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Written by rosalind renshaw

Asking prices for property have climbed to an all-time record high.

The Rightmove portal reported this morning an astonishing 2.9% monthly rise in asking prices for properties new to the market over the last month, bringing the average asking price to a record £243,737.

The value is miles apart from actual selling prices recorded by the Land Registry and from mortgage approvals data.

Halifax, for example, is quoting £163,803 as its current sales price.

The previous record asking price was last set nearly four years ago in May 2008. However, today’s Rightmove price exceeds that by 0.5%.

Whether hopeful sellers and their agents will actually achieve anywhere near what they want is open to question – especially outside London.

Today’s Rightmove report makes it clear that it is London asking prices that have boosted the national picture. Rightmove itself says London prices have acted as a crutch.

Asking prices in London have soared 14.9% since the last national peak in May 2008, and now stand at £464,944 compared with the previous peak of £455,159.

But average asking prices in the rest of the country have actually fallen by 4.3% over the same period.

Even outside London it is a patchy regional picture and asking prices in the South-East and East Anglia are today respectively 0.3% and 1.1% off their old record highs, but in some regions (the Midlands for example), prices are still 10% below peak. In the South-West, however, asking prices are now averaging £270,735 – ahead of the previous peak of £264,608.

Rightmove also insists that the new national record should be compared with retail price inflation.

This stands at 11.5% since May 2008, meaning that national average asking prices for property are down in real terms by 9.9% over the same period.

Rightmove says that had property asking prices kept up with inflation, they would now be at £270,459 rather than £243,737.

The rate of the monthly rise is also interesting: at 2.9%, it is the highest since April 2007, five months before the run on Northern Rock.

Miles Shipside, director of Rightmove, said: “From a national perspective, it has taken four years for new sellers to pitch their asking prices above their previous record. However, this is not a universal signal of a housing market recovery.

“The richest seams of housing market activity are concentrated around those with access to cash and finance, with a strong bias to the South and London in particular. Even within regions there are micro-market hotspots where demand from those that can buy and the confidence and momentum it engenders are helping to push asking prices to new record highs”

“It’s a somewhat perverse state of affairs for many of the mass-market not deemed as mortgage-worthy by the lenders that, at a time when many aspiring buyers are excluded, the average price of property coming to the market is at an all-time high.”

He added: “Fresh property stock is a bit scarcer this April compared to last, and this is a key factor in providing a price floor for spring prices to springboard from. This is the strongest price-bounce Rightmove has ever recorded for the first four months of the year.”



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    Mr RR. This thread has now disappeared off the radar scope for everyone. Sadly, I think that 'MDL' has either given up on you as a lost cause (perfectly understandable...) or is still laughing at your answer to her/his questions.

    Even wardy has left the building on this one. Just you and me left, Sir.

    Of ALL the billions of people in the world - you got stuck in a room with old PeeBee! Life's a b!tch, huh?

    So - instead of sitting in the corner and keeping schtumm - I'm bored with that now, I'll pipe up again. No doubt to the sound of silence from your goodself - it's back to me being an annoying itch that you simply can't scratch away, innit?

    "Please see my papers on http://bit.lalalaladumdedum for further details."

    Papers - WHAT "papers"?

    Ahhh - wait a minute... THOSE "papers"! You mean the MTD blog entries you desperately hawk about all over the shop in futile attempt to try to get people to read (so far only me, I fear...)?

    You mean the "papers" that are filled with such relevant information as:
    "To look at things from a more revealing angle and help to put things into a new perspective (whilst not wishing to extol the virtues of the average estate agent unduly), their behaviour is more akin to that of eagles preying upon far more numerous but much slower-flying cranes. We are told by the venerable David Attenborough in one of his nature programmes recently, that cranes actually started to become the eagle’s staple diet in the high Himalayas, where eagles originated from many moons ago."

    Or what about:
    "However, rather like cooking a sumptuous meal for a close friend, it’s best to have a bit of knowledge and practice if you want to be sure to get it right."

    Of course, NOTHING can beat your "Orchestra, Audience, Conductor and Concert Hall" simile for wrapping cr@p in Christmas paper - although the "Red Arrows" droneologue comes a close second, methinks...

    SO - you wanna play? Want to convince me that I am wrong and that you ARE, after all, the holder of the key to the righting of the property market?

    Come on then, big boy - make my day!

    • 27 April 2012 13:03 PM
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    Realising Reality. I do not want a face-to-face meeting with you. I do not want to video conference with you. I certainly don't want to talk to you.

    As long as you continue to spread your MDT on this site, I will be here to gnaw at your heels. I will rip away at the huge gaps in the Christmas paper you wrap your cr@p up in.

    I will continue to ask you the uncomfortable questions that you continually refuse to answer - as your not answering speaks volumes.

    But - for now, I am going to leave you in what I believe to be the very capable hands of 'MDL'.

    This could get very interesting, I sincerely hope...

    • 24 April 2012 11:09 AM
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    The answer to all your questions, 1 to 7 on 18th April, is Yes.

    • 23 April 2012 00:00 AM
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    Dear Realising Reality,

    I would very much like to discuss this with you and a reply to the questions I asked would be a valuable contribution from you towards a concept you so strongly believe in.

    Kindest Regards.


    • 22 April 2012 21:20 PM
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    As far as listening to a point of view is concerned, I think the following clip describes you to a tee!

    We need a face to face discussion, as I said before, if we are ever to get any real progress on this.
    As the very least, it would need to be a series of video conferences.

    If you're not interested, then I'm sorry, there's nothing much I can do.

    • 22 April 2012 19:02 PM
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    For someone who in one breath wants me to keep my nose the Hell out of the property market and YOUR business in particular ("To me anyway, your whole attitude as a sporadic poster here is supercilious... Agency needs to be rid of you and your rantngs, in my humble opinion."), you go to great lengths to re-engage me in our long and frankly boring dogfight.

    Okay. You deal a trump card to me - so it would be rude not to shove it right back in your face, would it not?

    "I'm also a pioneer in retaining the right of house owners to sell or let their properties privately."

    So, then, RR, please explain to me and all others who despite all continue to read your MDT:


    For one, I can't wait to hear your answer... but I'm sure you will find something more imp[ortant to do for a few days.

    I believe you also owe a response to the questions set by 'MDL' on the 18th, by the way.

    • 22 April 2012 10:43 AM
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    Fun Boy Agent,
    You're not right, from my viewpoint. That's why we need to talk!

    • 21 April 2012 12:52 PM
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    You still do not seem to have grasped the difference between a valuation and an appraisal, even afte yourr many years in and around the property business as you claim.

    Estate agents claiming to set a value... that is sheer buffoonery of the highest order.

    Estate agents set ASKING PRICES, the market settles the value, not some old codger with a worn out gey suit and a RICS badge, nor some spikey gel haired uni grad.

    You are a total fool, but I guess you know it and do this ranting for a laugh.

    Set values... what a plum!

    • 21 April 2012 10:48 AM
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    I have been busy on other matters but have returned to answer your rather obtuse question about just wishing to 'improve' my own financial status and to try and set the record straight.

