Estate agent tricks and scams revealed!
The majority of property sellers may indeed sell their homes using an estate agent, but most are scammed and ripped off in the process! Below is a list of some of the most prevalent estate agent tricks and scams that all property sellers need to be aware of.
Most of these scams work as they are extremely hard for property sellers to detect and very difficult to prove. Astonishingly, most property sellers who fall victim to these scams are completely unaware they have been scammed or exploited, sometimes to the tune of tens of thousands of pounds! These tricks and scams are used by all types of estate agents - large and small.
The amount of tricks and scams estate agents employ are numerous. So why take the risk? Our advice is to avoid estate agents altogether.
- The professional viewers scam
- The bogus 'offers to buy' scam
- 'Quick sale' scam
- Poor quality estate agent staff
- Estate agent branches myth
- Buyer list of waiting buyers trick
- 'Under offer’ signs
- 'No Sale No Fee' deals
- Property valuations/market appraisals
- Over valuations
- Under valuations
- Estate agents 'blackballing' your property
- Press adverts scam
- TV, press and radio advertising trick
- On-going marketing fees scam
- Conflict of interest
- Your estate agent being in cahoots with your 'buyer'
- Rigged negotiations scam
- Cancellation fees scam
- Cancellation periods scam
- Sale commission based upon home report value scam
- Closing dates
- 'Offers Over' trick
- Accompanied viewings trick
- Sold lots of similar properties lately
- Part exchange gimmick
- Professional photographers gimmick
- Sales targets
- Rightmove premium listings
- Estate agents charging for replacement 'for sale' boards
- 'Winners' of prestigious awards!
- Broken promises and dishonesty
- Printed brochure rip off
- Bogus for sale boards
- Disrespect for clients
- Lazy estate agents
- Estate agents can earn a whopping £400 - £1000+ per hour
The professional viewers scam
The use of professional viewers by estate agents is rife throughout the industry. It's where an estate agent pays people, or has friends or acquaintances, to ‘view’ properties they are selling. This trick has one function. To make their agency look better than they really are by getting 'viewers' through your door.
This scam is easy for the estate agent to arrange, but very hard for you to detect and prove. It's particularly common after you have threatened to leave the estate agent.
The bogus 'offers to buy' scam
This involves your estate agent claiming they have an offer from a buyer to buy your property, but they don't!
These offers never materialise, even if you were to accept them, they always "fall through" later on. This trick comes in many guises and estate agents who use this trick are very well versed in pulling it off.
Bogus offers are used to accomplish two functions. Firstly, as an extension to the above professional viewers scam, again, with the intention of making their agency look good. Yes, some estate agents will go this far, again, especially if you have threatened to leave them!
Secondly, they are often used by ‘quick sale’ estate agents, (the ones that promise to sell your home within a short period of time). By having an 'offer on the table’ allows them to claim that they have fulfilled their obligation of selling your home quickly and that they are now entitled to their full fee - regardless if you accept the offer or not!
BEWARE! Although the agent's marketing material and sales pitches may state they will 'sell' your property, their small print will state that they only require obtaining 'an offer' on your property - quite a difference!
Again, this is a very clever scam that is easy for the estate agent to arrange, but very hard for you to detect and extremely difficult to prove.
'Quick sale' scam
This scam takes place when an estate agent claims they can have your property sold within a certain time period.
This is another trick that some estate agents employ purely to convince you to sign with them and it can be very effective when used in conjunction with the above bogus 'offers to buy' scam.
NOTE: No estate agent can claim to be able to sell any property quicker than another agency. These agents know this, but remember, this is a scam!
This trick works by the estate agent convincing you to sign with them based upon their claim that they will have your property sold within a certain time frame, usually two - three weeks. Then, when your property doesn't sell within the stated time frame, the agent uses every excuse under the sun.
Even more sinister is when this scam is used in conjunction with both the aforementioned 'professional viewers' and 'offers to buy' scams.
