Are estate agents really like the TV stereo types? - we don’t think so.

On the latest series of The Apprentice, teams were thrown into the property market. As expected comments followed: 'How to make Apprentice candidates even more unlikeable: simply turn them into estate agents'.

Some of the candidates were truly embarrassing and inept. Apparently some members of the public said that there isn’t much difference between the candidates and estate agents they had previously dealt with.

There was outrage because the group managed to make over £76,000 in commission, without floor-plans, maths ability, or much common sense.

Many of the comments may have been valid and the general opinion was that as a nation we just don’t seem to like or trust estate agents. So why do agents have such an unfavourable reputation among the public, particularly bearing in mind that the commission rate charged in the UK is far lower than most of Europe, the US and Australia.

The issue of reputation is complicated. Many use the term 'necessary evil' when describing estate agents. It is possible for you to market and sell your own house, but it’s not an easy job – despite what was portrayed on television and often discussed at dinner parties or at the pub or club.

The majority of estate agents work long hours in an extremely fast-paced, stress-filled and pressured environment, and even when they do an excellent job, they tend to have more disappointed customers than most industries and professions. For every successful purchaser, there will be a number of unhappy people who have missed out. That is simply the nature of the property market.

This unfavourable reputation is also due to the bad estate agents who are letting the whole profession down. Unlike property surveyors, estate agents are not bound by an institution, or recognised for an industry level of professionalism, although the good ones choose to adhere to the NAEA code of conduct and belong to the Property Ombudsman scheme or similar.

In our opinion the large majority of people dislike the “over-selling” and aggressive approach which categorises certain agents and instead favour open communication and reliability.
It seems the only way of changing perceptions is by being honest, approachable, professional, competent and willing to go the extra mile to do things clients just don’t expect.

The management and staff at Martyn R Cox & Co pride themselves on personal service, excellent communication and a determined but fair sales technique. After all, there is only one successful buyer for each property so someone is going to be disappointed.

For a Free valuation call us on 01993 779020 or email We wish you all a Merry Christmas, a healthy and Happy New Year and an enjoyable selling experience, hopefully with us.