    I would like to be more successful in business - yes.
    However, my idea of success is to be useful to everyone. To have a business concept that is universally useful - not one that merely gives some people an advantage at the expense of other people.

    I believe my concept for changing the way the housing market operates, for the better, would work and would achieve that ideal.

    Having qualified in residential property valuation (as well as in all other forms of property valuation) in 1974, I've researched the failings within the UK housing market. I've found 'mammoth imperfections' and developed workable solutions to resolve them: Please see my papers on http://bit.ly/cJTAwe for further details.

    I'm also a pioneer in retaining the right of house owners to sell or let their properties privately. The government has been lobbied to remove this right, by those having a business interest in estate agency, for years now. It's more important than ever for people to keep using their right to sell or let privately, or they may eventually loose them forever, if legislation should ever be enacted to make it mandatory to use an agent. I'm against that; not against estate agents themselves.

    I hold the view that if estate agents as a group were to change the way they address doing business in the housing sector, they could increase the values of their businesses as well as be of better service to all those buying, selling, renting, or simply moving house in the housing or private residential sector. That sector is a absolutely huge market in this country. It is a fundamental plank of the future fortunes of our whole economy. If our Government cannot see that, they are truly blind, in my opinion.

    One reason for communicating on this blog is to try and express some to these new ideals and get them into the publics' domain. It is a shame that so few among the estate agency world have yet to grasp the issues.

    I remain confident and wish to remain patient, that one day, there will be a new dawn of realisation about what is needed to improve the whole sector and how best this may be achieved, for everyone's benefit - including that of our nation's economy.

    I hope this gives you sufficient of an answer for you to think about filling in the gaps and begin to understand the massive future potential for everyone working in today's residential property sector.

    • 21 April 2012 09:14 AM
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    Oh yes FTB Dan,

    You are utterly correct. He was not gutted, but the house he bought had to be gutted.

    Like you said, buying a 'do'er upper' can sreiously damage your wealth.

    • 20 April 2012 10:09 AM
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    RR. Takes a troll to know a troll, I guess...

    You say Agency needs to be rid of me - yet you know fine well that I am NOT an Estate Agent. Your mind is slipping, you old keyboard terrorist, you!

    You are a sad, mad stain on the property industry that you claim to wish to improve.

    The ONLY thing you wish to 'improve' is your own financial status.

    Be a man - admit it.

    • 19 April 2012 23:59 PM
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    RR, You are the gift that keeps on giving.

    • 19 April 2012 09:26 AM
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    "If you want a REAL bargain - go buy one with all the bells'n'whistles already added. You might not like them all - but at least you won't be paying through the nose for them (as you have already pointed out...)"

    An excellent point, thank you. Would other agents agree that a property with 'all the bells and whistles' done is where the most value is to be had in this market?

    "Oh, Dan - you've been watching waaaay too much Pwoperdee Porn, my son."

    Actually, I've not owned / watched a TV in 15 years.

    • 18 April 2012 19:19 PM
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    Fun Boy Agent

    "A 'low offer monkey" is fantastic for any agent, ..... I was unhappy once he got a cheapie he wanted and I couldn't wheel him out anymore."

    A monkey eh? Poor fool, poor used/played fool.

    .........Still, he got a cheap house though didn't he? Bet he is not exactly gutted about that.

    • 18 April 2012 19:12 PM
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    You're just a troll, coming here to try and muddy the waters of sane discussion.
    Most people must recognise that by now, one would have thought.

    You also admit that you never have any original ideas of your own about improving the stagnating housing market, to put forward for discussion/examination.

    Agency needs to be rid of you and your rantngs, in my humble opinion.

    • 18 April 2012 18:38 PM
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    "You seem to be besotted with the idea that house values should only ever go upwards!"

    My challenge to you, Mr RR:

    Show me ONE INSTANCE where I have said this, or even hinted it!

    You know even less about me than you do the market that you claim to want to "improve".

    WHY the MDT about investments? What do "investments" have to do with the housing market for the man on the street - the man you claim to want to help?

    A HOME, Mr RR, is worth what someone is PREPARED to pay for it; can AFFORD to pay for it; and PAYS for it.

    I suggest you get used to it. I'm amazed that you haven't already.

    I honestly would have thought that in your thirty-odd years of working in the property industry, the above wouldn't have completely slipped by you in the way it obviously has.

    By the way - as I have said before, my "real identity" is irrelevant. If you think otherwise - feel free to "unmask" me.

    If you guess it right (70-million people in the UK - the odds are stacked against you I have to point out...) - then it will be the first accurate and true thing you have said on here since day one!

    (I think you'll find that no-one gives a fuppeny tuck who I am in any case...)

    • 18 April 2012 17:23 PM
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    Dear Realising Reality,

    I do sometimes think the response you receive is harsh and I have tried to be open minded about your proposal but this is not always easy as you sometimes come across as confused or possibly just playing games yourself, for example your response earlier to ‘Happy Chappy’ who appeared to be engaging with you yet your reply was arguably obstructive to the very debate you wish to have. Regardless of this can you please confirm yes or no to the following, I think the clarity will help with the cause you are clearly passionate about.

    1. Are you basing your idea on any data from any of the widely recognised sources?
    2. Are you suggesting that your idea will need to be supported by a form of regulation that will influence or control what a vendor (and / or their agent) may put their house on the market for?
    3. Will your proposal also require 100% support and recognition from all vendors (and / or their agent) in England & Wales?
    4. Have you had any form of discussion, formal or informal with The Law Society, RICS and The CML?
    5. Do your proposals extend to developers HA and new build of all types?
    6. Have you held any seminars to either the public or the estate agency industry to gauge public opinion?
    7. You have been very heavily criticised on this forum for you own business model as well as not applying the basics of your idea on your own house sale, do you think this criticism is unfair?

    I do hope you can provide yes or no answers to the 7 questions above and we can discuss it further



    • 18 April 2012 17:14 PM
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    "If I am being used on 19 properties that’s fine, as long as the 20th accepts my offer... Even if its 49 properties, I will be happy."

    Nope - sorry. At this point a good chunk of the credibility I had previously attributed to you flies out of the window like a paper dart. This is NOT something said by someone who is looking for their "ideal home".

    This is simply someone looking for a banker.

    "I do not understand why people are paying £15k less than a finished house for something that needs £50k spent on it."

    Oh, Dan - you've been watching waaaay too much Pwoperdee Porn, my son. The days are gone of giving a knackered semi a coat of magnolia and charging forty grand over the price paid a fortnight previous. Welcome to the REAL market - where gold plated bog seats have the WOW! factor - but add not much more than the VAT paid on it to the 'value' of the property. You want a "fixer-upper" - then go ahead and buy one and knock yourself out with the renovations which hopefully you will get much enjoyment out of.

    If you want a REAL bargain - go buy one with all the bells'n'whistles already added. You might not like them all - but at least you won't be paying through the nose for them (as you have already pointed out...)

    However, if I am right on the first count, you will be looking to have your cake and eat it - at the expense of your unsuspecting buyer.

    What if THEY are as, ahem... 'careful' as YOU are in deciding their choice of property, Dan?