If no real buyer is forthcoming within the stated time period, the agency often resorts to arranging for a professional viewer, or perhaps just a friend, to view your property, then they create a bogus offer from this 'viewer'. This allows your estate agent to claim that they have fulfilled their sale obligation and that they are entitled to their full fee. Remember, their terms will stipulate that they only require obtaining 'an offer' on your property to be entitled to their full fee! Extremely crafty!
To further add to your problems, these agents usually make it very expensive and difficult for you to cancel your agreement. You're therefore effectively trapped, as the law doesn't allow another agent to market your property until it has been released from the previous agency. This problem is widespread.
Our advice is to avoid estate agents altogether.
Poor quality estate agent staff
In particular, poorly trained and inexperienced negotiators.
This is the BIGGEST problem that is OVERLOOKED by ALL property sellers, yet it is one of the MOST IMPORTANT FACTORS you should consider if you really have to use an estate agent - WE CAN'T STRESS THIS ENOUGH!
Having a poorly trained estate agent negotiator could easily cost you thousands of pounds in lost sale revenue as they don't have the training or skill to negotiate the highest sale price for your property. Unfortunately, virtually all estate agents fall into this category.
It gets worse, some estate agents are simply so keen to secure a quick sale to earn their commission, they actually place little or no effort in negotiating your sale price at all, it's a disgrace!
Losses of between £5,000 - £25,000 are common. In our opinion, most estate agencies employ inadequately trained or skilled negotiators.
Estate agent branches myth
This is a very common myth that ALL estate agents rely on to convince you to sign with them and unfortunately, most property sellers still fall for it!
Despite the common misconception amongst the public, and what locally based estate agents want you to believe, estate agency branches DON'T contribute anything to the sale of your property.
Their purpose is to house the estate agent’s admin staff and double up as excellent marketing tools for the agency to sell its own estate agency service to prospective new property sellers.
DON'T be fooled! Local estate agents with a branch will NOT be able to sell your property any quicker, or for more money, than any other estate agency based elsewhere!
Consider this: Most estate agents can't fit all the properties they are selling into their window displays, therefore, if your property isn't displayed, their branch certainly isn't helping to sell your property.
Buyer list of waiting buyers trick
We believe this trick is used by EVERY estate agent in one form or another. It is simply employed by them to entice you to sign up with them to sell your home.
This trick comes in many guises. Usually though, the main ones are; estate agents claiming they require new properties urgently as they have lots of disappointed buyers waiting, or claiming they have a gigantic database of buyers - all usually lies!
In truth, despite what estate agents want you to believe, most property buyers don't register with individual estate agencies at all. Most simply register their interest through the main property portals such as Rightmove and Zoopla. ALL estate agents who market your property on these sites get automatic access to these databases. Now you know.
This trick works because very few property sellers challenge the estate agents for evidence of these names, which makes this a great trick for the estate agents - regardless if it's true or not!
'Under offer’ signs
Despite popular belief and what estate agents want you to believe, having an 'under offer' sign against your property is NOT in your best interest, either within your garden or on the internet.
The ONLY beneficiary is your estate agent. It gives them great local PR and local credibility. In fact, estate agents can't get any better local PR than having 'under offer' and 'sold' signs against their property.
By placing an ‘under offer’ sign against your property, you're effectively removing it from the market prematurely, telling all potential new buyers that your property has sold - but it hasn't!
When you consider that more than half of all offers made to buy property fall through, having an under offer sign placed against your property is a very bad idea! You could lose out on many new potential buyers. Remember, your property hasn't sold until contracts have been signed and exchanged in England, or missives have been concluded in Scotland.
Another trick that involves 'under offer' signs is when you give your estate agent their written cancellation notice. Sometimes the estate agent will stick an under offer sign on your property as this gives the estate agent great local PR as they create the impression that they managed to sell your home.
'No Sale No Fee' deals
No Sale No Fee deals are one of the cleverest little tricks available to estate agents to entice you to sign up with them.
No Sale No Fee deals sound fantastic. You can’t lose. If the agent doesn't sell your home, you don’t pay them anything! The agency has to go 'all out' in order to sell your property and get paid! - Not always so!
