We’re the biggest supporters of Estate Agents, but even we’re left scratching our heads when it comes to the quality of some of their services (or lack of).

As well as supplying estate agents (some of us have even been estate agents) every one of us has at some time been a customer, along with our friends and families and it’s fair to say, the experience from the other side can vary dramatically.

We are also sympathetic to agents issues, financial constraints and market forces etc., but it is beyond comprehension when agents take, quite frankly, rubbish, lazy property photos. 

In all seriousness,  the market is changing and agents are facing stiff competition from the big cut-price online agencies and it is more important than ever for them to up their game and provide a service that justifies their fees.

A family friend has recently experienced this first hand and although I see it on a daily basis, it still shocks me when it’s so close to home. Shock soon turns to plain anger and frustration.

The story so far…..

The vendor is a first-time seller and has only experienced the process from a buyers perspective and as many in their position do, went online and found the nearest local agent. Booked an appraisal and didn’t invite other agents.

The vendor then took a day off work to clean the property from top to bottom and prepare. Not an easy task with a young and soon to be expanding family.

A 30 something-year-old, shiny-suited and booted agent duly arrived and before the vendor really grasped the situation, the deal was done and the property was now an overvalued listing with a hefty fee attached and the agent had a spare key in his pocket. 

The agent steamrollered the vendor (on the pretext of getting the property on the market quickly), then whipped out his iPhone and started taking photos.

The vendor was fairly happy with this at the time, as it would save her having to go through the whole ‘hiding toys under beds’ process again and she was confident that the images would look great, as we all know how good smartphone cameras are these days.

2 days later, the vendor received a call at work from the agent, telling her that he needed to go back and take some more images, as some hadn’t come out very well. 

The vendor explained that she’d left for work in a hurry and that the place was a mess and that she couldn’t get back but the agent assured her that he would make sure he tidied up and it would all be fine. Although she wasn’t particularly happy about it, as he was so insistent, she agreed.

The following morning, she received an email, notifying her that the property was now listed on Rightmove and provided a link to it.

Well…… what can I say.

My first reaction was to laugh when she forwarded me the link, with her sofa beautifully pixelated with a neat row of upside down pug-faced cushions. The agent had gone to the effort of spacing them equally to stand on their heads. I can only assume he is a cat lover……

However, I wasn’t so impressed with the artistically placed used coffee mugs and overflowing laundry basket, nor the draped wet towels on the landing.

The images were all of a very poor quality and heavily pixelated. The lens wasn’t wide enough and the rooms looked small and pokey. The house is open-plan, bright and airy and even though the pictures were taken on a sunny day, it looked dark and dingy. 

After expressing her disgust and disappointment, the vendor’s next reaction was “What am I paying thousands of £’s in fees for?!” and to be honest, I had to agree. 

Already significantly overvalued (the agent said it is to allow for negotiation) and now with property images that make it look even more so, it’s of no surprise that in the 3 weeks it has been listed, there has not been one viewing request or even a sniff of interest, even though it is in a popular and high demand area. 

As it stands, unless the vendor dumps this agent very soon (as I have suggested) there will be no new nursery to come home to when the new arrival puts in an appearance. 

I have recommended some of our own fantastic customers but the sour taste left by this lazy agent has the vendor considering turning to the Purple side and I can’t say I blame her. 

Thankfully, this agent isn’t one of our customers, as that would have been very embarrassing! 

So, if you’re fobbing your customers off with poor service and shoddy property photo’s, don’t complain about the onward march of the big online agents.