    • 18 April 2012 17:07 PM
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    To me anyway, your whole attitude as a sporadic poster here is supercilious.

    You seem to be besotted with the idea that house values should only ever go upwards!
    You and your sort don't seem to understand that the whole housing market is stagnated because of bad marketing methods.
    You and your sort are the perpetrators of the deception that has caused sales to unnecessarily stagnate in the present financial downturn, but you just don't get it - or rather you all like to pretend that you don't.

    To try and put things more into perspective for you, first reflect on the fact that houses are a capital investment, not just a roof over one's head.
    Do you fully understand the nature of investments?
    Do you invest on the stock market. Have you ever?
    Don't you know that in commerce, there is no such thing as investments that only go up?
    In commerce, investors are continually warned that investments can go down as well as up.
    Do you take the view that such warnings are merely hollow words, or do not apply to houses?

    It's you and your sort that keep the whole deception afloat.
    I'd love to explain face-to-face, if you had the gumption to do that, but you won't willingly even reveal your true identity!
    (I think I know it though anyway ;-)

    Please re-think, hard. Wet towels and a cold shower may help?

    • 18 April 2012 17:05 PM
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    Jeez - I just LOVE it when he drops one from the top of the Empire State, like this...

    "The problem is that buyers are all too requently 'goaded' into paying too much of what they can afford when buying, and some even borrow too much to do so when they can't really afford it - just because they get convinced it's a good buy!

    In short unsuspecting buyers are ruthlessly preyed upon."

    Come on then, Mr RR - make some sense of the above MDT wrapped in Christmas paper.

    These poor, unsuspecting buyers you refer to are railroaded in their droves, apparently, into over-offering on property.

    Nasty, horrible Estate Agents, huh?

    But here's where your Christmas paper can hold the smell of the contents in no longer.

    You see - a decision can be made, or reversed, in a fraction of a second. SO... in the eight or so weeks that pass following this prodding and poking, the buyer has approximately FIVE MILLION OPPORTUNITIES in which to change their mind. In this same timeframe, they are still able to see what is available on the market; new instructions... price reductions - the whole shooting match. They appoint a PROFESSIONAL, QUALIFIED SURVEYOR, either as part of the finance arrangements or independently (sometimes BOTH...) who evaluates the property in terms of suitability for a loan taken against it or simply to establish whether the 'right' price is being paid.

    They make THEIR OWN decision; which is then BACKED by the opinion of a Chartered Surveyor. They buy properties, and they do so of their OWN FREE WILL - and NOT because Estate Agents have secret Svengali-like powers, or keep Ronnie and Reggie locked in the back office to "discuss" offers with potential buyers.

    THOSE are what you see keeping the property market moving, Mr RR. In their HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS.

    The only people who are being "ruthlessly preyed upon" are those poor saps who actually believe that you are trying to improve ANYTHING.

    • 18 April 2012 16:26 PM
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    R-R The one Added by Happy Chappy on 2012-04-18 10:51:37

    • 18 April 2012 16:10 PM
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    I am, you've noticed. Good.

    I don't base my models on charts and statistics either. They are based, in large part, on what is reported as going ON in the economy. I still trust newspapers overall. Surely that's ok.

    Actually, my model would be for the protection of everyone, including the starey-eyed buyers, trying to get into the market. I'm more focused on the majority of buyers, rather than being worried about the odd one paying an extortionist price for the house they may like.

    It's the market that' confused and needs improving here.

    • 18 April 2012 14:19 PM
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    @RR, that will be your model you have been so passionate about and keep telling us is the way to riches for all in property

    • 18 April 2012 13:35 PM
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    Hey Jonnie,

    You got that in before me.

    A 'low offer monkey" is fantastic for any agent, wheel 'em in, make the low offer, then we can sell when a better offer than the low one manifests itself.

    Nothing worse than a nonproceedable high offer pops up.

    I'm sure FTB Dans local agents wheel him out twice a week (as he says) to help them boost their real sales.

    I had a chap for 2 years I did this with, he used to say, "I expect you get fed up with me, I have been looking so long".

    Not on your nelly, I was unhappy once he got a cheapie he wanted and I couldn't wheel him out anymore.

    You are the lifeblood of your local agents FTB Dan, keep up the good work.

    • 18 April 2012 13:07 PM
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    Jonnie, If I am being used on 19 properties that’s fine, as long as the 20th accepts my offer. Sooner or later one of them will. Even if its 49 properties, I will be happy.
    I would much rather have 49 wasted viewing if it saves me overpaying £30k+.

    It would take me a hell of a while to save £30k from my overtaxed earnings.

    • 18 April 2012 12:58 PM
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    Happy Chappy
    Sorry what model are you referring to again please? I forget.

    • 18 April 2012 12:46 PM
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    Its interesting that you are focussing on properties that need refurbing etc, I agree with you as I am often astonished by the prices this part of the market achieves, as you say a £15k discount but £50k needed to sort it.

    You comments have also highlighted that the stuff you are offering on an missing out in is being sold elsewhere………………..and this is why EA’s you deal with like you, you are a nice solid buyer, probably focussing on a smallish area (stop me if im going wrong here) and all the EA’s know you and your Mrs, what you are doing is putting in a perfectly credible bid, all backed up with copper bottomed AIP / deposit etc, you probably come across really well too and this means the EA’s have you as a ‘low offer’ which supports the better bids and makes the sale easier to agree.

    You are the opposite of what EA’s struggle with which is a buyer offering big dough on stuff that are dependant on a sale or in a chain – these buyers muddy the water, they put in a big offer the owner likes them blah, blah, then when the eventually sell (if at all) they have to come back and re offer, meanwhile decent buyers have been blocked out on price.

    Yup, you are an essential part of an EA’s toolkit – and im pretty sure you are being played / used


    • 18 April 2012 12:36 PM
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    RR - I am interested in your evidence that suggests if a majority of vendors switched to this model why it would not work?

    Do you know what percentage of instructions are made on such a basis?

    • 18 April 2012 12:28 PM
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    The problem is that buyers are all too frequently 'goaded' into paying too much of what they can afford when buying, and some even borrow too much to do so when they can't really afford it - just because they get convinced it's a good buy!

    In short unsuspecting buyers are ruthlessly preyed upon.
    They need protection, from themselves - by Gov, I guess.

    • 18 April 2012 11:43 AM
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    How would somebody who bought a property say in 1998 for £80K and got an offer today of £200K on an asking price of £250K be taking "a hit"?

    They get 20% less than their asking price, but then can find another seller who is happy to get on with things and similarly take a 20% "hit".

    Granted, not everyone is in that position, especially those who bought in the last few years. Many are though. A quick look on Rightmove's comparison prices feature for example often reveals what price a house was last sold for, so that information is readily available.

    Asking prices are of course only an opinion. That notional figure can only be realised if someone is willing (in most cases) to borrow a significant chunk of that amount. As recent articles on EA Today have shown, the number of people who are willing to meet today's asking prices is dwindling. The question remains though, how can someone take a "hit" on money that doesn't exist in their bank account?

