It can’t just be a bloody coincidence or a conspiracy, can it? There’s definitely a reason for why so many of us morbidly fantasise about the demise of estate agents, right? If you haven’t personally had a soul-destroying experience with one, the odds are that you’re a stone’s throw away from someone that has.
I recently read the results of a national survey, which listed estate agents as one of the most despised people among society, sitting comfortably below ticket inspectors. I can’t clarify how reliable the source was, but it sounded incredibly accurate. I guess that would also explain why there’s an increasing amount of us choosing to sell our homes privately via those ‘hip’ new online estate agents, like Puplebricks. Not only do they provide a solution that’s a buttload cheaper than the traditional high-street agent, but their ‘business model’ gives the selling power and control to the vendor, which eradicates the need of a
I could probably sit here all day and night compiling a list longer than my… for why we all hate estate agents and throw my feces at them. And I bet you could, too.
1] No qualifications required
There’s no real science or mystical theory to why the majority of Estate Agents are spineless, mentally challenged turds. In fact, it’s quite simple- you don’t currently need a license or go through a training programme to become an Estate Agent (in the UK), so any old fool off the street without qualifications or experience can set up shop as an Estate Agent (which is often the case).
In fact, I’m convinced the only prerequisite an Estate Agent is required to have is the means to access an oversized polyester suit and a can of Lynx.
Now, this may sound like a petulant and unfounded rant, but I assure you there’s substance in my allegation, and that’s proved by the incredible continuing growth and success of online estate agents. As already said, the online agent model is based on the premise that ‘anyone’ can sell their own home as long as they receive the leads.
Wait, so thousands of people with no experience in selling property do exactly the same job as an agent every day? Like, really? Yes.
2] Limited consumer protection
Estate Agents are protected from their own stupidity, because it’s not a hugely regulated industry.
It’s extremely difficult to claim anything against Estate Agents, unless they do something blatantly illegal. It’s amazing how British consumers have more rights when buying a tin of baked beans when compared to spending tens of thousands of pounds on bricks and mortar.
3] The Wanker Mobile
Need I say more?
4] “This property is extremely popular”
Needless to say, Estate agents aren’t short of a trick or two. One of their favourite being, arranging two viewings to “accidentally” coincide, so the property appears to be in demand. Alternatively, the agent may often get someone from the office to ring while taking a viewing and pretend that someone has just put an offer in.
Buyer beware, idiot with a semi-functioning brain in operation.
5] That house is perfect for you, sir!
Ever seen an estate agent discourage you from a buy simply because it’s not suitable? Me neither. They’ll lie through their teeth in order to encourage a sale, even if they’re trying to flog a pile of shit.
Hey Mr Estate Agent, is that barn an appropriate living environment for my wife and my newly born child?
Well, let me see; according to my calculations, I get 1.5% of the sale price. So if I worked this out correctly- then YES, it’s a perfect living environment for you and your family
6] The Estate Agents perfect deal
Estate Agents don’t try and get you the best deals; they try and get themselves the best deals. It’s all about the commission. Regardless of whether you’re a buyer or seller, they have tactical methods of trying to exploit anyone at either end of the chain.
If you’re a buyer, the Estate Agent may try and make you pay as much as possible for a property, so their commission is maximized. If you’re a seller, an Estate Agent may try to under value your property, and then quickly buy the property via a “friend” Sounds far-fetched, right? Happens all the damn time.
7] Different planet
They each live on a different planet, and naturally, they rule all.
Estate Agents love taking it upon themselves to show prospective buyers properties that are completely out of scope from their initial requirements. Why do they do that? It’s usually when they don’t have enough properties in their books that match the brief, so instead of fessing up and saying, “Sorry, we don’t have any properties that match your criteria”, they take their prospects on a bullshit wild goose chase.
Here’s an all-time classic clip from Gavin and Stacy of a stereotypical Estate Agent that’s a total time-waster. It’s funny because it’s true.
9] Money-grabbing buffoons
The nutritious problem with any competitive commission based job (but especially in this industry), is that the positions get filled with a particular type of idiot; greasy, ruthless and willing to kill for the next buck. They either come that way or eventually get conditioned by the system.
It’s truly a sad state of affairs.
I’d fancy my chances at finding a unicorn before finding an agent that looks after my best interest before their own transparent agenda.
10] They hate their own kind
‘Black on Black’ crime was actually inspired by ‘Estate Agent on Estate Agent’ crime.
What chance do we as consumers have if they hate their own kind? I’m not just talking about feuds between rival companies; I’m also talking about in-house war. They backstab each other by taking each others leads. Other peoples’ misery is generally their gain.
Do you often seen those hideous “for sale” and “for let” signs everywhere and think, “How can there be so many houses for sale/for let?”? The reality is, half of them aren’t available, and that’s what is known as “flyboarding”
Estate agents leave those hideous, out-dated signs up as a means of cheap advertising. “Cheap” being the operative word.
12] Turbulent Work Ethic
I tried selling during a booming market once. Ironically, it was a horrible experience.
I’ve realised that if the property market is ‘hot’ and there is plenty of demand, Estate Agents are generally performing at their worst. Their level of communication will be at an all-time low and they’ll be working by their own schedule. The reality is, during a property boom, houses sell themselves, so they really don’t have to do much ‘selling’ or provide much of a service.
However, if the market is dead, you may get the best out of them. They’ll probably pop round and drop off some sugar; build some common ground and try to ‘relate’ to you and your problems. It’s pitiful.
13] Mr Know-it-all
When an Estate Agent doesn’t know an answer to your question, don’t expect a confession, nor should you expect a respectable response like, “I’m not entirely sure, but I will find out for you and get back to you”
No sir, you should strap on your seatbelt and expect a train of verbal bullshit.
Hey, Mr Estate Agent, what are the local schools like around here?”
errr…well, they’re very good. Yeah, my daughter goes to the one around the corner. Highly recommended. Your children will be safe and well educated there”
The Estate Agent is lying. He doesn’t have a kid. He hasn’t even had sex with a human before, only with bags of money.
14] Ridiculous fees
Most of us have fallen victim to this nonsense; their piss poor service at bullshit prices. But it’s not just their prices that annoy many of us, it’s the way they create imaginative ways of swindling money out of us and then package it to us like they actually believe it’s a fair deal.
Some agents have the audacity to charge vendors even if they don’t sell their property after a certain period of time. While others force vendors to pay as much as 3% when they have merely found a “ready, willing and able buyer” Yes, it’s as ludicrous as it sounds- the fee is still applicable even if the sale doesn’t go through, as long as they find an interested party.
I’m sorry, WHAT? How about I bend over and stretch my arse cheeks wide apart for you, so you can lube me up with your pot of wetlook hair gel, and then get to work on me?
15] Chinese Whispers
You have to remember, the estate agent is the “middle-man” The problem with having a middle man, especially one that’s dressed in an oversized polyester Burtons suit, is that information often falls out of their head, meaning information doesn’t always seamlessly relay as it should. Strange that, innit?
It’s not uncommon for a lot of the lower-end offers to never get delivered to the vendor if the estate agents feels he can make more money from the deal.
Please note, I don’t actually think every Estate Agent out there is an unscrupulous tossor; I just think the majority have committed at least one of the sins above. I have no doubt in my mind that there are a few good men standing, they’re just not as easy to find as the remaining parasites.
Disclaimer: I'm just a simple landlord blogger; I'm not qualified to give legal or financial advice. Any information I share is my opinion based on my personal experiences as an active landlord, and should never be construed as legal or professional advice. For more information, please read my full disclaimer.