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Saturday, 1 October 2011

A(n) Plague Embuggerance of Estate Agents

My Beloved is considering moving house.

You will notice that I carefully and nicely (in the original meaning of nice) did not state that WE were considering moving house.

I really like our present home.

It is warm and airy.
It is spacious, clean, comfortable and feels like home.
It is relatively easy to keep warm in the winter, and it has plentiful French windows giving us access to the large wooden decks which surround the house for our glorious summer days.
It has plentiful shade, yet is bathed in sunshine all day long.
It has just been completely repainted at considerable cost (and money, sweat and occasionally, blood)
It looks fresh and smart, and has lovely views over the treetops of the Hutt valley to the Belmont Hills beyond.

You will gather that I REALLY DON'T WANT TO MOVE


My Beloved does ...

Just DO it.

We had the first of a series of estate agents around last night.

Now, with no real intention of insulting The Curmudgeon ®, whom I know think (it's been a while since he mentioned his training and hopefully subsequent gainful employment (if you can use that particular phrase pertaining to Estate Agents)) is/was on a course to help him attain the glorious heights of a Certified Blood Sucker Estate Agent.

I should like to mention that I don't like Estate Agents.

Blood Sucking Tick (praedium agente) 

Consider their job.

They sell something that is not theirs, with minimal involvement, apart from the occasional Open Home on a Sunday, charge an outrageous commission, charge an even more outrageous advertising fee and expect you to pay and pay and pay.

The bloke who came to see us last night seemed OK, at least until he began to go through his Book of Blood, otherwise known as his list of costs and charges.


Plus of course the separate "marketing charges"

  • Professional photographer and hundreds of high resolution prints
  • Internet advertising (3 separate sites)
  • ½ page full colour adverts in 5 papers,
  • 2 different professional (and expensive)colour booklets which inevitably turn up firstly in every cafe and chip shop, and lastly the bin,
  • mail shots and junk mail drop-offs
  • Large colour posters for all of his organisation's offices
  • Glossy brochures for handing out to the inveterately curious (nosy) who troop around every Open Home in the region, making snide remarks about the decor/garden/view/smell etc.
    (Mind you, they may just have a point if they ever pluck up the courage to enter m'son's room.  You wouldn't get me in there without a Hazmat suit, closed-cycle breathing apparatus and full life insurance cover.  Plus of course the absolutely mandatory prophylactic broad-spectrum antibiotic course.) (And a bloody big stick.  There's things existing in the depths of his wardrobe, under the fermenting old socks and *ugh* skidmarked boxers that would probably be new to science, new to humanity in general, but may have parallells in a Lovecraftian Universe  see Chthlu )
You're actually GOING IN THERE?
My Beloved mentioned later that she thought I was "a little bit aggressive" in my style of asking questions
about the commission and costs.

I wasn't f*cking "aggressive", I was f*cking furious. 
I could feel by blood pressure screaming towards stratospheric levels, and I do believe that I detected a trace of steam trickling out of my ears.


 I suggested (calmly) that I would like to see a price fixed for the sale, INCLUDING all marketing costs.
It makes sense.
Their only job is to sell the house

They don't (shouldn't) get a brass farthing if they don't succeed in selling the bloody thing.  It's their sôle raison d'être.

Therefore they should be bloody keen to sell the thing ASAP.  The sooner they sell it, the more money they make. 

If they just piss about and it drags on for months, who pays for the marketing under their wished-for-agreement?

Moi, that's who.

AND they want a goodly chunk of the "marketing" costs up front.  About $1600. 

Now let's look at the so-called marketing.

All good marketers know their market and their advertising tools and criteria.

Our house would be in the upper end of the market in our area, not the top 2%, but probably in the upper 10%.
It's got 4 bedrooms, two bathrooms, a newly fitted kitchen with a SMEG range cooker.  A large dining area, a huge living room, a separate lounge, utility room, 1½ car garage with extended workshop, 2 very large carports and good insulation with gas central heating.

It would attract as a family house.  People of 30+ TO 50+.  The fairly well-off.  The children of the computer age.  What's the bloody point of advertising in our local free-delivery paper, or distributing fliers to local chip shops.

If it can sell vegitariansim, then it can sell myhouse.

INTERNET advertising should be the main method.  It'll also get the out-of-towners and the new immigrants.

When we sold our last house in Scotland (Newport-on-Tay in Fife) we agreed a fixed price with our lawyer/estate agent.  No hassle, no problems.  Sold in 4 weeks, because the agent marketed it well, had a reservoir of possibly interested clients and really got on the job.

These bloody Agents have got a hammerlock on the market, and the sooner we break the bastards the better.

It's also cheaper.


  1. With {possible} apologies to The Curmudgeon, I think you'll find the correct term for a group of these property professionals is not 'a plague' but rather 'an Embuggerance'. They're not after all a threat to society, but certainly are a pain in the a***.

    I wish you luck with your planning for the delay, defer, defeat strategy which you are no doubt going to launch at the beloved one.....

  2. Alistair: Excellent suggestion. So good in fact, that I've already changed the title to suit. I might be onbto a winning stragegy here, I'm playing the "Cannot afford to go on long expensive holidays if we're paying off a mortgage" card here. Hope for me.

  3. Sounds far to good a house to sell but the mysteries of womanly desire are beyond reach.

    Estate agents are blodsucking parasites who contribute nothiing to society but pay for their beer by leeching off the wealth of others. Wankers, I would like to shit on all their faces.

  4. looby: That comment of yours "Estate agents are bloodsucking parasites who contribute nothing to society but pay for their beer by leeching off the wealth of others. Wankers, I would like to shit on all their faces" is of such sheer literary beauty that I'm going to have it embossed and framed and hung in my toilet. (I've corrected the typos)

  5. Maybe you can talk her into not moving. It sounds like it's pretty nice where you are.

    Realtors are in league with the devil.

  6. Like the blody money lenders in the temple!

  7. Patience_Crabstick: I'll try, the augeries are good, I've sacrificed the local cat, and the entrails indicate my success.

    Sorry. Realtors are not in league with the devil; they are Satan incarnate.

    AJ: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Is it any better than the modern chrches running lotteries?

  8. Oh dear, I'm beginning to feel guilty. In an unguarded moment I mentioned that you could probably see the house I spent my first few years in from your present elevated position. That house is in what was then a working class district, cold and damp, with a creek that flooded every winter, and neighbours who used to DRINK! (My parents were teetotal and very upright - easier to do if you haven't had a few - but didn't pass that on to their children.)

    I hope you didn't mention that to Somebody who decided you needed a classier view? I can assure you it's looking decidedly middle class and upwardly mobile these days. And they fixed the creek shortly after I fell into it and nearly drowned.


  9. Anonymous (CG): Worry not. We're not snobs. What is motivating the (possible) move of houses isn't social status worries, but medical problems, predicating a completely level house, with easy access to local amenities.


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