer something another agent won't you have virtually admitted you don't. ... If she and you were in my area and she came to me I would have saved her thousands and made a bit myself for doing so.....you know it and I know it huh! Perhaps I should become an EA lol

    • 16 February 2012 23:55 PM
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    Dave, a life-long city man, tired of the rat race, decided he was going to give up the city life, move to the country, and become a chicken farmer. He bought a nice, used chicken farm and moved in.

    As it turned out, his next door neighbor was also a chicken farmer. The neighbor came for a visit one day and said, "Chicken farming isn’t easy. Tell you what. To help you get started, I’ll give you 100 chickens."

    Dave was thrilled. Two weeks later the neighbor dropped by to see how things were going. Dave said, "Not too well. All 100 chickens died." The neighbor said, "Oh, I can’t believe that. I’ve never had any trouble with my chickens. I’ll give you 100 more."

    Another two weeks went by and the neighbor stopped by again. Dave said, "You’re not going to believe this, but the second 100 chickens died too."

    Astounded, the neighbor asked, "What went wrong?"
    Dave said, "Well, I’m not sure whether I’m planting them too deep or too close together."

    This bloke is a thicko. He knows more about chickens than property

    • 16 February 2012 17:25 PM
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    Ah ha PeeBee,

    I will take your advice, day job it is.

    Sibley's Bastard Child,

    It goes in the mix, funny enough today I exchanged 2, got 2 new instructions and completed 2. That is a steady market to me, in with the old, out with the new, keep the door revolving.

    If my dodgy Lady gives up, I will have a curry on the balance of the £400.

    Chip away I will, it is what I do best in these hard times.

    No wucking furries, as the Aussies say.

    • 16 February 2012 16:51 PM
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    Ah finally FBA, the update.

    Fair enough you've won the instruction although you'll have to leave the triumphalism till you actually complete.

    Remind me, what did she want to list it at (£) and what did you stick it on at?

    • 16 February 2012 16:34 PM
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    Good luck to you trying to sell it, look forward to hearing how it goes.

    But you have hardly set a great example here, you said it will probably get offers between £710-£730, you put your extra little toppy price £750k and add another £100k so the vendor is happy at £850k.

    Even with a plan in place, you had better hope you become good friends, has roughly haven't to chip that vendor down £150k won't be easy work.

    • 16 February 2012 16:33 PM
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    Dippy Dave what about Japan, you have not mentioned it for 2 minutes?

    • 16 February 2012 16:32 PM
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    FBA: Every now and then - and NOW is one of those moments - you post something that makes me hope that you never give up your day job in search of fame as a comedian. ;o)

    • 16 February 2012 16:19 PM
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    As I suspected, no HPC’er could come up with a solution that would satisfy both the need for me, as an agent, to win an instruction but at the same time ensure a property enters the market at a ‘ready to go’ realistic price.

    A few (even agents) seem to think it would be possible to let another agent take the instruction today and go back to retrieve the instruction in months to come whem the other agent fails.

    Why do these people think the other agent will fail, albeit at a lower figure, or think she will change her loyalty in the future. If the agent does his vendor care job well, the Lady will not drop him and come to me. That is not a business plan, that is a hope. I have hope, I hope those who posted in that vein do not plan their (or their bosses) business that way, that is chancing too much.

    No.. I did this:

    I signed her up.

    Explained the market may be less than she hoped and the reasons why. I agreed to try her high figure for 3 weeks and made an appointment for our diaries to meet in 3 weeks to discuss results. I discussed a strategy for reducing down to meet the market in quick time. She agreed in the end.

    I asked where she would like to move to. She told me a road, development and type of building that is her ideal. I explained we had a tenanted property exactly where she wants it and the owner will be selling in 6 months when his current tenant vacates. She wants this property... kerching!

    I offered her a free EPC, professional photography, etc. Pay me nothing if we sell, but pay me £400 if she, changes agent, withdraws from market or goes joint agency. “FREE” ?? she said. That’s a good deal, the other agent wanted £80 for EPC.

    She wont leave me, she won’t want to pay the £400.

    She will sell, she wants the smaller house.

    We will become bestist mates over the next 6 months.

    Updates to follow.