    • 18 April 2012 11:12 AM
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    FTB_Dan and Happy Chappy too,
    Thanks for the link to the IEA, an interesting forum which I shall look at.

    I'm saying 'if' the Government wants to justify their existence, they need to discern and then adopt ways of helping the housing market to remain stable enough to cope with demand from those wanting (ne needing) to move, both in good times and in bad.

    To me the answer is not simply to allow planning consents for more houses to be built everywhere; anymore than the answer to achieving continual growth in the economy is to allow controls on immigration to be loose so that more people will live here!

    No, the better idea is to improve the level of perfection the housing market by making estate agents give full information about current transaction prices, whenever they are suggesting asking prices to potential clients, or discussing offers with buyers. Surely most people would agree that the housing market is not an example of a perfect economic model. In which case, there must be plenty of room for improvement in this area; the area that no-one wants to talk about!

    Happy Chappy. Linking fees earned to prices achieved doesn't do it and certainly has not done it in the past.

    • 18 April 2012 11:11 AM
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    "These new controls include making estate agents truly responsible for the accuracy of the advice they give on house prices, no matter to whom they give such advice."

    Your right Agents do not want change...who does eh.... but It does not require regulation or legislation to make this happen, it requires the people with the real power to make it change....ie the customers.

    If ALL vendors were to negotiate contracts that link fees to price achieved against te EA's valuation or indeed time from of marketing to receiveing an offer within a certain percentage of the agents valuation, then EA's might consider there valuations..... then again they might not !

    • 18 April 2012 10:51 AM
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    No I don’t offer -20% come what may. It’s more a lot sophisticated than that. I have had plenty of time to learn the area seeing every property on rightmove at least over a good time frame. Every time I have made an offer I have known what every house on that road has sold for in the last 10 years. I then make a judgement based on the relative appeal of that property.

    Actually I have made offers within 5%. I tend to be making lower offers a lot because I favour those houses that have had very little done to them in the last 20/30 years or ‘projects’ as you guys call them. I am happy to take on the project but I don’t want the price to pretend that the work has already been done. Put it this way, in my area I feel that new kitchens, extensions and loft conversions should either command a better premium than they do, or projects should face a bigger discount than they do. I do not understand why people are paying £15k less than a finished house for something that needs £50k spent on it.

    Maybe everyone really wants a ‘project’ too and is willing to actually pay over the odds for them. All I know is that I will continue to make offers on houses where I would be happy to pay that, and I have no problem with that taking another 6 months or a year. Like I say, I only need 1. Also as I have said, EA’s never scoff at my offers anymore, I don’t doubt they see me as somewhat tight, but hardly unusual in this market, they actually just seem to like getting an offer. I even have some tell me of their annoyance that the offer was not accepted on properties that sit empty for a year with no interest.

    • 18 April 2012 10:25 AM
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    With un doubtable good intention we see here a prime example of wayward thinking.

    FTB Dan is seeking to secure a property within the £250k region, but he wants 20% off asking price, no if's buts or maybe's. It seems it is of no consequence if the asking price of £250k is a correct asking price or not within the current market. 20% off, or no deal.

    In real terms, he wants a property at £250k level for £200k, a £50k hit for an owner. I would imagine he will have a long wait.

    In fact, what I read between the lines I would say FTB Dan is more likely viewing property up to a value of £315 - £320k and offering £250k for them. Undoubtedly believing some poor soul will one day sell to him and take a huge hit. Maybe one day, but in my view, unlikely.

    Vendors are fully aware of this type of mindset. I will often advise that an offer within 5% of a correct asking price should be given due consideration. anything over 10% off I advise an owner not to take. However, owners will often factor in the discount they may be asked for in their asking price and add it on from the outset, hence overpriced.

    Round and round we go my friend.

    FTB Dan, I wish you luck, but ultimately, I would imagine that you will find yourself going over the same ground time infinite. A good agent would pass your offer on to an owner, but advise that given should the even remotely consider taking the offer, before they do.. at the £200k offer on a £250k property, advertise it £215k for a week, and see how long the que is... or at the £320k mark the agent would advise a week of advertising at £275k before taking a £250k offer.

    I just cant see you getting success with your strategy... I might be wrong!

    Beckenham Kent, isn't it?

    • 18 April 2012 10:07 AM
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    Now I better understand your position I know I am opposed to it a as feel you are proposing ‘regulatory creep’. Essentially this is where new regulations are used to fix the problem made by earlier regulations, this can often be never ending and is one of the reasons why government grows.

    I do agree that house prices are too high. But the key factors here has been previously ‘loose money’ and the other factor that is currently helping retard the correction is draconian planning restriction. No country on earth has planning rules that makes it as difficult to build as in this country, in many towns a brown envelope to the planning officials is the only way. Rather than adding new regulations as you propose to lower prices simply remove the restrictions we already have that stop development.

    Incidentally I can recommend this publication form the highly respected Institute of Economics Affair’s which addresses exactly this issue: www.iea.org.uk/publications/research/abundance-of-land-shortage-of-housing

    • 18 April 2012 09:56 AM
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    I agree that if nothing much changes, the UK housing market (especially outside London) will, as you say, be consigned to a decade long depression with low volumes persisting for a long while yet.

    I'm looking at a way for this to be avoided.

    What I am saying in essence is, "Tighter control of the whole house-marketing sector is needed to avoid either a prolonged slowdown or a repeat of the slowdown in house sales which occurred after the 2008 price crash. These new controls include making estate agents truly responsible for the accuracy of the advice they give on house prices, no matter to whom they give such advice."

    In addition, I'm calling for tougher standards for money lending institutions in a bid to ensure stability in the housing market, in any future financial downturn.

    Just regulating estate agency more would not be enough. Government needs to keep a close watch for any new risks to the eventual housing market recovery, as and when these may start to emerge in the future and be prepared to curb them.

    Why? "Because the inevitable side effect of imposing tougher standards for estate agents is that 'the system' will try and adapt in ways that could, once again, result e.g. in buyers paying too much or borrowing too much when buying.

    Unquestionably, the way to counteract this is to bring in more transparency of current prices being paid in the market for the benefit of all buyers, as well as more careful monitoring of the way the housing market itself operates as a whole."

    More transparency in the marketplace must help house purchases to be at more realistic prices, based on current affordability but the main goal for Government should be to find ways both to maintain a satisfactory throughput of house sales as well as enabling the construction of sufficient new housing to accommodate future need, or projected demand. Currently they are doing neither, as has been frequently pointed out both to the parties currently in office and to the main opposition party.

    Unfortunately, the parties currently in office are not doing anything very constructive about it. Not good in my humble opinion.

    • 18 April 2012 09:38 AM
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    'based upon my long years of valid experience in the property business,'


    • 18 April 2012 09:11 AM
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    For what it is worth I have no dislike of your service/website. My current landlord used you or one of your ‘no-EA’ website competitors, and I think if I were to sell or rent a house I would use the same method.

    I also recognise your concern about the industry going nowhere. But I doubt anything can change that. To wrestle the industry out of its current business practices would likely require legislation and I see very little prospect of that. Not when the current system is seen to favour vendors (right or wrong) whom are a powerful voting block.

