Estate agent reveals shocking tricks used to fool buyers including fake listings and price reductions

Estate agent reveals shocking tricks used to fool buyers including fake listings and price reductions

AN anonymous estate agent has revealed the tricks used to fool buyers into thinking they have a good deal.
The expert has been in the industry for more than 15 years, and claims to have lifted the lid on what really goes on.
Getty – Contributor Buyers don’t realise that they have been duped, according to the secret agent blogger
In an interview with The Times, the agent claims Purple Bricks changes property prices so it looks like there has been a drop.
The secret blogger has written posts insisting the industry flouts regulations and aims to trick potential buyers.
He writes: “I have seen at first hand how the industry routinely breaks the rules when advertising properties, mainly in lettings but also sales.
“From my experience, this activity is instigated by companies at branch manager level or above. I worked for a company that created a custom interface for uploading fake properties and relisting stock.
“It was a deliberate strategy to mislead the public. If we received a complaint, say from a landlord who had seen their property online, we would apologise and blame it on an IT glitch.”
He claims to have carried out research that found more than 60 per cent of agents in North London re-list properties that have already been let or sold, to make themselves appear busier.
Adding another trick is to post fake price drops, before increasing the price immediately afterwards.
This apparently bumps the property up to the top of chronological listings and is shown as a property that has been reduced.
He told The Times: “Part of the problem, particularly in lettings, is that there is no one policing the industry. There is no sheriff in town.”
A Purple Bricks spokesperson told The Times: “We’re disappointed to see these isolated examples, which are a tiny proportion of the thousands of changes made by Purplebricks and our customers every day.
“This is not a practice we adopt or accept and, in line with our commitment to higher standards of transparency in our industry, we will actively prevent this kind of behaviour as soon as it’s pointed out.”
Today we told how house prices in England have suffered their first annual slump since late 2012.
The average £255,683 was 0.7 per cent less than last year — dragged down by the plunging London market.
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Values in the capital fell 3.8 per cent from the first three months of 2018 to the first three of 2019 — their poorest showing for a decade.
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