Agents use this trick for no other reason than to win your instruction! The headline 'No Sale No Fee' sounds fantastic, however, reality is often the opposite.
Contrary to what most property sellers’ believe; estate agents that offer a No Sale No Fee deal, DO NOT try any harder to sell your home - they don't need to!
These agents don’t wish to put too much effort into selling your home, just in case it doesn't sell and they don’t get paid - the exact opposite to the impression the ‘No Sale No Fee’ headline creates.
Most of these estate agents simply place your home on the market and sit back waiting for buyers to come! It doesn't matter to them when it sells, it's a simple numbers game. Once you've signed with them to sell your home, the tactic has done its job!
Plus, these estate agents make it extremely difficult for you to actually cancel your agreement and walk away free of any charges. There is usually a hefty marketing and/or cancellation fee to pay, making a mockery of the No Sale No Fee deal!
Property valuations/market appraisals
There is a common misconception nowadays that estate agents value your property. This is NOT the case - despite what estate agents want you to believe!
ALL estate agents are desperate to provide you with a 'FREE valuation', or 'FREE market appraisal' of your home. The real reason for this is they're NOT valuations at all, but sales opportunities for the estate agent.
They are an excellent sales tactic for estate agents to get into your home with your undivided attention to sell their agency to you. Yes, they'll go through the motions of undertaking a valuation, but from the agents' point of view, that's not the real reason they are there.
Yes, it was true that estate agents genuinely did value your property before the introduction of home reports in December 2008, however, since then, things have changed!
Most estate agency 'valuers' are simply well trained sales people - not trained surveyors. Surveyors are the only people qualified to officially value a property.
Please note: It doesn't matter what value an estate agent gives your property, it’s the valuation from your home report that matters.
Agents will never admit to this fact, but when 'valuing' your property, they are simply trying to second guess what your property's typical home report valuation will be. Sometimes they are accurate, sometimes they are way out!
Also, be wary of 'valuations' from estate agents, they can tell you what you want to hear just to get your signature on their agreement!
So, you may believe you're getting a nice free valuation service from a very nice estate agent, but now you know!
This has to be the oldest trick in the book!
Although estate agents no longer value property, they still manage to use valuations as a cunning little trick to entice you to sign with them.
Some estate agents will deliberately overvalue your property in order to impress you of their supposed ability of being able to sell your property for this inflated value. This trick still works with many property sellers falling for it! DON'T be one of them!
These agents know your property will never sell for this amount, but it doesn't matter to them, as the whole point of this trick is simply to persuade you to sign up with them - then they make it difficult and expensive for you to cancel.
Furthermore, once you have signed, they pressure you to reduce your price to its proper level.
Another variation of this trick is where an estate agent actually undervalues your property. This may seem strange at first, however, this trick is employed by some agents, especially in rural areas or when the agent realises that you will not be inviting other agents to 'value' your home.
The purpose of this trick is to enable the agent to market your property at a very good price to enhance a quicker sale in order for them to collect their sales commission sooner.
Estate agents 'blackballing' your property
This is massive scam that few property sellers realise exists. It is also one of the most despicable scams that we know of.
It’s were an estate agent stops all efforts to sell your property, even to the point of telling potential buyers your property isn't available for viewing!
Why would an agency blackball your property?
Some estate agents will blackball your property if you have given them a hard time or complained to them about their service or something you're unhappy with. This seems to be their revenge! It's pretty dumb on the part of the agents, but it causes untold problems, anxiety and stress for property sellers - hence why estate agents do it!
This is a fairly easy scam to spot but the biggest problem for property sellers is that it's impossible to know before you employ an estate agent whether they will blackball your property if you complain or give them a hard time.
Press adverts scam
In our opinion, this is the biggest money making scam for estate agents in the industry. It’s common knowledge amongst estate agents that press advertising, in any form, seldom works to sell property nowadays. In fact, we would go as far as stating that press adverts simply don't help to sell property at all. They are a complete waste of money.