    • 16 February 2012 16:08 PM
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    Your posts are boring, repitive, worthless and basically a load of old tripe.

    at least yours are top quality

    • 16 February 2012 15:57 PM
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    Your posts are boring, repitive, worthless and basically a load of old tripe.

    • 16 February 2012 15:28 PM
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    I'm not the one suggesting your posts are pointless

    they actually give me a warm fuzzy feeling

    keep em coming

    • 16 February 2012 14:00 PM
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    The report doesn't say EAs have been overvaluing property; that would be incriminating, since it is now an illegal activity ; )

    In reference to the average time on market, that's only half the quote though PeeBee:

    Quote: 'The typical (median) time on market for unsold property has fallen back by 7 days since last month, somewhat earlier than seasonally expected. However, much of this reduction can be accounted for by the recent surge in supply in all regions except Greater London.'

    Although Scotland is mentioned in EAT's write-up, the full report also highlights how asking prices in Wales are definitely on the slide. Typical time on the market there has exceeded 200 days!
    Quote: 'Asking prices for properties for sale in Wales have experienced a difficult few years. Despite a 23% increase in new instructions, vendors in Wales (contrary to their counterparts in the South East and Scotland) are under no illusions regarding the state of their housing market and home prices continue to fall.'

    Interesting reference to the effect inflation is having on houses as an investment too.
    Quote: 'Comparing ONS figures (RPI ex. housing) and the YoY change in asking prices shows that, in real terms, capital invested in UK property has been continually eroded since March 2008.'

    • 16 February 2012 13:52 PM
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    dave: "stop trying to stifle opinion and free speech"

    WHAT?? I was VOICING AN OPINION! So take a leaf out of your own book - and cease trying to stifle my right to opinion and free speech!


    • 16 February 2012 13:41 PM
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    rant: I don't think that it states anywhere in the report that these rises are due to Agent optimism or folly - it actually cites over-optimistic VENDOR expectations. Only in the posts below does the Agent's part in this pricing come onto queston - and LO! who the instigator is...

    But, the reportt DOES state that, despite this 'reckless' pricing game, the average time on the market has DROPPED by seven days since the last monthly report...

    Coincidence? I think not...

    • 16 February 2012 13:32 PM
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    Spartacus, rents are dictated by income, not necessarily by demand.

    A landlord can only extract a maximum £ per month before voids/rental arrears make it uneconomical to demand more.

    • 16 February 2012 13:06 PM
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    nothing said here will make any difference to what happens in the future...but it IS a discussion board for people to share their views,whether people listen to them or not.

    stop trying to stifle opinion and free speech

    • 16 February 2012 13:04 PM
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    as prices plunge,ftbs will buy rather than rent as banks start offering 90-100% mortgages again as property risk reduces.

    this means there will be a glut of rentals unlet and rents will plunge

    rented property is not fit for purpose offers no security and is just used as an atm

    when the tide turns,people with portfolios of property will be facing bankruptcy

    • 16 February 2012 13:01 PM
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    Whatever happened to this proposal reported by EAT six months ago?

    '...Agents who deliberately overvalue in order to gain an instruction will be guilty of a breach of the law, new guidance has underlined...'


    • 16 February 2012 12:23 PM
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    dave: Your 'thoughts' are well documented on this site - and I would imagiine several others.

    Look. Investors, like any other buyer of anything else, make decisions. Investments are a risk. Investors take risks - sometimes they pay off; sometimes they don't. But to them, the risk is justifiable otherwise they wouldn't do it.

    'Normal' homebuyers - owner-occupiers in other words, are another matter. They (in the main) buy because they want to 'own' the roof over their heads. Rent - and they are simply paying someone else's mortgage or topping up the coffers.

    Agents sell houses to whoever want to buy them; can afford them; and are in a position to do so. And there are ALWAYS people out there with those three magical qualities. Maybe not in the numbers that people selling homes would like - but they are there.

    If they WANT to buy, then you harping on about SE1 becoming the next Ginza district won't make a jot of difference to them as
    a) they will do it anyway for the reasons above, and
    b) your comments will be listed on about page 1,000,016 of a Google search - so you are wasting your life banging them out on a keyboard as no-one will ever find them.

    Sorry and all that - but sometimes home truths need to be told - even if they hurt somewhat.

