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Estate Agent caught on camera

(96 Posts)
Tickledyellowish Mon 18-Jan-21 07:18:06

Our house has been on the market since early November and progress has been slow. I have to chase for any sort of information. It feels like they don't actually want to sell our house. We have only had 3 viewings in nearly 3 months so they are not doing much. We are open to advice, have dropped the price once and would take contrive feedback if we were lucky enough to get it.
We have a video doorbell at the front of the house and a kitchen camera which is set up for our puppy, and we have snuck a peek at these to get an insight into the viewings. Whilst I am confident that there is no legal issue here (it's our private property) it does feel a little imoral. However, it has meant that i have seen the estate agent turn up 10 mins late to viewings, park his car on the only driveway space so visitors can't park anywhere, introduce our lovely home by showing them the inside of our very cluttered garage. I have heard conversations about our house which fail to show it in it's best light and comparisons with cheaper properties that fail to show a proper understanding of what us on offer. I'm really annoyed about it and i feel let down. I honestly think and i could have done a better job myself.
The thing is, do I let on that I've seen and heard these things? I feel like making them squirm a bit, or should I just quit anyway and leave quietly?
I am going to end my contract with them either way.
Thanks for your thoughts.

OP’s posts: |
FTM24 Mon 18-Jan-21 07:33:35

If you are ending the contract anyway I can't see any benefit to bringing it up. Are you able to ask locally for recommendations so you don't have this issue with the next estate agent? Perhaps when you set up new contract set out exactly what you'd like and wouldn't like from a viewing

FusionChefGeoff Mon 18-Jan-21 07:35:16

Can you look at a purple bricks or similar where you do actually do the viewings yourself??

RealisticSketch Mon 18-Jan-21 07:38:59

Personally I would calmly state exactly why you know they are unprofessional and never going to sell your house as you inform then they have lost the contract and furthermore as you have video evidence you will be advising anyone you know to steer clear too. But then I hate people who are rubbish at their job for no good reason and as long as you aren't getting all emotional it might be a useful life lesson for them.
Have a look at the national association for estate agents for a new company, their members have a professional code of practice and are a cut above your average estate agent who are often franchises riding on a name and don't necessarily have any expertise.

LooseMooseHoose Mon 18-Jan-21 07:39:34

Could your neighbors have told you about the EA turning up late? And the driveway parking? Just get creative! But tbh, I'd be more likely to end the contract and drop some of the details in an online review. Not to be a dick, but because if I was a seller I'd like to know about this stuff before I instructed them as my agents!

PicsInRed Mon 18-Jan-21 07:39:43

You recorded them without their permission or warning so legally I should imagine you're on shaky ground?

I would quietly end the contract and be clear on expectations with the next.

LemonViolet Mon 18-Jan-21 07:42:10

Goodness I’d definitely give this feedback!!! Their performance has been poor, it’s an honest review of their service.

Your video doorbell is right there, we all know how they work, the EA would be stupid to think you wouldn’t be able to see what they were doing. You’re not spying on your own property, I don’t see any moral issue here at all.

Downtothelastbottleofwine Mon 18-Jan-21 07:42:15

It could be the agent is the reason for it not selling. What other job would you do such a piss poor effort in and still get thousands when people see psst him and buy it. Hes contracted to do a job which hes mot doing to an adewuate, let alone good, standard. Its also not fair on any other agent working there who could have done a great job. Would you pay a painter to throw a tin at the wall??

Roselilly36 Mon 18-Jan-21 07:47:50

Yes, why do EA always show the worst space/room in a house. I complained to my EA, as for me first impressions count. They said they prefer to show nicer rooms at the end of a viewing for the view ends on a positive note.

As for turning up late I can only assume they may have been late due to a previous viewing overrunning, as I think they only allow 15 or so minutes. But yes you are totally right to raise concerns. I hope you get a buyer soon OP.

We sold SSTC in Oct, hoping to exchange in the next couple of weeks, it’s a really stressful process, everything just takes so long, of course Covid & stamp duty holiday have made things busier, but it is worth it in the end, try not to get too despondent OP, you only need to find one buyer. Hopefully the stamp duty holiday will be extended.

Good Luck.

Bluntness100 Mon 18-Jan-21 07:50:09

Bit confusing, you start off saying three viewings only then give a list like the Agent is there constantly.

You can’t bring it up, because you’re videoing people without their knowledge. No one likes that.

However if you’ve only had three viewings, it’s sod all to do with the fact he used the visitor space or your garage was shown first,or even he turned up ten mins late.

It’s because your house is over priced. If you need the agent to say why your house is more expensive than other properties, then this means it’s not remotely obvious to any buyer. So you’ve priced too high.

MarieG10 Mon 18-Jan-21 07:54:54


"*You recorded them without their permission or warning so legally I should imagine you're on shaky ground?*"

What law has the Op broken having a camera in her property. People do it all the time. Suggest you look on the ICO website

Bigpaintinglittlepainting Mon 18-Jan-21 07:59:49

Honestly all that would not put me off a property, we have been shown round by some complete weirdos ! Estate agents who knew nothing about the property and others who were overbearing. None of it made the slightest difference, if you like the property you like it. And people are so savvy now using Rightmove that they know all the prices of property within their budget and they make a choice themselves.

