For Christmas I was given a book entitled Mud Straw and Insults: Confessions of an Honest Estate Agent by my son Caleb. The book is a collection of advertisements written by British agent Roy Brooks. The foreword of the book gives a brief description of the man:
Roy Brooks was an eminent estate agent who became a national figure, mostly for one enduring reason: because of the puckish delight he took in telling the truth, the whole truth – and even the unwholesome truth. In a trade well known for its euphemisms, optimistic cliches and skilful literary camouflage, he won the delighted applause of the property-buying and advertisement-reading public.
In fact, Brooks’ advertisements became so popular that the papers in which he advertised let him do so free of charge!
Here’s just one of his gems:
FASHIONABLE CHELSEA, Lamont Road. Do not be misled by the trim exterior of this modest Period. Res. with its dirty broken windows; all is not well with the inside. The decor of the 9 rooms, some of which hangs inelegantly from the walls, is revolting. Not entirely devoid of plumbing, there is a pathetic kitchen & 1 cold tap. No bathrm., of course, but Chelsea has excellent public baths. Rain sadly trips through the ceiling on to the oilcloth. The pock-marked basement flr. indicates a thriving community of woodworm; otherwise there is not much wrong with the property. In the tiny back garden an Anderson shelter squats waiting… Lse. 40 yrs? G.R. £50. SACRIFICE £6,750.
In another ad, Brooks describes a house he listed as “about as pretentious as its owner” ha. This collection of advertisements may provide me with some inspiration for future listings – provided my clients approve of course!