    Somehow, I seriously doubt you'll take a jot of notice of what I've said, however...

    • 16 February 2012 11:30 AM
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    Its not me



    • 16 February 2012 11:14 AM
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    good, it was ment to be.

    dave let me ask you a question. What do you think happens to rental ammounts when people cant buy property? Do they go up or down?

    • 16 February 2012 11:13 AM
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    its not aimed at anyone in particular which is the difference

    your post is however personal to me and rude.

    I'm not wrong...things are so bad out there that property as an investment is likely to be a stone round someones neck

    I think this is relevant to a discussion on a property website.

    Its not too late to get out

    • 16 February 2012 10:54 AM
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    @ dave, a few of your posts

    ‘anyone who doesn't realise we are in the biggest property bubble in history is plain stupid.’

    ‘lets face it..anyone who thinks that property prices are going any way but down has a degree in stupidity’

    Is that arguing the point or being personal? I’d say that calling people with a different view to yours ‘stupid’ is quite personal. It may not make you nasty but it does make you boring, dull and wrong.

    • 16 February 2012 10:45 AM
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    people should argue the point not the person.

    its a discussion board for all views...just because I think prices are going to tank doesn't make me a nasty person

    I've already pointed out that transaction numbers would probably double if that happened

    I think its fair to warn anyone interested in buy to let that the party is over and prices may be lower than today in 20 years time.

    • 16 February 2012 10:13 AM
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    '@ Industry Observer': Erm... in a nutshell, no.

    Your Hot Buyer 'A' may well be desperate for a particular property, but NOT QUITE be able to afford it at the price you KNOW it can sell for.

    Using your analogy, you would price the property to suit the pocket of that buyer rather than to achieve a better price from a buyer who may not become known to you until tomorrow, or the next day, or even next month.

    But thanks for an abject lesson in how NOT to market a property.

    Poorest example of sales nous I have seen in over three decades...

    • 16 February 2012 00:38 AM
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    Knowing the applicant base and knowing it well is more important than knowing the property.
    The two examples in this thread both show that neither yourself or FBA really knew your own market at that particular point in time.
    Good Agency is not knowing what you can get for each property it is knowing who you can get for each property.

    • 15 February 2012 23:50 PM
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    A lot of these abusive posts with strange names or blank names are a guy called Nollag from MSE. He has mental health issues and is here to spoil debate. I think you will recognise his posts and see how much he has ruined the quality of threads over last month since his arrival.

    • 15 February 2012 23:13 PM
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    old school....have you sold every property you took on? no.... oh perhaps it because you allowed the vendor to overvalue them.

    How did you know i fixed rockets?? :0)

    • 15 February 2012 20:22 PM
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    Since when is owning your own cave a necessity?

    Yes I laughed a lot too when I saw POTW post at 1450 in response to FBA - in fact quite a few of the later posts are the most entertaining here.

    Sadly I see Dave is still around and pumping out his usual tripe (appropriate for a framer perhaps?) this time as someone else has flagged up referring to Seekers who went out of business years ago.

    But just to balance the books with a lettings story like FBA I had a case may years ago where a Landlady who was a complete nightmare had a lovely property, a flint cottage (no, not a cave!!) just outside Basingstoke. She also had a great tenant, businessman who commuted from West Country Sunday evening and went home Friday afternoon.

    He pout up with her pestering him - she lived in France but had some sort of pied a terre over the detached garage and used to stay a w/end in about 6, and he gave us his notice - in early December.

    Landlady wanted £750 for it (thios is 15 years ago and it wasn't that dramatic a place) as new rent, old one I think was £675 and we are not talking rising market here. If it was worth a penny over £700 I'd be surprised. We suggested £725, she went with a (then) corporate who agreed with her £750 and got it within a week.


    Because they by sheer chance had an enquiry from a company desperate for a property for an American flying in from Dallas the following week and would probably have paid £800

    Did that make them right or me wrong? It happens - they were prepared to pay in effect a premium rent and it is news of these 'freak' sales and lets, contrary to the normal market, that motivates and inspires some of these high price seekers, be it renting or selling, to hold out for more.

    When proved right against the tide they can be insufferable!!

