Mumsnet Logo
My feed

to access all these features


I’m an estate agent! Ask me anything!

70 replies

FucksBizz · 26/01/2019 15:11

I’m an estate agent. I find it’s like being a parking attendant, everyone loves to hate us Grin
Ask me anything and I will be very honest!

OP posts:

PenguinPandas · 29/01/2019 11:48

We have a house to sell that's half finished and we've moved out of close to London. Ground floor and top floor are done, needs new bathroom, new carpets, gardens done, and few none structural cracks doing and slight mould in bedroom. Is it worth doing all that before sell? Do we need furniture to sell it - its a period house with lots of nice period features, very well located for schools, tube and shops. Thanks.


justasking111 · 29/01/2019 12:11

Penguin I would sort out the cracks which as you say are not serious. Mould eek. I would sort that out, where in the house is it.

As an amateur I would put a few pieces of furniture in to show scale of rooms. When I see an empty house of a certain size, I think buy to let which did not work out. Some folk might think a cheeky offer was in order.


PenguinPandas · 29/01/2019 13:27

Thanks very much JustAsking The cracks are fairly simple to sort out just some filler and repainting and only in the 2 bedrooms on 1st floor that I've noticed.

We have some furniture left in there - a handpainted Peter Rabbit wardrobe and some Victorian wooden furniture though beds have gone. All the rooms its obvious what they are and 2 large bedrooms, 2 small. The mould is around the window in one of the bedrooms, also have some in bathroom on tiles and around where shower screen hits bath, think its mould anyway. Bathroom only one and bath panel is broken, sink is slightly loose, tiles are dated so don't know if we need a complete refit on that.

Downstairs we had chimney breast and fireplace put back which looks lovely and also makes it mortgageable again as people before us had left it unsupported so we bought in cash. Living room all completely done and kitchen / diner all completely done to high standard - solid oak floors and worktops etc, pale blue kitchen walls, range cooker and shaker units etc. Top bedroom has white handmade built in cupboard and beautiful views so nothing really needed there. I agree we may get cheeky offers but really want it shifted and no mortgage on it, bought for just over £300k and now worth around double that (ones in good condition selling for £700K). It's prime buy to let territory as by tube 30 mins into the City and good state schools. Most houses around are buy to let and permanently let at pretty high prices - if can't sell its what we will do. Thanks for your help.


Mildura · 30/01/2019 13:50

Not the OP, but....

Why isn't your 'profession' regulated?
It is.
Estate Agents Act (1979
Consumer Protection Regulations (2014)

With most houses being advertised on Rightmove or similar now, buyers come to you rather than you having to find buyers. So what value do you think you add to justify the extortionate commission you charge?
Effectively all Rightmove has done is replace print advertising.

Despite what you seem to believe there is a tiny bit more to do than sticking a picture on the internet, then sending out an invoice a few weeks later.

Finding a buyer is often easy bit!

Other than an estate agents saying "not me Gov, honest" how can anyone ever be sure theres another bidder / offer etc? What would you do to make the process more transparent?
Why do you think it greatly benefits the EA to invent another bidder?

Fees are usually around 1-1.25% of the sale price. Say the house is being sold for £300k, at 1.25% that's £3750 to the firm of EAs, maybe 10% of that to the individual. Trying to get a buyer to increase their offer using a fictitious other buyer, say by £10k, at 1.25% is £125 to the company, around £12.50 (pre-tax) to the individual.

Does that sound worth it to you?

I'm going to guess you've had a bad experience somewhere down the line.

The vast majority make the rest of us look bad! ;)


TeaStory · 30/01/2019 14:07

Do you pressure potential buyers to sit down with your in house broker for a quote even if they don't want one. And influence the vendor to preference offers arranged through your own broker & solicitors rather than an independent? We found this with a big chain recently and it left a sour taste.

Your Move? They refused to let us view properties unless we met their own broker in person, despite us already having our AiP from an independent broker.


namechangedtoday15 · 30/01/2019 14:38


Its regulated? Really? The legislation does not "bite" and EAs voluntarily (or not) sign up to guidelines / a code. Other professions have a regulatory body to monitor conduct of their members - there is nothing like that for EAs.

What sanctions are there for giving wrong advice / failure to act in the client's best interests / lying?

