Secretly-filmed video reveals 11 agents vying to win instruction

Property website BestAgent sets out to show on camera how best agents not brands get the highest final offer for their clients.

bestagent estate sam

A video laying bare the best and the worst of one SW housing market’s agents has been published by property website BestAgent.

The video is unusual because it films every aspect of a single property sale from the vendors point of view, warts and all.

Filming the experience kicked off when one of the firm’s team, Samantha Westlake (main picture), decided to sell her house on the outskirts of Taunton in Somerset and record her experiences choosing and then instructing the best agent.

The short film illustrates how picking the ‘best local people to sell a home’ based on knowledge, communication skills, experience and personal abilities is, in the vast majority of cases, more important than brand.

During the video Westlake emails 18 local agents to invite valuations over a 48-hour period, 11 of whom accept.

This ‘secret shopper’ exercise then films their anonymous viewings with Samantha at the property, during which a broad range of sales techniques are revealed, including ‘having sold the house previously’, ‘being the director of the company’, and revealing a ‘potential buyer already in the wings’ ready to do a one-off viewing prior to instruction.


amy dodd ewemoveTheir valuations range from £240k to £295k and, after the gruelling two-day valuations bonanza, Samantha picked Amy Dodd (pictured) the local Ewemove franchisee helped by her boss, BestAgent founder Charlie Lamdin – despite a last-minute wobble about which one to go with.

Her choice – in an admittedly super-hot local market last November – proved the correct one.

After inviting offers in the region of £275,000 and several frantic days of bidding by multiple potential buyers from 12 viewings, she accepted a £300,000 offer two weeks after instruction.

best agent“It’s a perfect example of how when you find that agent who is better than all the rest you can get over asking price in a very short space of time,” says Lamdin (pictured).

The sale on the three-bedroom property completed at the beginning of February – ten weeks after the original valuations.

Samantha adds: “I certainly didn’t choose my agent based on the brand – I don’t like the Ewemove branding – it was solely based on the agent”.

Watch the video.


  1. It’s interesting to see that Charlie (Samantha’s boss) said not to go with the agent that valued at £295k (the most accurate of all) and that EweMove got a first offer of £300k (from the eventual buyer) but made zero effort to get an increase on this! I can’t comment on all agents but I know for a fact we would have achieved a higher price for the seller. EweMove basking in the glory and yet sold it for the first offer and Best Agent thinking they know more about Estate Agency than they actually do!

  2. It’s not about the brand, or about being “the best” it’s about finding affinity with an agent. Achieving the highest price shouldn’t be the determining factor. Finding an agency that can be trusted is paramount.

    If agencies persist in making it a transaction, rather than a relationship, they shouldn’t be surprised when they lose “rat-race” that ensues when 11 agents compete.

    Be different from, not “better than”.

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