    • 15 February 2012 19:44 PM
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    Brit1234 , who would want to be you? I bet even you would rather be someone else, even your mum don't like ya!

    • 15 February 2012 17:14 PM
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    Seekers did so well they are still in business where still thick Dave?

    You have to be a plant no one can be this stupid can they????

    • 15 February 2012 17:10 PM
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    Well thank you Happy. All these years I have been winning profitable instructions but for the life of me could not work out why I wasn't making a profit.

    cuuuuuh! to think the answer was starring me in the face all these years.

    Don't you have Rockets to mend or something?

    • 15 February 2012 16:53 PM
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    seekers in the 80s had an upfront fee policy around £299 or £399...actually did quite well

    there is a market for it but thousands is more tempting

    won't make any difference whether a property sells though

    a buyers market is very difficult if you are unused to it

    thats if the bank don't call in your overdraft first that is ;-)

    • 15 February 2012 16:51 PM
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    Will let you know tomorrow Sibley's B'stard Child.

    I am off out on appointments for the rest of today.


    • 15 February 2012 16:24 PM
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    Old School...Its only profitable if it sells.

    • 15 February 2012 16:05 PM
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    Sorry FBA, just noticed I credited Jonnie with your story.

    C'mon then, what was the upshot?

    • 15 February 2012 15:31 PM
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    Lets say she came in and said I want you to sell my property for £4K and I'll pay upfront would you turn it down?

    Right yes and what if there was a money back guarantee if it didn't sell?

    • 15 February 2012 15:28 PM
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    POTW......lol that made me laughe many agents will and indeed do use that tactic and quite succesfully....but those are the very agents i warn people not to use. Is such an agent acting in the interest of his client...and would you pay £12K for that kind of service?

    Lets say she came in and said I want you to sell my property for £4K and I'll pay upfront would you turn it down?

    You say he the 'no sale, NO FEE WHATSOEVER' mentality is too entrenched....in who the vendors or the agents?

    • 15 February 2012 15:14 PM
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    Value the property and add 10% for a haggle and it doesn't sound as if FBA's competitor is too wide of the mark. They have certainly got FBA licked!
    Perhaps FBA needs to invest some cash into specific training on how to win profitable instructions?

    • 15 February 2012 15:08 PM
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    Anon: 'What would happy to pie in the sky vendor self valuations if they had to pay an up front fee to the agent marketing the property?'

    Never going to happen. Even when HIPs were around some agents swallowed the cost - even if the property didn't sell because the vendor changed their mind.

    The 'no sale, NO FEE WHATSOEVER' mentality is too entrenched.

    • 15 February 2012 14:53 PM
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    To Fun Boy Agent: I would suggest that you tell her you want to try the market with a figure of 875k.

    I'd tell her that houses at the top end of the market (flattery) have the potential to attract that special buyer who simply must have the house blah blah.

    I'd take the instruction and spend as little money as possible on marketing. I would produce a high quality brochure though - these twerps love a brochure with the whole of the front cover taken up by a picture of their beautiful house. I'd create and print it myself - on the basis that she's the only one who is ever go to get one.

    Then, stick it on Rightmove and wait.

    • 15 February 2012 14:50 PM
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    Happy Chappy raises an interesting idea.

    What would happy to pie in the sky vendor self valuations if they had to pay an up front fee to the agent marketing the property?

    Would the reintroduction of the HIP stop pie in the sky vendor self valuations?

    The market is very different now than it was when the HIP was first introduced.

    • 15 February 2012 13:38 PM
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    Hants EA you did not really answer FBA's question but by play the long game do you mean agree the higher value?

    For what is worth and I am not a HPC'er. I believe a skill required of agent is the ability to judge a prospective clients motivation and desire to sell (no two vendors are the same) Without meeting this woman who can tell what is the right answer but based on what you have said. I'll say this.

    If you dont think she can be persuaded on price...I would suggest you politely stick to your guns on the value. If you over value you may incur costs you will never recover....while you try talk her down, she my refuse to do so until she eventually moves agent while labelleing you a useless because YOU over priced it. (it can't be her fault can it) nice ammunition for your competitors eh!

