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Mary Portas on Estate Agents

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Mary wants to start a revolution in the world of estate agents begins the Channel Four introduction to Mary Portas’ latest episode in her Secret Shopper series.  Good luck Mary is what I say, many have set out on that path.  Including most estate agents.

Despite the cliches and common gripes of buyers and sellers, Estate Agents play a valuable role in the transaction of houses.

Sure there are good ones and bad ones, like any industry, and no they’re not as heavily regulated and qualified as members of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, but they get houses sold.

The show airs tonight (9 Feb 2011) at 9pm and judging by previous episodes in the series we’re in for some punchy scenes as Mary tells another small businessman how it is.  Estate Agents come in for a lot of flack in general and I don’t expect tonight to be any different.

A few cliches to listen out for:

‘buying a house is the biggest decision/ biggest investment you’ll make in your life’

‘sellers always think their house is worth more than it is’

‘there’s another buyer interested but for£2k more then the seller will accept your offer’

        I like Mary.  She says it how it is, but not everyone likes that and she has a very combative communication style – perfect for making small business owners hop up and down and get defensive (or reclusive – like one restaurant owner I seem to remember).  I don’t think many Estate Agents would want her coming round to tell them what to do.  But her ideas, passion – yes please.

        If you watched the show last night let us know your thoughts and opinions in the comments below.

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        6 responses to “Mary Portas on Estate Agents”

        1. Jo Flores says:

          Mary I think you are so right and I have thought in exactly the same way and opened on on-line shop to sell property and give away an undervalued profession’s work as well ART valuing artists and giving a buyer a top gift just what you want when you buy a house an original piece of art work freeeeee I am so with you on this one Mary.

        2. Jo Flores says:

          Property owners support this new venture and put your property free on line started 2nd Feb 2011 be one of the first to put your property on and make this work x

        3. Jon brambles says:

          Have watched with great interest this eveings programme regarding estate agents. As a small agency operating in the east midlands I was horrified at the lack of professionalism shown by the agencies featured. I pride myself on honesty, integrity and service and truly believe my staff through their best endeavours maintain this ethos. I would like to invite Mary to call or visit us and provide us with her honest and forthright opinion ad to whether we differ from the agent shown this evening. If there us s marked difference, ad I believe there is, a follow up could be, if one agent can do it, why don’t others?
          Regards. Jon brambles. Jon brambles estate agents. 01636 613513

        4. Donna says:

          I have never whooped and shouted at a program so much before! I am currently trying to buy a house and have never encountered such unethical, unprofessional and illegal service in all my life…. extremely troubling as this is the most significant transaction I will make in life!!!!! Sometimes I want to laugh down the phone when estate agents pull out their box of tricks to try and panic you into an offer or squeeze more money out of you: “We’ve had sooooo much interest in this property!” “You’re going to have to join a group viewing – the property is just sooo popular – I think it’s going to be snapped up!” “Is there no way you can view any earlier?… I’d hate you to miss out on this fab property!” “Just wanted to let you know that we’ve had an offer (they don’t tell you it’s 20k under the asking price and the vendor will never accept it) and so if you’re interested you might want to quickly get your offer in” “We’ve had a number of offers and so I need you to give me your final and best offer – and no I can’t disclose the other offers” etc. etc. Unethical!!! And I bet many more offers wouldn’t fall through if people weren’t forced into panic buying!! The only reason anyone puts up with all this is because there’s not yet a viable mainstream alternative – but I have no doubt there will be! Someone will go against the grain & provide customer centric service – a breakthrough innovation in the world of estate agents – just common sense and an expectation for the rest of the world – & I’m glad to see increasingly more and more people selling direct. Of all the viewings I’ve been on the best sellers by a long shot are the vendors themselves – why? Because they know the property and the area and the relevant benefits and selling points and because they are honest and upfront about the compromises. In my experience, Estate agents haven’t had a clue, have never seen the property, act suspiciously shady & secretive or blag (with the assumption that you’re deaf, blind & dumb)! I could go on and on but will leave my rant there… here’s to a revolution!!!

        5. harry says:

          crikey cliches or what

        6. Julie Jenner says:

          Wow, is it any wonder people are trying to sell their houses themselves and buyers would prefer to buy privately? There are many portals you can use to sell your home privately without the high estate agents’ fees, such as Sussex-based,, which admitedly is run by my father and I may be biased, but he provides a much better, more honest service than any estate agent I’ve ever come across, or indeed seen in last night’s show.

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