    Perhaps it would be helpful to know how you planned to affect your change, EAs will be hostile to any change because everyone is always hostile to any change to the way they work. So I can’t see you building a consensus here that could carry to the wider industry.

    Rather the market will only become unstuck if there comes a moment of contrition. I see that this week’s candidate is the decoupling of SVRs from the base rate. If that leads to vendor greed being replaced with vendor fear and panic for the exit we could see the market clear and a the birth of a clean unhindered market with good volumes. But As I said below, I’m consigned to a decade long depression with low volumes persisting for a long while yet.

    • 18 April 2012 08:51 AM
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    People of property,

    I agree with and applaud much of what has recently been said and, as requested have kept quiet through that.

    However, what makes you so sure that what you are saying in trying to dismiss each and every proposal of mine, is the right path to take to achieve vital improvement in the UK housing market, or aren't you actually bothered about trying to get the market working better at all?

    Is it because you are in the majority (or you appear to be by the number of separate aliases that appear to be contributing here ;-) ), or is it instead because you think you have incontrovertible knowledge about keeping it working well?

    If you do have incontrovertible knowledge, why are things so bad for those wanting to move house right now - and you can't blame the recession because that has got nothing to do with the increasing number of people who clearly would like to get on and move house, including the real FTB_Dan. (I say this because you only have to look at the stats on the number of people spending their time looking up houses for sale on Rightmove alone, currently. There are thousands of them but they are not buying.)

    Also, if you have incontrovertible knowledge, why have house sales stagnated whilst people'e desire to move house has not.

    If you are trying to dismiss each and every proposal of mine, simply because there are more of you than me, how do you know that what you are currently doing as the best method for house marketing. How do you know that what you are currently doing is the best thing to keep the housing market working to it's optimum extent? Judging by the poor current performance, my view is that the current arrangements for marketing houses are less than 30% correct, or optimal.

    Now don't get me wrong, I"m not saying I know that I am one hundred percent (100%) right but I think I'm more that 50% right, based upon my long years of valid experience in the property business, Therefore, I am certain that my voice counts for 'something' and I'm equally certain that it should be heard.

    I would therefore welcome some sort of real forum, or discussion, to thrash out the ISSUES and not continue with the current preference, simply to see who can slate all new ideas the most - as happens here.

    Why do I care? Because if you just carry on slating, we'll get precisely nowhere and things really will just grind on.
    Sometimes, the minority view can take us all to a better place, it just needs to be listened to properly.

    • 18 April 2012 08:23 AM
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    “I assume you expect a very sharp and dramatic drop in prices very soon and want to be in the market and ready to exploit it”

    Not exactly, I think the time for a nasty crash (and indeed recovery) has comes and gone. I think we are looking at a decade of depression. Sold prices will lurch down in the poorer parts of the country and gently drift down in the more affluent bits which I happen to be in. It will be slow, volumes low, and it will be grinding, if we had had an actually crash in 08, we would be building from strength today, instead we are just sinking deeper.

    I am reconciled to overpaying for a house that will lose money on a ten year timescale, but I cannot wait forever, I am offering usually -20%ish, so that in the medium time my negative equity will not be as painful as it would be if I actually just spunked off all the money the bank proffered at me and bought the first nice thing I saw at the asking, and by the way I have no intention of spending all that I can, I plan to buy for closer to 250, not 350-400 like my bank would prefer.

    • 17 April 2012 17:11 PM
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    FTB Dan well done on that deposit, give me a few months and I would have caught up.

    Like you I am happy renting cheaply (in Chelsea of all places). There is no rush to buy and in the mean time my deposit grows ever bigger and live in a nice central location.

    I wish I had more gold but have a few thousand in silver and far more in shares which I will use at a far latter date to pay my mortgage down.

    At the end of the day its about value for money, common sense and quality of life.

    • 17 April 2012 16:55 PM
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    …………….a proper chat, this is more like it, and I have my sensible trousers on today too.

    Yes, you can sit with a potential vendor and sometimes they do go with the highest or ask you to try it (or somewhere in between your price and the hair gel boy) although do remember that there are lots of women in this business and its not all Burtons suits and skinny ties.

    On the broker thing – I agree, friend of mine is a very successful car dealer (yes we deserve each other) and he puts his success down to buying right not selling right, but we have what we have and its not going to change. [Realising Reality, sit back down, zip up and stay quiet, we know what you think]

    Back to the vendor with the toppy price, often its commercially better to take the instruction a bit heavy on price but this only works if you do stuff like agree to meet you vendor in a couple of weeks and review it, talk to them twice a week, look after them and build a relationship, do this and you don’t need to be ‘aggressive’ the best EA’s I know have astonishingly good relationships with their vendors and they find it a very pleasant way to earn a living and their kids are well fed.

    Its interesting you are actively looking, I assume you expect a very sharp and dramatic drop in prices very soon and want to be in the market and ready to exploit it or you don’t expect prices to drop much and are as you say waiting to find ‘the one’ bite and bag a bargain. Good luck but I think you will talk yourself out of anything unless you are getting it half price?

    Pleased I predicted the hot Mrs right and if I have read the above article right outside London prices dropped 4.3% so unlike you waistline prices are shrinking not growing for buyers outside London and we have all had a bit of fistycuffs today over nothing but a misleading headline……………………bloody journalists, cant trust them.


    • 17 April 2012 16:55 PM
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    My opinion is that I find the argument below very convincing. I can well believe that you can sit in the lounge of a vendor and be frank and honest about value and 9 times out of 10 they will then go with cheap suited & hair gel display unit that just asks how much the last guy said and adds on £10k.

    You can bet your arse that if EA’s were brokers not agents, i.e. they bought the house off the vendors before selling them on for a 3% mark-up, then they would not value remotely near where they do. But we have the system we have and it’s not going to change.

    I suppose if I were an EA I would personally find it difficult not to go along with overpricing if that truly is the only thing that works. Then get aggressive on price reductions. Does not seem pleasant way to earn a living, but…if you have kids to fed etc.

    I know all I can do is continue viewing one or two properties a week and offer what I feel they are worth. The agents all know there stuff is overvalued and its been a long time since I have had an offer scoffed at, even if it is 20% below the asking. Sooner or later I will get a bite, I only need 1.

    And yes the misses is hot. Sadly I am no longer a good looking fellow. I think I used to be, or at least I used to have some success with the ladies, but I have been with the wife for 7 years now and I’m now just some slightly overweight 30 something the young lasses in the office don’t have so much as a second glance for, such is life.

    • 17 April 2012 16:20 PM
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    Blimey – our FTB_Dan is an upstanding sort of chap isn’t he, nice rented flat, big deposit AIP for £350k clearly very happy with his lot and doesn’t stoop as low as engaging with riff raff you can also bet he’s a good looking fellow and his Mrs is hot, good for him that’s what I say – Bravo FTB_Dan.

    The only problem appears to be the fact he’s flattering himself a bit about his reputation………all this scaring negs / bogey man stuff is a bit off the mark, lots of (yes I agree, daft) people have posted silly things in his name and it’s the ‘fake’ FTB_Dan that gets the ribbing, not the ‘real’ one that strangely was on here within an hour of his name being mentioned?!

