Estate agents are right up there with bankers, when it comes to the UK public choosing which professions they dislike the most.
Greed is a common gripe about bankers – paying themselves massive bonuses, even when the bank they are working for has made a huge loss. Where is the logic in that?
There are some very good estate agents up and down the country but unfortunately many fall into the 'I wouldn't trust them as far as I could throw them' category.
The most common issues, just like bankers, are all to do with a lack of trust and a feeling that they have little motivation beyond maximising their own income stream.
The estate agency market is huge - worth well over £7 billion a year in the UK, just in sales and letting fees.
So here are the most common ways that estate agents really get up the nose of the Great British public:
- Overvaluing a property to get the instruction, when they know the likelihood of being able to achieve that price is virtually nil.
- After your home has been on the market a while, the person who was so eager to take your calls to begin with has suddenly lost the ability to return a phone call.
- Over-zealous selling of 'other services' with the implication that if you don't take them, you will not be treated quite as well.
- Lack of transparency about potential buyers' or tenants' feedback – they say what you want to hear rather than the truth.
- Promises about people on their database that want a property exactly like the one you want to sell or rent out, only for these people never to materialise.
- The costs - which for the vast majority of the time bear no relation to the time spent by the estate agent working for you. We estimate that on the average house with an average fee, estate agents are getting paid the equivalent of over £800 an hour.
- 20 March 2014