I know you're not the OP but you haven't really answered the question about what you do (am guessing you're an EA) to justify £3k or £4k on a pretty standard house. The buyer comes to you from a website, you contact the seller, there might be a bit if to-ing and fro-ing on price, then its agreed and passed on to solicitors. There might be a couple of calls before completion but that's in (in most cases). That's worth £3k - really?

Trying to get a buyer to increase their offer using a fictitious other buyer, say by £10k, at 1.25% is £125 to the company, around £12.50 (pre-tax) to the individual

Yes, it probably is worth it if you're turning over 10+ properties a month. But you're missing the fundamental point that the seller gets an extra £10k. Obviously good for the seller but it's the inequality between the seller and the buyer that is a problem in the UK and estate agents just make that worse. Also if prices are artificially inflated by estate agents with "another bidder", capitalising on people wanting to buy a house etc, then it has a knock on effect on all local values so they continue to increase and EA future commission goes up.


Mildura · 30/01/2019 15:50

The legislation does not "bite"
It's not my fault that the legislation that does exist is ineffectively applied!

I would far prefer it if there was a formal qualification required, and an effective regulatory body, as it remove the dross from the industry and stop people like you believing every estate agent was a thieving liar. Sadly there is little I can personally do to affect this, so we carry on as we are, and just hope that vendors choose to employ the reputable estate agents out there, not the ones who are dodgy and crooked.

That's worth £3k - really?
Most of my clients pay me substantially more than that, so they must see some value!

I'm not sure where to start if you think there's only "a couple of calls before completion."

The period post offer acceptance leading to contracts being exchanged can frequently be around 12 weeks, and is normally the most labour intensive part of the process. A tricky transaction can involve several dozen, if not hundreds of calls, over many weeks. A skilled estate agent can be the difference between a sale going through, and it falling through.

"artificially inflated by estate agents with "another bidder"
If the possibility that two different buyers can express interest and offer on the same property is such a far fetched scenario, then call the EAs bluff, don't increase your offer.

Remember it is a clear breach of the Estate Agents Act for the EA to invent another where none exists. Whilst I am not naive enough to believe it is something that never occurs, in my experience it is something incredibly rare, and unlike you I see no benefit to the EA. In fact anyone who did this with any frequency would quickly attract a bad name and cause damage to their business.


namechangedtoday15 · 30/01/2019 16:07

I dont think that every EA is a thieving liar but it's such a grey, murky process. There is absolutely no transparency and buyers are at the mercy of whatever behaviour the EA chooses to adopt. It's not as simple as "calling their bluff" if you have reason to doubt what they're saying, particularly where it's a very buoyant market and buyers are fighting over few properties- EAs can choose who they call first, who gets to view a property first. In my area for instance, there are a couple of EAs who obviously have a relationship with developers and when doer-uppers come onto the market, they literally come on the EAs website as "SStC" (you see the developers vans outside the properties shortly after) - and then obviously the developers then sell through the same EA to "repay the favour". Similarly I once said to a mum at school that she must have had quite a bun fight to buy her house (it was a probate job and a bit lower than the market rate). She laughed and said it paid to have a brother working at the estate agent!

As you rightly say, in a tricky transaction there may be numerous phone calls but that's obviously not the same for pretty standard transactions. Everyone is charged however a fixed price usually 1% or whatever. Like I say, that doesn't warrant £3k or £4k nevermind the transactions you say you deal with paying much more than that.


ILoveMaxiBondi · 30/01/2019 16:16

The last one is quite an innocent inoffensive question, and I feel bad that it annoys me, but it does, because how long it’s been on the market is irrelevant to whether you like it or not

Umm I know estate agents aren’t known for being the brainiest bunch but surely even you can work out that if a property has been on the market for a long time it can suggest a problem that isn’t obvious!


futuredayspast · 30/01/2019 16:27

Coming to this thread a bit late, but what's it like as a career choice? Is the money OK? I ask because having recently bought my first flat I am seeing a lot of appeal in an industry where there seem to be about 10 interested buyers for every sale - pretty much the opposite of my current industry where I am one of about 10 sales people competing for every opportunity...


Mildura · 30/01/2019 17:02

Similarly I once said to a mum at school that she must have had quite a bun fight to buy her house (it was a probate job and a bit lower than the market rate). She laughed and said it paid to have a brother working at the estate agent!

Hearing things like this always amaze me.

A probate property being sold as a result of a deceased person's estate is handled by executor or executors. The executors have a legal obligation to achieve the best price for the property on behalf of the beneficiaries, and can be sued by the beneficiaries if they do not fulfil their duty.