However, most estate agents that employ this scam make serious profits from every advert placed - sometimes as much as 450% profit! Some estate agents can even earn more from press adverts than they can from the sale commission from the sale of your home! Therefore, it is very lucrative for them to convince you that they do indeed help to sell your property. Now you know.
TV, press and radio advertising trick.
Some estate agents advertise their own agency's services on TV, radio and through the press in order to promote their services to new property sellers.
We've been hearing lately that some of these estate agents are trying to hoodwink property sellers by claiming that these adverts will help promote and sell their property if they list with the agency. Nonsense!
Let us reassure you - these adverts will have NO bearing whatsoever on the sale of your property!
These adverts are designed to sell the agency itself, not their property! Don't be fooled!
If you come across one of these agents making this claim, our advice is to walk away from them. Personally, if I was selling my home and an estate agent made this claim to me, I would take it as an insult to my intelligence.
On-going marketing fees scam
This is another cunning scam that is raising its ugly head more and more nowadays.
Traditionally, estate agents charge property sellers a one-off marketing fee to cover their out-of-pocket expenses in marketing your property. However, an increasing amount of disgruntled property sellers are being charged an on-going monthly or quarterly marketing fee.
This is nothing more than a money making scam by estate agents both on and off line.
Conflict of interest
When you consider the profits estate agents can make from press advertising and on-going marketing fees, it becomes apparent that it's not actually in your agent’s best interest to sell your property quickly!
The longer they can persuade you to pay for advertising or on-going marketing fees, the more money they make! Therefore, delaying your sale whilst you are happily paying for advertising/marketing is a brilliant scam. It's also represents a clear conflict of interest.
Your estate agent being in cahoots with your 'buyer'
This scam has been around for years. It’s where an estate agent effectively blackballs your property convincing you that there isn't any interest in it. You will be continually advised to lower your price by the estate agent.
After a while a buyer will materialise, view your property and make a greatly reduced offer. Your estate agent advises you to accept it, as "it's the only offer on the table". You duly accept the offer and your sale goes through.
Unbeknown to you however, the buyer was in cahoots with the estate agent over the purchase. They planned the reduced offer beforehand. Your estate agent gets paid his commission from you, plus they usually receive a handsome payment from the buyer.
These buyers are usually buy to let individuals or companies known to your estate agent. In fact, it's usually the estate agent that initiates this scam by contacting these buyers. They then draw up their plan to purchase your property on the cheap.
Sometimes, as an extension of this scam, the estate agent arranges beforehand, for an even lower bogus offer to be made, in the hope that it 'shocks' you in to accepting the seemingly 'higher offer' from the buyer that is in cahoots with the estate agent. All very cunning!
These estate agents put a lot of thought into tricking and scamming you!
In most cases, after a short time, this 'new owner' either places the property on the rental market through your old estate agent, or places the property back on the resale market - at a higher price, through the same estate agent – the agent earns a second round of fees! Effectively you've been screwed out of potentially thousands of pounds.
A clever little trick that is very costly to sellers and almost impossible to prove.
Rigged negotiations scam
This scam is very similar to the above 'Your estate agent being in cahoots with your buyer' scam. This scam however, actually occurs when you have a genuine buyer offering to buy your property!!!
This scam is very basic but can cost you thousands of pounds in lost sales revenue.
Basically, what happens is that your buyer places a genuine but low, offer on your property. You reject this initial low offer and your estate agent then pretends to go back to the buyer to negotiate a higher price - but they don’t. (Remember the poorly trained and skilled negotiator scam above). They simply wait a period of time, then come back to you stating that the buyer can’t afford any more money and that you should just accept the offer before they walk away. Under pressure, most sellers accept. You've lost thousands of pounds in lost sale revenue all because your agency was desperate for their sale commission and didn't wish for the buyer to be scared off by your higher counter-offer!
Cancellation fees scam
This is a ruthless scam. Agencies imposing a cancellation fee on property sellers if they try to cancel their agreement.
