A whore house in Hammersmith

If you’ve never heard of Roy Brookes and his amazingly honest property ads from the 1960’s then this headline will mean nothing. But check out his story.

Having re-entered the housing market after almost 20 years, it was sad to notice that estate agents have survived recession, new technology and changing customer service completely unscathed. The agents themselves are still fifteen years old and have all the disingenous honesty of a bishop in a whore house. They make media reps look like boy scouts. The agent you’re selling through pretends he has your best interest at heart but his only concern is a quick sale.  So if you loose thirty grand what does he care that’s only about £300 to him.

Next is the property description.  I saw a bedroom described as ‘comfortably sized’ where a couple would have to have climbed over each other to get out of bed.  Fun, but I gave that up in my twenties.

Then there is the vocabulary of gardens. Mature means over grow and patio means under five foot square. My favourite is the Juliet balcony. This is so small you can only stand on it and woo your lover or crack dealing hoody in the street below.

Then you have the degrees of dilapidation. ‘In need of redecoration’ mean it was decorated by a colour blind Mexican on acid and ‘a property that offers design opportunities’ means a rat infested toilet that even the hardiest sanitation worker would gag when entering. I’ve seen ragged cracks dismissed as something you can sort out in the contract. Like the Titanic had a alternative structural standards.

No doubt I’ll continue to write about the pain of moving house as a form of catharsis but my first impression is how little has changed.  You now have greater access to property through the online portals and the excellent Right Move iPhone app but the process is still as sordid, inefficient and as painful as two decades ago.

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