There's nothing I like more than a free invitation and estate agents seem to understand this only too well. Taking advantage of my eye for a bargain, they're always inviting me to have my house valued gratis. This extraordinary generosity stands in stark contrast to exploitation of the countless charlatans and tricksters who will quite happily charge hundreds of pounds just to tell me what my property might be worth. I tell these chancers in no uncertain terms that I won't tolerate their exorbitant valuation fees, when other kindly agents are issuing invitations for FREE. You have to be careful with estate agents these days though. In the December edition of a glossy mag called South West, which I picked up on a train, there's a profile of a couple of guys from a posh London firm. One of them has been drafted in from the military. Talking about the dangers of being on the front line of the property war in Barnes, he says: 'In the Marines, we used to have a saying:
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