    Anyway I agree with him, its all got too silly here so lets all try and talk about the stories and stop all the silliness, so, – Dan, come on chap, now you are here waddaya think of the story above on these asking prices? – is all daft vendors / EA’s or sums / stats giving a mis leading picture? I mean average sale price is about £165k and it’s clear that buyers aren’t negging £78k a pop off asking prices…………….come on, tell us your opinion.


    • 17 April 2012 15:59 PM
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    As luck would have it I do not intend to buy in Japan Wardy, I prefer Kent.

    Although half of it is in Gold, so the £ oing down the drain has only helped so far.

    • 17 April 2012 15:57 PM
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    Close to twice what it was in 2005, thanks to the £ going down the toilet...

    • 17 April 2012 15:44 PM
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    'Our deposit is now up to £60k and with the £350k'

    Whats that in JPY ?

    • 17 April 2012 15:41 PM
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    Oh I read a story from time to time, I just very rarely comment on any story, I think I have only once since Christmas. Although I have seen myself cloned many times (which I ignore) The problem is although a few of you are thoughtful and quite capable of producing intelligent comment, the very vocal majority of you just howl like stricken apes at anyone who fails to share your ideological bent that high house prices are a desirable thing.

    I do find it amusing that more than six months after ceased posting regularly I am still cited as some bogey man to scare junior negotiators with. That on this thread two of you demand to know where I am, no doubt concerned I might leap out behind you leading to a nasty soiling incident.

    The reason I don’t bother to post is simple. I prefer to see what you get up to left to your own devises. If those you consider ‘HPC’ post you shriek hysterically at them. If no ‘HPC’ post you jabber and insult RR, and if neither RR or ‘HPC’ post you turn on each other in a flash, wasting no time in getting personal, going on fantastic flights of fantasy about how you imagine that person you have decided you dislike must be. On this thread I have discovered I claim welfare, on another I was cited I was apparently one of the Summer rioters etc.

    Quite simply you regular posters post here not because you have even the slightest interest in making a point and seeing how it stands up to discussion, you just want something to scream at, covering for what inadequacies I could not say.

    Oh and for what it matters, I am renting a lovely flat in a nice area with my wife. Our deposit is now up to £60k and with the £350k the bank wants to lend me I have my pick of houses. Although none yet I have had an offer accepted, but why should I care, I am happy where I am, I have all the time I need to buy, do sellers also, maybe, maybe not.

    • 17 April 2012 15:26 PM
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    Jonnie, please, for the umpteenth time (not to you, but others), we are not all in the South East of England.

    There are places in the country where prices are not supported by funny money printing, foreigners like Col Gaddafi's son and others taking advantaged of our devalued currency etc.

    To prove my point, I'm going to turn a house pipe on after posting this.

    • 17 April 2012 14:34 PM
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    So Rant is here and BRIT1234 posted earlier this morning but its does beg the questions where has Japanese Dave and FTB Dan gone off to?

    While we are at it has anyone seen the ONS figures yet – lord, being an HPC’er is a long game isn’t it? Some of you are 6 or 7 years in and its not going the way you all thought, patience of saints the lot of you.

    You HPC’ers have promised us over and over that prices will drop, (proper drops not this inflation based thing you have started to substitute proper old school drops for) and volumes will roar off to 2007 levels…………………well, come on, were waiting.


    P.s - @Realising Reality, stay quiet old soldier, we know your idea, don’t need it again

    • 17 April 2012 14:30 PM
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    Where are the fools you are being very foolish or can't read. My post is a few below yours.

    By the way Where are all the fools (aka nollag) how are your negative equity Hounslow buy to lets going?

    Please estate agents can you talk some sense into your sellers about prices. I'm sure you get more commission by selling realistically priced properties than have overvalued properties sitting on your books for months/years.

    • 17 April 2012 14:22 PM
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    Well I'm still around, just ahead of the curve; I commented in another thread last Friday that the Rightmove numbers out on Monday would report a new peak in asking prices.

    • 17 April 2012 14:12 PM
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    I am more worried about the missing idiots, rantnrave, FTB Dan, Japan Dave, Brtit 123 etc have they all gone, yes please! Maybe they have seen the light and finally done something for them selves, got off benefits and bought a property to get away from the stigma of renting.

    I must get off the pop lunchtimes!

    Now come to think of it they all went quiet at the same time, perhaps they are one and the same idiot but on holiday???

    • 17 April 2012 13:49 PM
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    Peebee where the hell have you been?……………….regardless, good to have you back,

    Now Wardy, I did suggest that Realising Reality is like an old drunk and if you talk to him for too long he will either puke or piss on you, but I was wrong to suggest this and I should retract the comment and apologise for an out of character bit of profanity, although ‘piss’ is low on the swear scale I do pride my self in not really being much of a swearer.

    Anyway, to the point, RR always does the same, swings in spouting all his old cobblers, swaggers about a bit, gets more shouty as the posts roll out of where ever he gets this stuff, ducks and avoids any reasonable challenge to ‘walk the talk’ then goes quiet / passes out.

    The shame is the old goat will come round and stumble into another article on here and the cycle starts again, as predictable as my dog with its morning dump.


    • 17 April 2012 13:27 PM
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    a cheap hair dryer, that way you can cut the lead off it for added realism.

    • 17 April 2012 11:12 AM
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    Pee Bee,

    buy him a hairdryer

    • 17 April 2012 10:58 AM
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    Well - our old keyboard terrorist, Realising Reality, hijacks yet another thread to spread his MDT and improve his SEO.

    His LAST attempt has now disappeared off the radar just when it started to get interesting. So, sorry, Jonnie - but I am not going to ignore him - I am going to repost the last two posts here as I think that they are well worth letting Agents see where he is taking this.

    I posted:

    "Mr RR has amended his latest rantlet on his blogsite. Thought you all may like to cast your eyes over this and comment as appropriate (remembering to maintain decorum, naturally...):

    "It may be argued in common law that as soon as an agent accepts an offer on behalf of a seller, the person making the offer then becomes a client of that estate agent. Therefore, all agents have a duty of care to advise buyers about what they are negotiating to buy and thus the level of price which such buyers are intending to pay...

    The effect of this is that all agents are, in fact, responsible to see that terms are reasonable in the current market conditions from the viewpoint of all buyers (or tenants) as well as for any particular seller."

    Immediately followed by the immortal quote:

    "‘Best price’ has to go. It’s that simple."

    I'll say nothing - for now. Let's see what those at the coal face make of it."

    To which HE responded:

    "Those at the coal face need to change their stances, if an improvement to the workings of the housing market is ever to be inaugurated. They are not the experts, either in this scenario, or in coal mining ;-)"

    Open to the floor for comment...

    • 17 April 2012 10:43 AM
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    Brit1234, Vulcan logic says your post is illogical. Only a fool would think it possible to buy something that no longer exists. Negitive equity is unique to each property and that Property's mortgagor.

