Michael Jones & Company, a Sussex-based agent, was the subject of a complaint around potentially misleading claims on its website. These included the suggestions that it sells 50% more properties than other agents in its local area, that it takes on average half the time to sell properties as other agents and that it achieves an average of 99% of the asking price.
The firm agreed to remove the claims around selling times and sale prices and make it clearer how it had performed the comparison around its selling rates, after the ASA got in contact.
A complaint was also raised against Bob Parry Lettings, based in North Wales. The issue centred around a plot of land – the advert for the land claimed that the firm did not know if any planning application had been made for the land, yet the complainant said that they had already informed the firm that a previous application had been made and rejected.
After the ASA raised the issue, the firm agreed to remove the claim.
Recent weeks have seen a succession of estate and letting agents censured by the advertising authorities, usually over misleading or exaggerated claims made in their marketing materials. Online estate agents have been particularly guilty of this, which has led to consumer champion Which? warning consumers to be particularly wary of claims made by these agents.