Who gets to wear the moneybelt?

So millions of us stayed up to listen or watch the big event in Las Vegas last night: ‘Money’ Mayweather v the Irish fella, who if the rules of pugilism weren’t being followed would probably rip you limb from limb in the time it takes to say “that’s a nice tattoo”. The build up to this money spinner that looks likely to surpass the $600m earner of Mayweather v Pacqiao in 2015 seems to have been going for at least as long as the Labour leadership contest, but at least with a far more entertaining way of deciding who will be victorious. For all the vitriol and combative ’performing’ it was interesting to learn that both adversaries had travelled to many of the build up events in the same plane and had gotten on rather well…my dear chap. In spite of all the ‘trash’ talk, post fight both parties have nothing but good to say about each other. The cynics amongst us may say that the riches of Croesus can make the most ardent of enemies see each other in a far more mellow light

So what has this got to do with a bank holiday and the business of selling houses? Dubious outfits in shiny, perspiration-unfriendly material aside, there are many similarities. Let me explain.

Many of us in the world of estate agency in the NP4 postcode and the surrounding areas have been colleagues for some time. We socialise together and attend industry events. Sometimes we do a ‘Mayweather’ and tell our story of how good we are and how we will beat the opposition without question. Some of us have even been known to produce certificates to prove our brilliance…you know who you are. Sometimes we lose the fight through a knockout, sometimes on points (yes, even me) and the seller opts for the opposition. At this stage, many of us engage in grown-up post-fight talk and say good luck to the other party.

This week I have experienced a perfect example of the bad loser trash talking. Having been to a valuation, I was given the instruction over two other agents from the area. Yesterday one of these agents rang the vendor (after 1.30, the published closing time of Cheshire & Co and on a bank holiday weekend when the office will not reopen until Tuesday). My industry colleague told the vendor that they had someone looking for the exact house owned by the vendor and that they wanted to make an offer. So eager were they that wanted to do it that very afternoon. As the property is empty could the said agent have a key and take the desparate-to-buy-that-house purchasers for a viewing? In order to do this-and guarantee their sale-the vendor would have to sign a contract with the agent there and then. The vendor then rang me directly on my personal ‘phone-obviously not factored into the other agent’s cunning plan-recounted the tale and asked what I would do?

The aforementioned agent was rung and was told that of course they could view the property; just ring Mr Cheshire and he would help by meeting them there and doing the viewing for them. If this particular buyer bought the property, Cheshire & Co would happily split the commission with them (generosity is my middle name). The only caveat was that the agents were not allowed to advertise the property and then record it as their sale (but they would still have the money). Alternatively, their purchaser could come straight to Cheshire & Co on Tuesday (they could even email the office in the interim) and the said agent would get the square root of naff all.

The choice was theirs to £$”* up. Guess what? They did not want to agree to any of the suggested options and the Marquis of Queensberry rules got drop kicked out of sight. What it does mean is that I and their fellow industry competitors are more likely to bend the rules next time we meet in the ring; punch on the break, slightly low blow or leading with the head. Ah well, I tried.