    • 17 April 2012 10:08 AM
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    Don't take any notice of this to influence if / when you buy, focus solely on the land reg data for the area you want to buy in and nothing else, press releases like this mean nothing to a FTB sitting on the sidelines like you

    • 17 April 2012 07:25 AM
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    Well all this overvaluing of asking prices must be putting off buyers till they appear affordable. I for one have a 30% deposit but still won't buy. I will just keep saving till estate agents and buyers price more realistically. After all what fool would buy someone else's negative equity.

    • 16 April 2012 23:58 PM
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    Realising Reality? Realising nowt as ever!

    • 16 April 2012 17:21 PM
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    @Jonnie.....i just cant help it.

    Fun boy,
    There is no way he could play the hairdryer game for two reasons.
    1, I suspect all the locals already know him (as a nutter) and wouldnt fall for it.
    2, It would involve getting off his arse.

    • 16 April 2012 15:36 PM
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    Tut tut RR.....

    • 16 April 2012 15:22 PM
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    "Agent 1 - "We sold the house over the road so yours is worth X"
    Agent 2 - "Agent 1 doesn't know what he's talking about - I'll get you more"
    Agent 3 - "Those other 2 didn't sell this house round the corner - I did, so I know I'll get you even more."

    Yes so predictable !!!!!

    Tell a bidding agent that they are not competiting on the achieved price....then sit back and watch the sales pitch (script) fall apart. :0)

    • 16 April 2012 15:19 PM
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    @Wardy, we have been here with RR – we all know he’s a bit bonkers, doesn’t practice what he preaches, runs a hateful little web site that looks like its been knocked up by a GCSE computer studies kid, and has ignored every challenge made to him, couple of weeks ago I said I would accept his blitherings as correct if he could go out and list just 1 house using his principle……………….he’s been a bit quiet since.

    Anyway – ignore the daft old goat, even the most moderate posters here dis regard him and he’s even failed to get support from the HPC boys – they seem to just ignore him and walk the other way, ive said on here before RR is like a Glaswegian drunk, stumbling around, repeating the same old nonsense, shouting at cars and generally being ignored – you’ve done the worst thing you can do and given him a quid and started talking to him about his scraggy little dog, time to smile nicely and leave him to it – before he pisses himself or pukes on you.


    • 16 April 2012 15:12 PM
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    @Fun Boy agent.
    I don't know how to value cars.
    In what context do you mean price guru?
    I don't know how to value oil paintings.
    No I haven't tried the hairdryer game, What's involved?
    Is it fun, boy?

    • 16 April 2012 14:55 PM
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    @ Wardy
    I think you have excelled in wasting everyone's time, on a totally hollow complaint, yet again.
    By not wanting anyone to know who you actually are, you seem to have a bit of an identity crisis as well.

    • 16 April 2012 14:49 PM
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    What is the "value" of YOUR car?

    Is it what you think its worth?
    Is it what I think its worth?
    Is it what a car dealer on part ex thinks its worth?
    Is it what your insurance co thinks its worth to replace?

    You are a 'price guru' ... define.

    When you have done that to satisfaction, I want to know..

    What is the value (in your opinion) of an oil painting?

    Is it priced by per inch of canvas?
    Thickness of paint used?
    Man hours spent painting it?

    Can you re-price all the paintings in the world please?

    If we met I think I would give you an egg to suck on. First learn to suck eggs, then come teach me. You really need teaching how estate agency works old chum. Your posts are ridiculous in the extreme.

    Have you ever tried the 'Hairdryer' game? It would be right up your alley.

    • 16 April 2012 14:43 PM
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    'It's waiting for change to happen in the residential property sector. I believe change is inevitable, that's why I continue.'

    In other words, he’s waiting for house prices to come down because he’s realised reality and now knows he can’t compete with estate agents. He’s waiting for a level playing field whereby he can sell without putting any legwork into marketing.

    No RR I’m not giving you links to my stock. a: because you’re dying to find out who I am and b: because I think you’re a bit of a loon. I could however find the original thread on here where 5 or so agents all declared that you where advertising their properties at incorrect prices.

    • 16 April 2012 14:32 PM
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    @Fun Boy agent.
    I'd love to have the chance to explain to you the importance of pitching at the right asking price - boy :

    • 16 April 2012 14:22 PM
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    @ Wardy
    What wrong data? Send me exact http refs, please. If not, stop wasting everyone's time here.

    • 16 April 2012 14:21 PM
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    So you are really just trying to put all the blame for over-optimistic asking prices on your clients' excess greed. That doesn't work.

    "As a business plan it works." Well, that;s why I'm calling for change!
    It may work for the more unscrupulous agents, because they exaggerate prices to win the most instructions, but it sure a h*ll doesn't work too well for clients who actually want to move and get into a chain to buy another house they would particularly like. On that measure it breaks down, almost every time.

    The web site I work with has a completely different business model. Because it's new, you can't really compare sales figures. It's waiting for change to happen in the residential property sector. I believe change is inevitable, that's why I continue.

    • 16 April 2012 14:21 PM
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    What is inaccurate about an asking price? Any asking price? Even an inflated asking price?

    If it is the asking price, it is accurate... Doh!


    We managed to get an asking price wrong the other day, .... WOW! The phone rang off the hook. Only £300k too cheap. (typo error), not a good strategy. Vendor real unhappy about it too.

    Hands up those who know the difference between market appraisal and valuation?

    (RR, keep your mits in your pocket).

    Someone give 'ole George "Ossie" Osborne a nudge for RR, let him know his solutions to the global money markets, unemployment, inflation, economic confidence etc, all lay with Estate Agents.

    He will be mighty relieved, he has spent so much time focused in other areas of the economy he may have overlooked this obvious reason for global economic slow down.

    George, some on, adopt RR policy NOW! and save us all.

    • 16 April 2012 14:10 PM
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    Nonsense RR and you know it. If it scraped on a regular basis then you wouldnt have the wrong data.

    You have to love a bloke that nicks information and then complains about the quality of said data.

    • 16 April 2012 13:55 PM
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    Programs on the Internet 'scrape' for information as you put it. If the inaccurate information wasn't being kept by agents, it couldn't get scraped. Problem sorted.

    • 16 April 2012 13:35 PM
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    RR - I was interested in what wardy and AoS had to say so I did have a quick look at your website.

    There is a saying about glass houses and stones or even sin and stones - I'm sure that I'm not the first to point these out to you.

    Asking Prices are definitely a problem and estate agents are complicit in their inaccuracy, but not ultimately responsible for them.

    If owners would just stop being greedy and listen to reality, then any agent that tried to overvalue would be ignored and we could all get to a bit of sanity.

    As per my previous post though, how long would it take you to save up £10,000? It takes a lot of hard work and scrimping & saving for the average person to put that much cash in the bank.

    So, it makes SENSE to try. The real problem is that property owners generally prefer the agent that says "No problem, sir, we guarantee we'll get it for you" as opposed to "Well, we could certainly try it for you".

    Then of course you get a price reduction and possibly a sale. The two main agents in my town generally have 10% of their stock reduced in price EVERY week.

    The most important part of that last sentence was that they are Agents No. 1 and 2 on the leader board in terms of annual completions.

    As a business plan it works.

    I would love to know how many properties on your website get price reductions before they sell.