The reason agencies include these penalties within their agreements is purely to make it difficult for you to cancel and to put you off cancelling.
In our opinion, agents only use these restrictive clauses because they know that their service is poor and most property sellers would therefore wish to leave. If their service was good, surely they wouldn't need such clauses?
Many estate agents try to justify cancellation charges by claiming they are necessary to cover the estate agent’s out of pocket expenses and admin fees. Don’t be fooled. Their marketing fee already covers these expenses.
If you really need to use an estate agent, our advice is to read the estate agent’s contract carefully and walk away from ANY agency that tries to impose cancellation fees – it’s a scam.
Cancellation periods scam
Like cancellation fees, cancellation periods are designed as an obstacle purely to make it difficult for you to cancel and to put you off cancelling. Coupled with the above cancellation fees, this scam works a treat for estate agents. Again, our advice is to read the agency's contract carefully and walk away from ANY agent that tries to impose any cancellation periods – it’s another scam.
Sale commission based upon home report value scam
This is a cunning scam that is employed by many estate agents, including one of the biggest names in the industry. Usually, estate agents base their commission on the eventual sale price of your property. However, some agents are employing this scam by way of basing their commission on your original home report valuation. Therefore, scamming more money from you than they would normally be entitled.
To make matter worse, most of these estate agents are either in cahoots with the surveyors, or they are both part of the same company. This helps them ensure your home report valuation is artificially high in order to increase their commission even more. However, when you sell, the surveyors reduce your home report valuation down to its proper level at the refresh. Cunning!
This can cause major problems and be very frustrating and stressful for property sellers.
Believe it or not, most closing dates are a trick!
When undertaken properly, closing dates are the best tool for ensuring your property sells for its maximum price. But some unscrupulous estate agents actually abuse closing dates for their own benefit.
For closing dates to work, you need to have at least 4-5 interested buyers, as the majority of buyers, typically around half, drop their interest once they hear a property has went to a closing date.
However, estate agents love closing dates as it gives them fantastic PR. Some unscrupulous agents are so keen to take advantage of this excellent free publicity, they advise their sellers to set a closing date, even if they only have a couple of interested buyers.
The problem for sellers, is that by allowing your estate agent to set a closing date with only 2-3 interested buyers, you run a high risk that most of these buyers will drop out, leaving you with a failed closing date with just one bid, or no bids at all. This is what happens at most closing dates.
To cover up this embarrassment, estate agents actually plaster the property with sold signs to create the impression that it was sold successfully, only to remove the sold signs a week or so later stating the sale fell through!
In our opinion, this is a cheap trick these estate agents play on their sellers. It may give them great PR, but it can really stress and upset sellers unnecessarily.
'Offers Over' Trick
In years gone by, before the financial crisis in 2008, the 'offers over' method for selling your home was a perfect method for absolutely maximising the sale price of your home, especially when it resulted in a closing date.
However, over the last five years, the ‘offers over’ format has lost a lot of its power. In fact, since 2008, ‘fixed prices’ have been the sensible choice for savvy property sellers.
The main reason for this is the fact that market conditions have changed dramatically.
Today, a lot of estate agents still use the 'offers over' method as it can be highly beneficial and financially lucrative for them.
Let me explain. The ‘offers over’ format was initially designed to help estate agents develop THEIR own business by obtaining more properties to sell! Estate agents traditionally obtain new properties through two channels - their branches, as discussed earlier, and through viewers viewing their properties who have homes to sell of their own.
The idea is simple. The lower the price of property, the more buyers it attracts. So by agents persuading you to adopt the ‘offers over’ format, estate agents are able to publish lower asking prices which attracts more buyers with property to sell of their own. Even if this only attracts one additional buyer, it is potentially worth thousands to your estate agent.
Nowadays, the only true beneficiary to utilising 'offers over', is your estate agent, who may attract more telephone enquiries from viewers who have their own property still to sell.
Accompanied viewings trick
Many estate agents offer, in fact insist, that they provide an accompanied viewings facility with their service. All very nice as it seems that the agent is working harder for their money.
