Rightmove: Get rid of rogue estate agents and fake, speculative property listings
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Sign this petition asking Rightmove to get rid of fake, speculative property advertising, and block rogue estate agents.
Rightmove is the largest property portal in the UK with the largest inventory of properties. Collectively we spent 11 billion minutes browsing properties in one year. Rightmove claims that its sophisticated, yet simple, property search platform makes it easy for home hunters to find their ‘happy’.
Rightmove had a turnover of £220 million in 2016 (pre-tax profit of £162 million), 15% more than in the previous year. For every house sold, Rightmove receives an average of £260 in revenue. In the South where 1 every 12 viewings materialises in a sale, the Rightmove advertisment costs the home seller £20 per viewing.
Does Rightmove offer good value for money at £260 per property sale? The simple answer is absolutely NOT and this is why.
We have found that for every genuine property sale advert on Rightmove there are 5 to 8 speculative adverts. In other words, a genuine home seller will bear the advertising cost for another 5 to 8 adverts which never materialise in a sale.
We are using as example E12, one of the very few postcodes in London where houses sell for around £400,000. There is little sign of gentrification and in theory it should offer more affordable housing, at least by London standards.
On 23 Sept there were 113 property listings with 41 estate agents. In the first half of 2017, on average 16 properties sold each month, down from 26 last year. Only 1 in 7 advertised properties will sell.
Why are not the remaining 6 properties selling?
Well, some properties are not for sale at all and other are speculatively put on the market at unjustifiable high prices. Estate agents commonly use these tricks – it makes them look busy, they collect buyers’ data and keep property prices inflated.
In this particular area, freehold houses have sold at around £420,000. Out of 70 property listings, 45 had asking prices of £480,000 - 500,000. When we made inquiries, estate agents warned us that the vendors are looking to achieve close to the asking price but encouraged us to try our luck and view the properties anyway. We did just that and made several offers which were bluntly declined.
Out of 21 properties listed with asking prices below £420,000, only 6 were available for viewing. According to the estate agents responsible for the listings, the properties either “just” sold or had been taken off the market.
The oldest listing was from 14 November 2015, a property listed by Douglas Allen for a 3 bed house in Ruskin Avenue with an asking price of £525,000 which is a whopping £105,000 above the average sold price in 2016 (http://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-37812759.html
As a buyer, how do you sieve through 113 listings and 41 agents to find that one property that is worth viewing? It is time consuming, frustrating and expensive for genuine buyers and sellers alike. Finding a home has become more of a ‘pain’ than a ‘happy’, and Rightmove are riding it.
We are asking Rightmove to implement the following changes immediately:
1. Allow advertisements only for properties which have the legal pack already prepared and immediately available to the buyer. This shows commitment on behalf of the seller and it will reduce the completion time by approximately 1 month.
2. Limit the advertising period to maximum 30 days. After this limit the advert should be automatically removed and blocked for another 3 months before the property can be advertised again. This will encourage sellers and estate agents to advertise the property at the correct price.
3. Introduce a Feedback tool whereby buyers and sellers can report on rogue estate agents. Block these agents from using Rightmove.
Any other suggestions for Rightmove will be welcome. Please sign the petition and send us your comments.
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