    I would love to know what percentage of properties on your website actually sell.

    BTW, your website isn't fantastic ;-)

    Mind you, that said, even my microsite seems to have an issue, so I suppose that I should probably keep my own mouth shut!

    • 16 April 2012 13:11 PM
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    RR, I think Wardy (quite obviously) is referring to the scaping your own site does, using other people's data, which is completely out of date.

    Anyway, if so many agents are over-valuing, why do YOU scrape agent's sites to display THEIR listings?! It goes against everything you stand for, right?

    Assuming that you didn't get many people reading your own blog, hence your comeback on EAT!!

    • 16 April 2012 12:41 PM
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    @ wardy
    If you want to get personal, be specific. What are you talking about?

    • 16 April 2012 11:43 AM
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    And what are you doing RR to make sure the stock advertised on your website is up to date? From what I can see, much of it is listed at incorrect prices and incorrect statuses.
    How about we make a start by making shoddy websites owners responsible for the content and miss-information they provide.

    You literally are a joke.

    • 16 April 2012 11:35 AM
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    Surely the fact that many false asking prices are broadcast in estate agents windows and on their web sites means these organisation ought to be made to shoulder the responsibility for them.

    Here's an idea for dealing with those all too many agents who persistently over-value houses to win instructions.

    Make the all of them issue a Government Wealth Warning on any asking price that they are not prepared to label as 'Valuation'. Make them print:

    Government Wealth Warning:
    This asking price could seriously damage your wealth.
    Please make certain a proper valuation is carried out before you make an offer based on it.

    OR, Valuation : £xxx,xxx. (no wealth warning needed)

    They would need to be prepared to stand by their figure or potentially be sued by their client, if it turns out to be hot air!
    Surely this could help the market and help estate agents, working the market, no end.

    I wonder what 'Our Government ' might think about this idea? Do they ever read these columns? Probably not, I would suppose.

    • 16 April 2012 11:05 AM
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    Trying to avoid commenting too often here here as it all too often turns into a fruitless (and all too personal) slanging match. But this is one of my pet peeves so I'll make an exception.

    AC, I fear you are 100% correct.. I've upped the ante on realism this year and lost quite a few instructions that I know I could have sold quickly on a sensible valuation.

    I know that most are likely to stick around indefinitely at these silly asking prices, though I have to say my success rate in getting these customers back second time round is not too bad (must be my natural charm!).

    I truly despair though when I read stories like 'record high asking price'. In this market!. While your analysis is spot on as to why it happens, to the casual observer, it does make us all look like a pack of idiots.

    And after a better than expected winter, things are s-l-o-w to get going. Most of the traffic is the usual window shoppers who haven't sold yet and aren't really proceedable, while those serious buyers with mortgage offers and big deposits in their back pockets are bargaining hard, making 20% off offers (lower sometimes).

    Only a few of these are being accepted (yet!), though let's see what happens by July when I predict a lot of this new stock is still sitting there unbought, alongside quite a few properties from the Winter and indeed, last Spring!

    • 16 April 2012 10:27 AM
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    “But if your local market does not have those characteristics and your price-pump is based on little more than seasonal optimism and an estate agent’s hot air, then be prepared for buyer response to be a let-down.”

    • 16 April 2012 10:23 AM
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    @Ray - I wonder if we can persuade Ros to give profiles and posts an "interesting" score.

    A few websites have it.

    If it is an interesting post then it becomes bolder.

    If it is dull or vexatious then it becomes less bold or even hidden (but you can make it visible again by clicking a button).

    • 16 April 2012 10:18 AM
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    @Realising Reality on 2012-04-16 09:00:25

    I believe that your constant 'carping' on so negatively about those engaged in agency is becoming more than a little irritating, especially to those who really do know what they are doing and saying.

    May I respectfully suggest that if you are so concerned, do something positive yourself and let everybody know the results

    • 16 April 2012 10:07 AM
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    AC you are right.

    I worked in corporate EA and our mantra was get it on for the right price and get it sold. Surely this is the same for all EA but you would be scarily surprised what some agents do.

    We charged 2.5% in rural town and competitors went in 10 - 15k over with 1%. What are the vendors going to chose?

    We were happy to get a smaller piece of the pie, sell our houses and earn 1.5% more for the trouble let the 1% agent have 150 properties for sale on their books.

    This just shows that Agents cant sell their service and have to use price to gain instructions and hope for blind luck they can sell it or badger for a price reduction 8 weeks down the line. This shows a lack of talent in the EA not the market relaunching itself.

    • 16 April 2012 09:43 AM
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    @R and @RR what on earth are you talking about?

    Until quite recently MORTGAGE VALUERS used to call up estate agents and ask for comparables to support (or not) the transaction value.

    Then you got AVMs (Automated Valuation Models) like Rightmove, Zoopla & Hometrack - so the calls from surveyors dried up.

    ALL (and I do mean ALL) estate agents go round to a house or flat with the intention of earning a commission and will do everything in their power to get it.

    Agent 1 - "We sold the house over the road so yours is worth X"
    Agent 2 - "Agent 1 doesn't know what he's talking about - I'll get you more"
    Agent 3 - "Those other 2 didn't sell this house round the corner - I did, so I know I'll get you even more."

    The maths is very simple: ask yourself how long it would take to save up £10,000.

    Then think why it makes SENSE to overprice your home (at least to start with) and why estate agents just can't help it.

    EVERY single time I have been honest with an owner about overpricing it has gone to a different agent.

    Then when it doesn't sell, the owner is just too embarrassed to call you back in.

    Bloody brilliant.

    I would suggest we are in for another 5 years of this.

    Oh, BTW, if you read through all of my old posts you will see that I have been predicting a drop in VALUE from when I joined up.

    Nothing quite like being spot on - even my figures pan out

    • 16 April 2012 09:26 AM
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    Surely, the purpose of an asking price is to generate interest and get viewings.

    Unless sales pick up dramatically and instantaneously, excessive asking price increases are premature or just wishful thinking.

    There are two main reasons why I don' think the current-day estate agent is nearly good enough at doing accurate market appraisals (or house valuations).

    1. Because as a result in incorrect appraisals, the market has stagnated in terms of levels of sales or throughput, even though extremely large numbers of people are actively looking online, presumably hoping to moving house soon.

    2. Because if you read the comments of the majority of estate agents on this blog, where they discuss house valuations, they clearly have very little idea about what is involved in actually doing a valuation. Some even think that because a valuer is asking them for details of recent sales achieved, that's because the valuer wants them to do the valuation for them!! They seem to have no idea that the valuer is merely collecting information, or that doing a valuation requires using up to date market evidence!!

    This suggests these estate agents don't actually know the first thing about doing a valuation - a pretty scary situation, given that they offer to and claim to, be able to values houses!

    If this is just another false dawn, are estate agents going to admit it and re-appraise the way they compile asking prices?

    • 16 April 2012 09:00 AM
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    It's pointless just talking about averages...do RM mean mean, median or modal average?

    Median average is what we should be looking at - as they do for wages.

    Think on. And no mistake.

    • 16 April 2012 08:34 AM
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