Seller’s distress at finding her home on controversial Houser portal two years after withdrawal from sale

A woman has told of her shock and distress after discovering by chance that her home, which is not for sale, is being listed on property portal Houser.

The pensioner’s property had been for sale with a Newton Fallowell office, but has no longer been on the market after being withdrawn two years ago.

The owner, a pensioner, made her discovery a week ago after a chance ‘googling’ of her property address, and believes her home has probably been on Houser ever since it first went on the market.

Her anxiety is heightened because last year the very distinctive home that she and her husband occupy in a tiny development was burgled.

She told EYE yesterday that she is now too worried about what could happen were she and her husband to go on holiday, or even leave the property for a few hours.

The listing on Houser was still live yesterday. While it is flagged up as no longer available, it could be very clearly identified as to exactly where it is and could encourage the thought that it may be unoccupied.

The agent – who the woman does not blame and who also knew nothing of the listing on Houser – is named in Houser’s property advertisement, as is the exact location, which is a very small development in which the owner’s home is the only detached house.

It has other unique features, and the internal pictures reveal an eclectic mix of collectables, reflecting the couple’s years of working abroad.

Newton Fallowell is now working to have the listing taken down.

Yesterday, EYE tried to contact Rocky Mirza, founder of Houser. We also left a message on the Houser site asking it to contact us.

We have heard nothing back and the Houser telephone number was not answered. Houser’s Facebook page appears to have been neglected for some months, while the last time Houser used Twitter appeared to be in 2015 when it suggested that agents, buyers and sellers should “join now to get five years of free access”.

Just over two years ago, Houser launched as “the one no one saw coming” – apparently trying to take the focus off the impending launch of OnTheMarket – and hailing itself as the portal that would challenge Rightmove and Zoopla.

However, many agents were furious that their own contact details and properties were being listed without their permission, including where they breached OTM’s ‘one other portal’ rule, and demanded they be taken down. There was a link issued at the time, enabling them to have the property removed.

Yesterday, EYE asked two large agents whose brands are very prominent on the Houser site if they are aware of the situation.

We would urge all agents to check the Houser site to see if they, or their clients’ properties, are listed.

The removal link is: http://blog.houser.co.uk/housers-information-removal-interface-pipeline-190/

However, EYE also reported that some agents said that their properties were not removed, despite requests by the link.

Agent Mark Rowe then reported that complaining to Houser’s hosting company, Rackspace, did work.

Again, we can only urge our readers to check if they, or their properties, are listed on Houser.

http://www.propertyindustryeye.com/get-properties-houser-complain-hosting-company/

 

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18 Comments

  1. AgentV

    Lots of enquiries generated in two years by houser then!

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  2. surrey1

    “The one no one saw coming” or going, or in between for that matter.

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  3. Chris Wood

    Looking at the data on the anti-PortalJuggling software, there are tens of thousands of home-owners in the U.K. whose properties are and have been being re-listed multiple times, had their status changed from for sale to sold and back again or, have had their homes marked as sold months after they sold by the selling agent by entirely different agents (one or two culprits in particular).

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  4. FromTheHip64

    “Seller’s distress”…… “shock and distress” …… “anxiety is heightened”……”too worried”. Someone needs to get a grip.

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  5. CountryLass

    Isnt this what Peter Hendry/Realising Reality from the EAT forum used to do? I can’t remember the name of his site though…..

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    1. PeeBee

      HEY!  Look – it’s me BFF!How’s you and your lovely family, CountryLass?  You still putting the world to rights (starting in the Midlands and working outwards) I hope?

      The woeful website you refer to was PropertyMatch(UK) – and is no longer.  The site URL was up for sale a while ago.

      Hendry’s still around, though – puts in the occasional guest appearance down the other pub when he adds another sentence to his crackpot theory.

      He should make a return visit to EYE – you’d have thought that his wounds would have healed before now – and give him his dues he was always up for a beating!

      Ahhh… memories… ;o)

      Don’t you be a stranger – EYE’s a better place when you’re around!

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      1. CountryLass

        I’m still here! Don’t get time to coment much, CountryLad, CountryKid and CountryBaby take up lots of time!
        That was it! I couldn’t remeber what it was called. He’s probably still on EAT, trying to brainwash people into thinking he is going to ‘Make Estate Agency Great again!’…. Or was that another idiot I’m thinking of?
        x

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  6. AgencyInsider

    ‘If what I have been shown is true, it will literally be ahead of Rightmove and Zoopla within three months, no that’s not a typo and almost immediately, Houser will be the must-have, go-to site for property for all of our clients.’

    Simon Shinerock. Letting Agent Today 17th December 2014

    ‘To this end I have persuaded Rocky to make his site accessible to anyone who wants a preview, that way you can judge for yourself if I am blowing smoke or not…’

    Simon Shinerock. Letting Agent Today 17th December 2014

    Yes Mr S. You were definitely blowing smoke.

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    1. PeeBee

      It seems it’s what he does best…

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  7. El Burro

    Advertising properties that you don’t have for sale is a breach of the Consumer Protection Regs.

    Whilst Trading Standards don’t seem to be bothered by a complaint from one agent about another (despite the Business Protection Regs) they do tend to take more notice of consumer complaints.

    Suggest you get the lady to complain to her local Trading Standards Ros.

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    1. PeeBee

      “Advertising properties that you don’t have for sale is a breach of the Consumer Protection Regs.”

      Portals aren’t ‘seling’ the properties.  The Agent most likely didn’t list the property on Houser, as they scraped the vast majority of their ‘listings’.

      Does anyone know who the portals are answerable to?  I have a few things I’d like to take up with that particular ‘To whom it may concern…’

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      1. Robert May

        “Does anyone know who the portals are answerable to?”  their customers; estate agents; you!
         
         

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        1. PeeBee

          Oh dear – that’s what I’d hoped you wouldn’t say!
          Cos THEY’RE NOT LISTENING!!!

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  8. PeeBee

    Can I please suggest a re-write for the headline:

    “Houser’s distress that it took 2 years for anyone to visit their site”

    would be my first offering – how’s about some more suggestions, folks?

    ;o)

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    1. CountryLass

      ‘Property owner astounded with interest from the newest “Go-To” property portal’

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  9. aSalesAgent

    You write that the 2-year-old Houser listing describes the property as no-longer being available — is it any different to Zoopla’s ‘property history’?

    Example: http://www.zoopla.co.uk/house-prices/london/pont-street/sw1x-0ae/?st=EORST&pn=2 > http://www.zoopla.co.uk/property-history/58-pont-street/london/sw1x-0ae/40733352

    Zoopla’s offering even gives the door number…

    Maybe someone with knowledge of the property in question could investigate whether or not the internal photos also appear on zoopla.co.uk? If so, maybe Zoopla could comment upon how ‘shocking and distressing’ these old details can be for homeowners?

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    1. aSalesAgent

      Floorplans and internal photos for sold/withdrawn properties are available to visitors of rightmove.co.uk too: http://www.rightmove.co.uk/house-prices/detail.html?country=england&locationIdentifier=POSTCODE%5E1246397&searchLocation=SW1X+0AE
      Was this explained to the pensioner in this news story, or had she already approached Rightmove and Zoopla and had any photos removed?
      Should portals be made to hide floorplans and internal photos once a property is no-longer for sale?

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  10. PeeBee

    This is the outfit that tried to gain some industry respect by buying up NeedaProperty when it went belly up.

    Looks like it lasted about a fortnight before turning turtle itself…

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