    What did you do I am interested.....I wont be saying its right or wrong....(we will only know when/if it sells)

    Note: I am also assuming you were only working on a no sale no fee model (did you discuss others with her?). If she really believes she knows as much as she does and the house is the best why is she using a raditional agent at agent at all...its going to cost her £12K for house that she believes will sell itself!?

    • 15 February 2012 13:22 PM
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    Think most would go for overvaluing and (even as a dastardly HPCer) I can completely understand this logic.

    As you say, you have two choices - you can overvalue, win the instruction and then have an outside chance of talking the vendor down later. Or you can have no chance of a sale by being honest in the first place.

    It would be fine if no EAs overvalued but obviously that's never going to happen, and the logical conclusion of the combination of unrealistic asking prices and buyers with lower purchasing power is that volumes will continue to fall and EAs will be surviving on even smaller scraps or closing down. Its the perfect prisoner's dilemma really, but in the long run perhaps fewer EAs may mean less competition = less overvaluing..

    @ Jonnie - you forgot to say, anyone who doesn't like EAs smells of poo as well.

    • 15 February 2012 13:03 PM
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    Nice anecdote Jonnie, pretty much sums-up the worst of vendors' mentality. Mortgage paid-off, probably paid a threepenny bit for it in 1956, and no doubt expects to get 20% off her next purchase.

    Sounds like (regardless of rival EA f*ckwittery) she 'knows' the value of her prop and I don't think it's even worth playing ball and sticking it on at 850k as I doubt she'd drop the 100k (even over the course of the 12 weeks or whathaveyou).

    Equally, she's sneer at a more realistic asking price.

    Easy for me to say but I agree with Hants EA, walk away and step-in when the prop still remains unsold 6 months from now where she might be more - ahem - realistic.

    • 15 February 2012 13:00 PM
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    That is probably the most constructive, important post on this site for a while and one that is sure to remain unanswered by HPCers.
    The problem is that what you described has always/will always be the case. It’s not new, it’s not something that only started in 2007, it’s the way it has worked for decades. HPC and the like are looking for someone to blame. Realising Reality blames us because he can’t compete with us, dave blames us because he can’t afford something he wants and the rest of HPC think we are all wealthy BTL investors with massive portfolios. (if you think we go out valuing, whilst thinking I'd better pep this up because I don’t want the price of my let out flat to drop, you are in la la land.)
    It’s a shame that the most out spoken people on these discussion boards are the outsiders looking in, like Jonnie says, miss informed mostly and with an axe to grind, be it personal (in daves case) or commercially in Realising Reality's.

    • 15 February 2012 12:56 PM
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    Depends whether you want a reputation locally as a knowledgeable straight shooter, or a scheming spiv who'll say anything to get an instruction.

    I would play the long game and try to cultivate a reputation.

    • 15 February 2012 12:38 PM
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    Somebody is pretending to be somebody pretending to be me. I withdraw my apology, I meant to cause offence.

    • 15 February 2012 12:31 PM
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    HPC'ers, please advise me.

    I want to know if your opinions on an Estae Agency News website are of any value to me or anyone else in the profession who reads here when it comes to valuation (property prices) and pitching for business.

    I went to see a Lady yesterday who will put her property on the market this weekend. (Definite).

    She had me and two others around.

    The house is untidy inside and uninspired. She told me up front she had checked other property for sale similar and nearby and knew what she wanted 'for it'. She wants to downsize and have no mortgage. She wont sell if she doesn't get what she wants for it, and in her opinion her house is the nicest in the road (it is far from it).

    I could see her property is worth around £750,000 top, maybe a good offer between £710,000 & £730,000 may be hers to consider within a few weeks if she prices correctly now.

    My Lady (after some questioning) revealed that the other agents had told her £830,000 and £850,000 respectively. What is more, she revealed that that in her opinion £850,000 was the right figure.

    The agent who told her £850k did a similar trick with a nearby property in November. My figure estimated to the owner of the nearby property was was£770k to £800k, the owner went on the market with my competitor for an asking price of £900,000k. This advised by my competitor. My competitor got a sale agreed in January for £790k. The fee? Best part of £12k.

    So, advise me with the Lady I met yesterday

    Should I walk away?
    Stick to my guns £750k top and let her decide?
    Sign her up for £850k and work on it?

    Let me know what you think I should have done.

    Later I will let you know what I did.

