Picture of the Week: And it’s a property that’s taken a proper pounding

Picture of the Week – and could this be a story of our times?

When Poundland tycoon Steven Smith put his home on the market, he naturally chose the online agent of which he was chairman to market it: EstatesDirect.

If nothing else, it was cheap – originally charging vendors just £195 plus VAT.

In late 2014, Smith put his house up for sale with EstatesDirect at £6.5m.

Smith reckoned he would save £115,212 in estate agent fees. Nice!

EYE did somewhat cynically speculate at the time that it would be interesting to see if in future he might require the expertise of Knight Frank.

The following year, the price was cut to £5.75m. Apparently there were still no takers and it continued to languish on the market.

Smith stepped down as a director of EstatesDirect in April 2016.

Estates Direct itself went on to merge with MakeUrMove earlier this year, and the website itself no longer seems to be up and running.

According to Smith’s own website http://stevensmith.com/about-me/ he is still involved in property, although on the development side of things.

Meanwhile, what of that mansion? It is currently on the market – with Knight Frank, as EYE predicted!

However, the agent seems to have taken an axe to the original price tag – now cut by £2.5m.

It is now on at £3,950,000.



sprift end of

Email the story to a friend


  1. NewsBoy

    Isn’t it great when a plan (or a prediction) comes together. Nice work PIE!

  2. AgentVX17


    EYE did somewhat cynically speculate at the time that it would be interesting to see if in future he might require the expertise of Knight Frank. 

    PIE, isn’t it very clear your hate online agents? 🙂 and support dodgy high street agents?



    1. PeeBee

      NO – IT ISN’T a “paid story” as you so cynically and wrongly suggest.

      If you want to know where the ‘lead’ came from – it was me. 

      I alerted EYE to this frankly laughable eventuality – and irrefutable poke in the chuff of the shouty (credit: Jonnie) online model that thinks it can compete with the High Street every time.

      Here’s the real news… just for you, AgentVX17.

      IT CAN’T.

      There are properties – and, more importantly, vendors – that are suited to this model.  No-one can dispute that.

      There always has been a market for property owners looking for “the best deal” – highest valuation… lowest fee – and that will never change.  There’s always been a solution there for them also – one Agent happy to offer either or both just to get the instruction.

      IF the property AND the vendor are matched AND the timing is right – then AND ONLY THEN it will succeed.

      If those cards aren’t dealt in the right order, in the same hand, then you will have one unhappy gambler who will make their chops wobble all over the place about how they were robbed of their stake.

      But that’s okay – you guys can just #NUKE any signs of complaint from the TrussedPilot’s flight log – can’t you?

      1. AgentVX17

        A High Street Agent feeding PIE and PIE publishing it! WOW!! Let me send some feeds to PIE about a property was with High Street agent and now Online Agent 🙂 Let’s see how PIE react!

        1. Eagle60

          I’d be genuinely interested if you could provide an example where a property has been on the market with a High Street Agent for 3 years and not sold, and the vendor is now trying their luck with an online agent at a lower price (After receiving some sound professional advice no less).

        2. Nick Salmon, M.D. Property Industry Eye

          Please do feel free to do so AgentVX17. And if we do publish something you submit I am very pleased to confirm that you will not have to pay us a penny. Because no-one, and I do mean no-one, whoever they may be, can ever buy editorial on EYE.

          1. AgentVX17

            Thanks Nick,

            Definitely, I will be sending you few links by email soon. 🙂



            1. Nick Salmon, M.D. Property Industry Eye

              To ros@propertyindustryeye.com please.


You must be logged in to report this comment!

Leave a reply

If you want to create a user account so you can log in, click here

More top news stories

Thank you for signing up to our newsletter, we have sent you an email asking you to confirm your subscription. Additionally if you would like to create a free EYE account which allows you to comment on news stories and manage your email subscriptions please enter a password below.