Agent left red-faced after ‘sold’ board appeared on house that wasn’t on the market

An estate agent has apologised to a home owner after he complained to a newspaper that a ‘sold’ board had been erected outside his house when it wasn’t even on the market.

Brian Maddocks, 38, from Huyton came home from a night shift to discover the sign, which belonged to Whitegates.

He told the Liverpool Echo that he initially thought it was a prank but then panicked that his house on Wimborne Close might have been repossessed.

He complained of the “stress” that the error caused him and his family.

But Whitegates, one of the brands owned by the Property Franchise Group, explained that the sign had simply been placed there by accident.

Whitegates told EYE: “The board man that we are contracted to got them mixed up. As soon as we found out about it, it was authorised to be taken down.

“It does happen but is the Echo that short of news?

“We put it on the system for the right address and it was the board man, unfortunately, who misread it.”




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  1. damo60

    A non-story. Looks like Property Eye is short of news too!

    I don’t think many of us would come home to an unexpected sold board, and be stressed because we thought the house had been repossessed!

    1. Peter

      It does happen but is PIE that short of news?

  2. GeorgeOrwell

    Ah Yes, the “whiff” of “Compensation”

    My FS Board Company did the same thing 25 Years ago, homeowner was on the phone screaming/upset/stressed – I replied that I was sorry however in life sometimes miistakes (see what I did there?) happened, and the Board Man had simply got confused, which he had with the house numbers.

    The Homeowner kept talking about compensation and I did compensate them, I went round to their house personally, apologised again, and collected the board!

    Still the words “ Stress & Compensation “ echoed down the driveway, and as I drove away.

    Really, mistakes happen that don’t require a Handout!

  3. ArthurHouse02

    Wouldnt the phone call of any sane person have been to the estate agent. “Maybe they were closed” i hear you think, but his mortgage company was open. As has been mentioned already, mistakes happen, chill the bleep out

  4. Robert May

    While we’re on the subject of boards has anyone else noticed sold boards appearing on prominently positioned properties that don’t seem to have a corresponding portal presence?

    I’ve only seen one example so that could have been a 2 week mistake no-one noticed or it  could be a very subtle, unsubtle marketing strategy. 2 months on the property hasn’t appeared  at land registry, so I guess the conveyancer could be particularly busy.

    Unlike portaljuggling that isn’t something I can identify remotely across the country but I would suggest agents do check if an agent has managed to magic prominent sales out of thin air without a portal listing.

    I’m kicking myself I didn’t photograph the very suspicious board at the time.

    1. FlyingSheep54

      The largest independent in my area has boards placed in strategic positions all over the district that simply cannot relate to specific properties as unless they have been for sale for 3 years or more. They particularly like advertising with a for sale and a sold board on blocks of apartments where nothing is currently showing as available or sold STC.

  5. Barndoor68

    Massive non-story, I bet most of us over the years have experienced a board being put on the wrong property by mistake!! And certainly have experienced them being moved on a  Saturday night..


    I feel a bit sorry for Maddocks as his is obviously a very insecure person but also concerned that he is not aware of his own finances/mortgage situation.

  6. B6RKY

    Bit strange. Surely a for sale board goes up first and a sold slip is added later?

    1. Beano200062

      Obviously, however not strange at all in context to the story. The board guy not aware enough to place the board on the right property clearly isnt also aware enough of the laws of estate agency and thus just carried out instructions to place a sold board on the property.  Alternatively our board guys have been known to erect a Soldstc slip momentarilly after placing the board up as the property sold within hours of coming to market.

  7. gk1uk2001

    Some people really are sad and just looking for a reson to be offended and try to claim compensation! Why go to a newspaper because of a simple and easy to rectify error? And why would the newspaper entertain such a ridiculous story?


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