    • 15 February 2012 12:25 PM
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    @BRIT1234 The Real One

    If this is the case I apologise for using you as my example of tosspottery at its worst

    Anyone that can be bothered to read my first post on this article please replace all reference to BRIT with Dave or Don


    • 15 February 2012 12:16 PM
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    Some one is using my name on here, it is not me.

    I appologise if any offence was caused but it is an impersonator. The moderators can support this my compairing email addresses.

    • 15 February 2012 12:08 PM
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    No, the conversation when they take the instruction goes along the lines of seller rings and says yes they want to go ahead but have seen three others and want to discuss price, agent holds nerve and gets back round to see client and has a decent chat about the price issue, runs back through the comparables etc and agrees a price a bit higher that what he / she said but lower than the Monkey that topped the pants off it and gets a reduction in about 2/3 weeks once hes proved the monkey wrong.

    Plus – I have a theory and its about being a mug, I think certain people end up always getting a poor deal on everything – this might be a crap job, ugly bird, dull mates, shit car, cant hold a drink, cant do jokes, picks rubbish estate agent, ends up with ill fitting jeans, - you see the pattern here.

    You never get some smart, successful, handsome bloke with a fit wife and lovely kids, top job and a nice gaff in a pretty suburb moan about estate agents because they are not mugs and a can spot the good ones and they listen to us…………………even if we don’t have many o levels and a degree in something odd following a sexless, dull and un eventful spell in uni where no one remembers us for anything like some mugs out there.


    • 15 February 2012 12:04 PM
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    I LOVE a good flame war on EAT.

    I am in a good mood as I have just exchanged a house that I agreed the sale on exactly 366 days ago.


    As one Mr. "Neo" Anderson once said "The problem is choice..."

    Both @Anon and @IO have good points.

    As far as Mr & Mrs General Public are concerned, all estate agents ARE the same. Why? Because Rightmove & FAP makes us all look the same.

    Vendors all know that we take photos, write up a crap description, pop it on the interweb & cross our fingers.

    The difference is the staff who answer the phones when someone calls in.

    But how do I prove this to a vendor when I am doing a valuation.

    Worse still, they all agree with you but then still instruct the cheapest agent with the highest price.

    One local agent here even has a member of staff whose main job is to keep vendors happy with a weekly call which involves getting their price down. It works because he has nearly 200 properties on the market at any one time, many overpriced on purpose to snag the instruction.

    He is also the agent that will take it on at any fee regardless.

    That said he is also the number 1 agent in the town by miles and miles - in 2006/ 2007 he put well over £1million in the bank.

    It works ladies and gents, it WORKS.

    Mind you I think it is a horrid way to do business.

    • 15 February 2012 11:58 AM
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    Dave is a farmer by trade, he purchased a property 20 years ago. These two things he has clearly stated before.

    He is in absolutely the perfect position to advise on fluctuations past, present and future relating to the property market. His experiences will guide him so he can guide others.

    Trouble is:

    He is trying to win a Daily Mail competition for being outstanding in his field.

    Sadly, to do this, he has been seen:

    Out... standing... in his field.

    Oh well.

    At least it is funny.

    • 15 February 2012 11:51 AM
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    I would like to ask a question about the agents you know that do well. When they take the instruction on is there a "we will test the market at x% over current value" conversation?

    I also agree with your last point:

    "really good agents will be able to build a rapport and relationship with any vendor, even the Brit types and get them to do the right thing with the price"

    I believe a lot of agents hide behind the fact they are trying to achieve the best possible price for their vendor. This then negates any responsibility they have to their vendor to do the right thing with the price.

    • 15 February 2012 11:40 AM
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    “We’ve already seen such a scenario play out in 2008 when properties piled up on the market and asking prices fell by 6%.

    “No one would wish to see a repeat of 2008'


    A lot of people would love to see the ridiculous housing bubble burst. Property is still far too overpriced, due to greed and stupidity. The credit bubble hast burst, chum..

    Perhaps you believe that other neccessities of life, like food and heating, should be expensive too.

    • 15 February 2012 11:40 AM
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    I have been here with this before but ill go again as its getting all punchy and likely to go off subject.

    Lets use one of the daily posters here as an example of how dreadful people can be – as he’s gobbing off ill use Brit123.

