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Comedy plug-in tool promises to make property listings more ‘honest’

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Written by: John Fitzsimons
05/10/2017
An online tool has been launched to translate the flowery terms and clichés used by estate agents in property listings into something “a little more truthful”.

(Harsh language warning)…

S****move, which has been built by comedy writer, Liam Butler, operates as a plug-in for the Chrome and Firefox internet browsers, and can be paused, allowing you to compare the original text and S****move’s ‘corrected’ version.

For example, a listing for a property in Hertfordshire on an online estate agent describes a six-bedroom home as “spacious, impressive and well-presented”. But with the S****move plug-in enabled, that is converted to “disappointing, underwhelming and clean-ish”.

Meanwhile a listing for a one-bedroom flat in London on another online website moves from being “bright and spacious” with “well proportioned” rooms to being “tasteless and disappointing” with rooms which are “jammed-in”.

The plug-in works on a variety of property sites, however, users can add other sites – even those that are non-property related – in order to replace certain hackneyed terms.

Butler said: “Funnily enough, it seems to work best on London listings.”

Dirty tricks

The launch of S****move comes in the same week as estate agent James Pendleton’s call for the government to regulate the industry, after highlighting some of the dirty tricks employed by unscrupulous agents.

These include putting boards up outside properties which they have not been asked to sell, advising clients on offers from fictional buyers and even refusing to pass on an acceptable offer to the vendor knowing the buyer will go higher and boost their commission.

Lee James Pendleton, founder and director of the firm, said: “This is the truth about the underbelly of this industry. Regulation is urgently needed to keep a minority of unscrupulous estate agents in check. The industry needs a regulatory system that means truly unethical behaviour can be investigated and punished properly.”

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