The infectious agent

It’s not often us journalists get to take the moral high ground. That is until estate agents come along. Then even we get to unleash the wagging finger at wave it at them, the only people who regularly rank below us in surveys of trustworthy people.

Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

So what has brought this on? The revelation in the Daily Mail that a disillusioned former estate agent – with a whole two years’ experience no less – has blown the whistle on the ‘underhand tricks of the trade’. Having seen the light, Pav Sheen told the rag that he wants to warn others of such perils before they buy or sell their homes. A very altruistic gesture, and of course nothing to do with the fact that he has a book coming out on the subject.

So what are these revelations? Sheen tells of colleagues undervaluing properties to sell them to each other at a lower price; people snorting cocaine to ‘psych themselves up’ before making a sale; and arranging two concurrent viewings and, after one potential buyer had left, getting the office to call pretending to be that buyer putting in an offer.

Such revelations will hardly cause gasps of incredulity from most people, who don’t exactly view estate agents through the most rose-tinted of glasses anyway. But for those of you who are shocked, Sheen is planning a website through which people can share their experiences. The url?, of course.

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