    Brit is an odd one – bit contradictory, but my lord that lad has an opinion and he doesn’t mind sharing it every day, he misinformed on most things but in fairness he has passion on the subject of house prices and uses the bits and bobs of news that he feels nice about to base his arguments on, and in the spirit of a free country I like having the silly little bugger here…………..

    …………….however, one day Brit will become a vendor, yup, can you imagine dealing with him as a seller, blimey it will be a laugh, he will know all there is to know about the price and market – he will form a half arsed view on every buyer that views his house and it will be every one else’s fault if he doesn’t sell it (although he will probably go the private sale route)

    And there is the problem – odd balls like Brit are real people, the ‘General Public’ today he is a buyer yes, but there are long lost twins out there that are sellers, you don’t start off as a balanced, informed sensible and rational individual then become a loony when your house goes up for sale – you will have always been a berk so for every HPC chap there is a seller with a reverse view but just as cross.

    And one last thing to add to Anon’s fairly okay opinion, all the agents I know that do well can / do / always have managed their clients expectations and worked the price in time – really good agents will be able to build a rapport and relationship with any vendor, even the Brit types and get them to do the right thing with the price


    • 15 February 2012 11:15 AM
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    Barry Chuckle

    Yes, why not just choose the agent with the lowest fees?

    Wouldn't it be great if there was another differentiator when choosing an agent.

    Quality of service, trustworthiness, realistic market appraisals would be a good place to start.

    • 15 February 2012 11:11 AM
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    One general opening thought for all estate agents who despised HIPS. As I have always said the only people against them were estate agents - pause for thought. If HIPs were still in place at £400+ a pop would so many deranged sellers simply be able to float their properties at waste of time prices and a waste of time exercise for agent? Consider this when looking at the very first posting here and the basis of this aricle.

    Just two other comments on this waste of time thread as trying to educate anyone on anything when insanity prevails is a waste of time. Any seller increasing prices at the moment needs to be certified or even sectioned.

    Right at the start, first comment.

    It's not listings and properties on books that matter for selling or my area, lettings. It is sales and completions etc. Otherwise 'dead' properties on books are costing money

    Brit 1234 I have to agree with FBA - there are plenty of things anyone can do without formal qualifications or, sadly, regulation. One of them being renting out a death trap to those who cannot afford to buy.

    I see idiot Dave is around again, I refuse to exchangte direct but safe to say everyone has to live somewhere. Hence markets continue.

    • 15 February 2012 11:08 AM
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    To all readers of EAT,

    I am very sorry again, but someone is posting as me again. The below was not me.
    Added by Fun Boy Agent on 2012-02-15 10:33:04


    you are a worthless excuse for a ma my qualis are as follows

    Maths grade C
    Woodwork grade D
    Religous Studies grade C

    Put that in your pipe and smoke it Brit!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I apolgose to those who read and enjoy this site for the ignorant practice of 'baiting' that goes on here.

    A great shame for the publication !

    • 15 February 2012 11:03 AM
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    you are a worthless excuse for a ma my qualis are as follows

    Maths grade C
    Woodwork grade D
    Religous Studies grade C

    Put that in your pipe and smoke it Brit!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • 15 February 2012 10:33 AM
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    You are not even very good at trolling Brit.
    It must be real sickening to come out of an inflated College of FE with a big fat student loan and a Janet and John soft degree only to find that one is still unemployable.

    • 15 February 2012 10:27 AM
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    lets face it..anyone who thinks that property prices are going any way but down has a degree in stupidity.

    now is the time to liquidate at least a portion of any property investment or face the consequences

    1/falling prices
    2/falling rents
    3/falling amount of tenants
    4/rising interest rate

    • 15 February 2012 10:26 AM
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    If all agents are the same, could all sell my house and all advertise in the same places, why not choose the one with the lowest fee?

    • 15 February 2012 10:25 AM
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    Problems with renedered houses? Why is that? Cos EA's are too thick to realise that bricks/blocks are a standard size and the number would be worked out from a simple measurement?

    Counting bricks. What a clown. Erm one brick, dribble, 2 bricks, dribble, 3 bricks, lick window..............................