Guess what? They're not!
This is a very clever trick brought over from North America. The real reason these agents are so keen to offer accompanied viewings is that it gives them uninterrupted time with your viewer to sell their services to your viewer.
Traditionally, estate agent receive new properties to sell through two main channels - their branches, as discussed earlier, and through viewers coming to view their properties who also have a property to sell of their own.
It was estimated in the past that as much as 60-70% of property viewers still had their own property to sell, therefore, accompanied viewings are an extremely lucrative and worthwhile tactic for agents to use.
Furthermore, an estate agent isn't the best person to show off your home, YOU ARE! You know your home and can answer any questions, better than anyone else.
Sold lots of similar properties lately
As the title suggests, this scam is where an estate agent claims they have sold lots of similar properties lately.
This trick is very similar to the waiting list of buyers trick above. It’s also employed simply to entice you to sign up with the agency by suggesting the estate agents are better at selling property than they really are.
Again, this trick works because very few property sellers challenge the agents for evidence of these sales, which makes this a great trick for estate agents - regardless if it's true or not!
Part exchange gimmick
Firstly, I believe this name is misleading. It suggests that your property will somehow be offered as a part exchange with your buyer's property, however, this is not the case.
This ploy is actually a front for professional investors or investment houses to purchase your property at well below market value - sometimes as much as 40% below. Your property is then either rented out or placed back on the market at full value - with the investor and the estate agent splitting the profits.
Yes it provides sellers with a quick sale, but our argument is; if you are prepared to sell your property at this reduced price, why not sell it on the open market, to a young deserving family who will appreciate your property, rather than to a commercial body or individual who, quite frankly, is out to rip you off?
Any property sold at such a reduced price will always sell quickly on the open market.
Professional photographers gimmick
An estate agent using a professional photographer sounds very impressive, however, it's just another gimmick used by more and more estate agents nowadays to entice you to sign with them.
Will they be able to sell your home for more money? Will they be able to sell your home quicker? We don't believe so as there is no evidence available to support that they do.
These estate agents argue that a professional photographer can take the best pictures possible of a home, which we’re sure, no one will argue about. However, are they really any better than someone with a good quality camera? Are they worth paying extra for?
Anyone with a good quality camera or even a smart phone, will be able to take cracking pictures of your home. Couple this with all the available computer software that can enhance pictures such as brightness, colours etc, employing a professional photographer is overkill With no real benefit.
Furthermore, we strongly believe estate agents are using this gimmick as a money making racket. They could easily afford to pay a professional photographer from their 1% sales commission as this typically will still earn them thousands of pounds per property sold.
Many estate agents, in particular the larger high street agencies, actually have sales targets for every property they list - not sell, but list!
We've heard that some of these targets are as high as £5,000 per property – excluding the agent’s sales commission!
These sales targets are predominantly made up on profits from press advertising and financial products such as mortgages and insurances, but also includes anything that the estate agent can sell to you; Rightmove premium listings, home reports and solicitors etc. We've also heard of an agency arranging someone’s’ removal firm!
Most of the larger high street estate agents work to such targets. You usually pay a premium for these services and products.
Rightmove premium listings
Rightmove premium listings is another advertising scam like press advertising. This scam is very widespread As it is yet another advertising avenue for your agency to profiteer from you, although the profits each estate agent can make are generally much smaller than press advertising.
In our experience, Rightmove premium listings, contrary to what the estate agents want you to believe, DO NOT generate any more buyer enquiries than a normal Rightmove listing. They're a complete waste of money in our opinion.
We should point out that Rightmove themselves have nothing to do with this scam, they just sell the ads to estate agents.
Estate agents charging for replacement 'for sale' boards
Beware! Some agencies are actually charging property sellers for replacement ‘for sale’ boards if the original is blown down, stolen or just gone missing. Look out for this scam in the estate agent’s small print.
'Winners' of prestigious awards!
