London Life

On house-hunting…

So we’re looking to buy a home.

After renting in London forever, we’re going to take the plunge, sell a couple of kidneys, and actually purchase property. It’s all good fun.

No, actually. It’s terrible.

I’ll place most of the blame firmly at the feet of the collection of lowlifes who call themselves estate agents. I’ve dealt with quite a few over the years and I’ve yet to meet one who I would trust for an instant.

Let’s face it: they lie for a living. Their job is to take the shittiest hovels in town and convince you they’re luxury penthouses. They take photos of interiors so misleading they could be used as backdrops in epic science-fiction movies.

They can calculate prices by the square feet in their head but still manage to miscount the number of bedrooms in an apartment. If it doesn’t have a door, it’s not a bedroom. A nook, or a curtain-covered alcove is not a bedroom.

“River view”? Only if I have x-ray vision and can see through the building between me and the Thames. “All mod cons”? Apparently this refers to running water and a reliable electricity supply.

“Pied a terre in the City”? Over-priced windowless studio. In a council high-rise block.

“Lovingly restored”? The previous owners actually cleaned the floor occasionally and replaced (some of) the broken lightbulbs.

And don’t get me started on their misleading use of neighbourhoods names. “Docklands” apparently stretches from Tower Bridge to Kent. “Wapping” goes as far north as Shoreditch. And it seems they’re trying to pass off Whitechapel as “on the doorstep of the City”.

They’re a shower of utter, lying duplicitous bastards.

But homeowners. Seriously. You’re trying to sell your property. And yet you can’t be arsed to tidy up before your estate-agent-bastard takes some glamour shots of your bathroom and bedroom nook? You think your kitchen looks somehow attractive with a pile of washing up in the sink? Your bedroom with piles of dirty laundry on the floor?

This is not how you convince me to buy your home.

There’s definitely a gap in the market for estate agents who just tell the truth.

“Yeah. It’s a right shit hole. The neighbours are crackheads. Someone was murdered around the corner last week. They’re building a prison on that park across the street. But it’s all you can afford and I reckon you can negotiate another five grand off the asking price as the owner is terminally ill and desperate to sell”.


The search goes on…

10 comments on “On house-hunting…

  1. I cannot imagine doing it myself. So.Grown.Up. and worse? Business-like. I’ll cast a hex your way. I mean the good kind.


  2. Well said that man! Enjoyed reading that as we’ve had similar experiences. An estate agent has just started following me on twitter. Am I following back? Like hell I am. We feel your pain, good luck.


  3. I agree with you. I bought my place 8 years ago and have decided that I am going to live here forever so that I never have to deal with them again.

    Also, I had a similar thought regarding your point on the gap in the market. If someone started an estate agent business that employed honest, educated people with fees that were fair value for the work that they do everyone would use them. The problem at the moment is that this choice doesn’t seem to exist.

    I remember a long time ago renting in Battersea. The estate agent charged me £150 for drawing up the rental agreement and then sent a completely standard agreement that they used for everyone but it had my name at the top (thereafter referred to as The Tenant).

    On checking out of the flat (having ensured it was spotless) I was told that it had been left dirty and had £400 taken out of my deposit for professional cleaning. When I queried what was dirty they could give me no details at all. They then reduced the cleaning fee to £70 when I threatened legal action, which kind of suggests to me that they were either:

    a) Incompetent and been duped by the cleaning company who were able to just pretend they’d cleaned stuff they hadn’t
    b) Crooks

    Definitely staying where I am forever.


  4. Pingback: Jinxed myself… | MacPsych

  5. Pingback: Some advice for estate agents | MacPsych

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