    • 15 February 2012 10:19 AM
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    Lets face it Estate Agents are not the shapest knives in the box, anybody can do it!

    How many of you have degrees? CD's of the Three Degrees do not count.

    List your qualifications Fun Boy agent!

    • 15 February 2012 10:14 AM
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    Estate Agents need a constant supply of houses to sell or they're out of business.
    Essentially all agencies are the same:
    1. They've basically all got the same buyers on their books.
    2. They all market properties the same way, in largely the same places.
    3. They could all sell your house.
    The most successful agents are not successful because they're the best as selling houses - They're successful because they're the best at convincing you that you won't be able to sell without them.
    Sadly, most property sellers base their choice of agent on the two worst criteria possible:
    1. Who charges the lowest fee
    2. Who flatters them the most with a generous property valuation
    Estate agents win most of their business on this knowledge.
    They will ignore the real value of a property and give their prospective client an inflated valuation figure - after all, it's what they want to hear.
    This strategy for winning business works because most sellers overlook the tie-in period that's in most estate agency contracts.
    An overvalued house will not sell until the price is reduced to a realistic level.
    Having to drop your price is not a pleasant experience but estate agents know that as sure as night follows day, eventually the pressure to move becomes so great that you'll be left with no other choice.
    You'll still be "in contract", your property will sell and the estate agent will have earned his commission cheque.
    Once your need to sell becomes chronic, negotiating for the best price becomes almost impossible.
    Often you're forced to sell for less than if you'd priced your house correctly from the start.
    This is because buyers are quick to spot price reductions.
    They recognise the signs of a seller having problems. They can smell the desperation and negotiate accordingly.

    • 15 February 2012 10:09 AM
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    If agents can't see this, what can they see?

    Another post from "Mr Agents don't value properties like what I do"

    • 15 February 2012 09:53 AM
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    House on my patch in Mumbles, Swansea - was on the market for a good 2 years if not 3 at 400K - in your dreams - asking and slowly came down to 350ish. It might have changed firms in that time.

    Then it came off the market.

    Now it has just come on the market again for 400K with a different firm. Everyone thinks it is hilarious but the sellers obviously are content to just sit there waiting, and waiting, and waiting.

    • 15 February 2012 09:52 AM
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    @Rightmove Abuses Agents

    Realising Reality's new game is to throw a controversial hand grenade into a conversation and then run away and hide when he is asked wtf he is banging on about.
    Basically a troll.

    • 15 February 2012 09:43 AM
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    Realising Reality?

    What do you suggest?

    Here is 1 idea for you to ponder.

    EA counts all the bricks in a house, X 65p, hey presto = Price.

    Probs with rendered houses I know.

    Your idea is totally flawed I think.

    • 15 February 2012 09:29 AM
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    "the Land Registry’s official number cruncher, said that it was hard to justify such optimism ‘in these difficult economic times".

    Isn't this a Government office?

    They shouldn't be banging this crap off to the public, this waffle needs to land on the desks of Cameron, Osborne and Clegg and Co.

    • 15 February 2012 09:25 AM
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    Many buyers keep their prices up simply because there's sod all decent for them to buy. They don't actually want to sell at the mo, and don't want to pay exit fees or have a delay if something good comes to market.

    • 15 February 2012 08:55 AM
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    @ Realising Reality:


    • 15 February 2012 08:51 AM
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    There needs to be a BIG re-think about how asking prices are set, in conjunction with the vendor. If agents can't see this, what can they see?

    • 15 February 2012 08:41 AM
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    "Lambasted" !

    This is still a free country - just! Agents can just walk away - as good ones do..

    @Zeberdee on 2012-02-15 07:13:28

    ".......i can never understand why the authorities let this go on."

    As above.

    In my view one should never wish to give "authorities" (if you mean government?) more power than is absolutely necessary to prevent criminal activities and this is not one of them.


    • 15 February 2012 08:37 AM
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    Agents MUST not overprice in order to get listings it is a fatal error of basic estate agency. We walk away from instructions where the vendor is u realastic. Still it goes on......A former coleauge of mine who works for a Corporate has told me they have been instructed by their area manager to over value this month to win instructions as they are short of stock.......i can never understand why the authorities let this go on.

    • 15 February 2012 07:13 AM
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