Believe it or not, award winning estate agents aren't always how they first appear!!!
Any reasonable person would assume that an organisation that won an award must be good! Yes! You would certainly think so!
It turns out that first of all, these estate agents nominate themselves for the award, NOT satisfied clients, plus, the judging criteria leaves a lot to be desired.
How many property sellers have been impressed and duped with the 'winning' claims of these estate agents?
Broken promises and dishonesty
Estate agency broken promises and dishonesty are the second largest source of complaints about estate agents, after lack of updates and communication.
These cause huge problems and untold stress for property sellers.
The problem lies with the fact that at the initial property valuation, too many estate agency valuers, in order to get you to sign up with their agency at any cost, promise you the earth and will tell you what you want to hear. Most property sellers subsequently sign with the estate agent in good faith, only for the agent to let them down. This happens time and time again.
For what it’s worth, our opinion is that most of these estate agency valuers know their agency can’t deliver on their promises, but in order to obtain your property for the agency and receive their bonus payments, they make the promises anyway.
Furthermore, they know when it all goes wrong, it's someone else at the estate agent who will have to deal with the problems.
Printed brochure rip off
Believe it or not, property brochures actually do very little to help sell most properties nowadays. They are a complete waste of money.
Most buyers who wish to see a brochure, simply print a copy direct from the internet.
The reason estate agents still provide printed brochures is due to the fact that they can make serious money from them, especially the expensive multi-page versions that some agents charge hundreds of pounds for.
Don't be fooled, these brochures are nothing but a money making scam for estate agents.
Bogus for sale boards
This has got to be the stupidest scam in the book!
It's were estate agents erect 'for sale' boards in the street or at road sides, when there is no actual property for sale.
Estate agents do this to get their name out on the streets. They also do it believing that it will trick potential new property sellers into believing the agency is better and has more property to sell than it actually has.
We're not even going to warn you not to fall for this trick, as we don't believe you are that gullible, although the estate agents that undertake this trick obviously think you are!
The stupid things is, these estate agents run the risk that this trick will back fire on them. We believe most property sellers realise the agency are trying to trick them and most will deliberately avoid the agency in future!
Furthermore, this trick is actually illegal and if you were to inform your local council of the presence of any such board, they have an obligation to remove it, and perhaps, fine the estate agent in question.
Another variation of this trick is when estate agents place for sale boards within the gardens of, or adjacent to, empty properties. Including properties where the owners are away on holiday!
Disrespect for clients
This problem includes estate agents and solicitors, who take their clients for granted and treat them with disrespect - even disdain!
In our opinion, this is a cultural problem throughout the whole industry. We can’t think of any estate agent we know that doesn't take their property sellers for granted.
Its seems to be worse with higher value properties in more affluent areas. This problem also extends to include patronising attitudes, complacency, abruptness and downright rudeness from estate agents.
To be honest, the attitude of some estate agents is an absolute disgrace. If you knew what we know about these estate agents, you wouldn't let them near your property, let alone sell it.
Lazy estate agents
This involves estate agents who simply place your property on the market then sit back until a buyer comes along.
Another cultural problem that exists throughout the industry.
The problem is that, despite what estate agents tell you about how well they try to sell your property, the vast majority of them simply place your property on the market then sit back until a buyer comes along.
Little or no thought or effort is put into selling your property or providing you with any customer service. Your sale is effectively down to pure luck, NOT the skill or expertise of your estate agent.
Considering an estate agent will potentially be charging thousands of pounds in fees - depending on your sale value, the word 'fleeced' springs to mind.
Estate agents can earn a whopping £400 - £1000+ per hour
Despite the length of time your property may take to sell, most estate agents will not actually spend more than four hours or so dealing with your sale. This time includes the initial valuation of your property, taking the pictures, answering buyer enquiries, arranging viewings and all discussions with you about the sale.
If you consider the average house sale value is around £130,000, that equates to £400 per hour earned by the agency at 1% commission. It will be more for higher value homes. A £300,000 property can earn your agent £825 per hour. Great money eh?