I cannot fathom why an executor would allow an EA to flog a house on the cheap to a developer mate, without putting it on the market? 20-30 years ago maybe, but now awareness is so much greater.

What is in it for the executor?

There is normally a solicitor involved, and the probate work I do the solicitors always insist on 3 valuations. The value of the property has to be submitted on the probate application. Anything suspiciously low will be picked up by the district valuer at the local authority and investigated for possible avoidance of IHT.

I'm not doubting the story you've heard, I'm just flabbergasted anyone can get away with it!


namechangedtoday15 · 30/01/2019 17:27

I think you're missing the point again! It's not a question of the executor or solicitor failing to do their job properly (there are significant penalties for an executor/ a solicitor can get struck off) but going back to my earlier point, there is no way a seller (selling as an executor or otherwise) can tell that an EA has acted above board. Might be that the sister was first to view and made a decent offer which matched market value and EA bigged up her position as being the most proceed-able / reliable offeror etc, maybe EA didnt report interest from other parties (I know they're supposed to report offers but could have told other parties it was under offer and they never formally offered) and failed to advise to go to sealed bids, maybe brother told sister what seller would accept or what offers other parties had made. None of that would be obvious to a seller, none of it would necessarily be documented. Surely you can see the point I'm making?


PippilottaLongstocking · 30/01/2019 17:36

What’s your opinion on this guy?


Mildura · 30/01/2019 17:37

I think you're missing the point again!

Part of your point was that a Mum from school said she'd managed to buy a property on the cheap, as it was probate and her brother the EA swung it her way.

I've explained why I think this is unlikely to occur.


lifebegins50 · 30/01/2019 17:44

One, Estate agents do offer developers priority viewing and offers.. I know this from some personal experience.
The benefit is that they develop a relationship which involves a stream of properties so therefore commission. If they sold to a owner occupier they may not sell for years and then could sell to a different agent. With local developers they know that there will be churn.

Not saying all agents do it but in an fast moving area it will be common.


namechangedtoday15 · 30/01/2019 17:59

At the risk of repeating myself, I'm not saying the value was so low that it would be investigated, simply that the EA pulled strings to give his sister an advantage in the process. Failing to acknowledge that this goes on, and the process & lack of transparency enables this sort of practice, just smacks a bit of denial. Sorry (its not personal!).


MrBrainsFaggots · 30/01/2019 18:05

@FucksBizz - just what I was looking for!

We've had our house valued by three EA recently and there's a huge discrepancy (@£250k...) so we've called upon a CS to draw up a report.

Just so happens the CS is linked to one of the original EA. CS has remarked on this COI. We are happy to proceed.

What's the likelihood of the CS deviating far from the original EA suggested value? Surely if they go far higher or far lower, they both risk losing credibility?! Any info much appreciated.


MymymyLinda · 03/02/2019 07:48

We used and online agent who basically did absolutely NOTHING (Yopa). I had to deal with everything to do with the two agents either end of our chain and I can confirm it did take hundreds of phone calls, it was a nightmare!


MrsCollinssettled · 19/02/2019 07:41

I had a corporate relocation. The company who organised it on behalf of the firm stressed the importance of not mentioning this to buyers as it would have a negative impact on the price achieved. (Due to the buyers knowing we had to move quickly). The estate agents they used however didn't hold back on telling buyers despite this being raised with the relocation company (RC).

There were a good number of viewings but all to people who were looking for something different, e.g. more bedrooms, had to have ensuite/garage - things it was clear from the particulars we didn't have. So no offers. EA recommended price cut to RC based on the evidence. RC agreed and immediately a buyer popped up who offered exactly the minimum amount the the RC would accept based on the new sale price. There was a formula that the RC would accept a % below the asking price.

It quickly became apparent that the successful bidder was a major BTL player who did all their rentals through the EA. So very much a win win for the EA & BTL. The RC weren't that bothered as it got the property off their books. The only people to suffer were us as we had to downgrade what we were looking for at the other end.


MrsCollinssettled · 19/02/2019 07:46

Needless to say I'm firmly of the opinion that the EA works on behalf of whoever will bring the most long term value to them and that you are naive if you think that is always the seller.

Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Sign up to continue reading

Mumsnet's better when you're logged in. You can customise your experience and access way more features like messaging, watch and hide threads, voting and much more.

Already signed up?