You’re giving the estate agent too much credit

BloggersBlog Mon 18-Jan-21 08:08:50

It's surely not illegal to record someone in your own house 🤔 and if the ea doesn't realise what a video doorbell is for then she or he's not up to the job.
But a house sells itself an ea doesn't do it. They are just an irritant who has to be there. We all look beyond their yapping if we like the house, and see beyond a messy garage

DianaT1969 Mon 18-Jan-21 08:11:57

I agree. An estate agent doing those things wouldn't put me off. If I like the property I'd buy it regardless of what an estate agent shows first or says about prices.
Are you looking for hpnest feedback OP? Post here. It can be brutally detailed feedback, but I'm sure it helps to sell.

Winterwaves Mon 18-Jan-21 08:20:52

That sounds really frustrating OP. If you have only had 3 viewings in 3 months I would definitely change estate agents!

Dontbetardy Mon 18-Jan-21 08:23:00

Surely every buyer wants to see the garage? It’s not the agents fault that yours is cluttered. Most are these days.

Do you know for sure that the agent hasn’t called the viewer to say very sorry, I’m going to be 10 minutes late but I am on my way?

Parking, yes should be left for the viewer. Not a deal breaker though.

What exactly has been said about the house?

Why don’t you just do the viewings yourself?

If you’ve only had 3 viewings, that’s not what is putting buyers off. Price, location or perhaps the house isn’t as “lovely” as you think.

Countmeout Mon 18-Jan-21 08:24:24

I would just bow out quietly, if you’ve only had 3 viewing there must be a reason why in the current market surely.
I’ve recently been viewing houses, I don’t give a jot what the estate agent is like, it’s the house I’ve come to see.

Toffeefee23 Mon 18-Jan-21 08:24:29

Sack them.

When we sold our last house turns out the estate agent hadn’t been showing inside the garage. We had a few people say the house didn’t have enough storage space but the garage was vast with huge built in storage units - literally tons of storage space.

mnahmnah Mon 18-Jan-21 08:26:13

I once looked at a house, with the owner showing me round. It had all the curtains drawn, every room had a litter tray full of poo, cluttered and filthy. I couldn’t wait to get out. Thought I should let the estate agent know and he just shrugged and. Said it was the vendor’s problem and what could he do about it. I was gobsmacked by the terrible attitude and avoided that estate agents after that. It’s like they’re not interested in selling the house sometimes!

SpeckledyHen Mon 18-Jan-21 08:26:34

If the property is right for the buyers they will buy it , nothing to do with a rubbishy agent .

OnTheBenchOfDoom Mon 18-Jan-21 08:28:52

I think people are under the impression that RIng doorbells only trigger the camera when you press it. Ours starts recording when it detects motion.

I would try to mention the front door camera conversations rather than the inside one and mention the garage. But I would tell them exactly why they are shit.

C8H10N4O2 Mon 18-Jan-21 08:29:40

I wouldn't be put off a house by seeing the garage first (and if its cluttered that is not the agent's fault). Nor would I expect access to private parking when viewing a house.

If you haven't told the agent that they and your potential buyers are being filmed in the house you need to do so. Private property or not isn't the issue, its the viewer's privacy you need to consider as well.

If all are happy to be filmed, then rather than assume they are doing it wrong ask them why they proceed in a particular way. They may have good reasons for handling their clients in a particular way and three viewings is not a terribly representative sample. If you know better then do your own viewings. Other peoples' jobs are always easy compared to our own!

TBH three viewings in three months would suggest a problem eiither with price, your sales brochure or the local market.

Equimum Mon 18-Jan-21 08:33:23

I would just bow out quietly. If you are looking for a new EA, it may be worth chatting to people who have viewed properties with different agents in your area, as well as those who have sold. Or, if you have viewed houses, choose the agent you have had really positive viewings with.

When we move sun our local area, we booked a couple of viewings of houses we were genuinely interested in before putting ours to market (we initially did this to make sure we were going to be able to afford what we really wanted etc). We thought we knew which agent we would sell through, but that all changed after a different agent gave us a really good viewing, turned things we were negative about into positives, and spent a long time at the end, asking exactly what we were looking for, and asking if he could contact us if anything that met our requirements came to market. We went with them, and look and behold, they found a buyer who had also speculatively viewed something with them, who they proactively contacted and invited to view.

LM20 Mon 18-Jan-21 08:38:04

OP as an Agent myself the behaviour from the Agent this is unacceptable but you are on very shaky ground to be listening and recording not only the agent but third party visitors. You do not have their permission and some would consider this a very serious breach of their privacy.

Frankly if I was your agent I wouldn’t want to sell your property if you deem this acceptable and want to use it to cancel your contract.

Ps... Agents talk to other Agents. They’ll let others know about your videoing tactics.

DavidRose Mon 18-Jan-21 08:39:59

By all means end the contract and find someone new.

Regardless of legality, I do think it is totally immoral to record someone without their knowledge so I'm not surprised you feel a bit iffy about it.

Perhaps if you get new agents you could mention the puppy camera to them. That way they know about it and it may ensure they are always on their best behaviour during viewings so win-win. Either that or do the viewings yourself - that would be the norm where I am unless the house is empty.

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