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What do you look for in your estate agent?

When choosing an estate agent, what are you looking for? Property adviser Ed Mead takes a look at what you should consider, and you’d be surprised…

March 10, 2017

your estate agent

Rightmove recently did a large survey of those thinking about selling. They asked homeowners to say what they would want their agent to spend a notional £100 on if they were marketing their property.

The survey found that sellers think they should be spending £6 on an accurate valuation, £24 on sales details, £16 on accompanied viewings and £25 on a Rightmove ad.

The really worrying thing was that most only felt they should spend £13 on negotiating an offer and a paltry £8 on sales progression.

All this survey highlights is what a terrible job estate agents have been doing in communicating what it is they actually do.

I’d be apportioning £80 to the sales progression alone – that’s the really tricky bit. Where the step change comes, and what good agents need to get out to potential sellers, is that once an offer has been agreed the hard work starts.

Good agents are a combination of surveyor, solicitor, marriage guidance counsellor, taxi driver, shoulder to cry on etc, etc… These skills are gained over a long period and require a different sort of intelligence – emotional intelligence is all too often overlooked but having that buffer between you and your buyer cannot be overestimated. It’s no coincidence that the average time to get from agreed sale to exchange is approaching FOUR MONTHS (staggering, I think) but what may surprise you too is that 37% of all agreed deals fall through.

There’s a lot of hand holding that goes on and given most of us will only move four or five times in our entire life, it’s not something you are born with knowledge of. So if you stop for a moment and think about it, do you really want to have to do all of the above yourself?

You may have the time and the knowledge, but I doubt it – so next time you’re thinking about selling, please ask your estate agent how they handle this side of your transaction – waffling about Rightmove and a lovely brochure is now commonplace. Shop around for your estate agent by reading reviews on-line and then speak to local friends about their experience of local agents.

Meet three local agents and let them impress you with their local knowledge. You need to move, not be left in the lurch. So if they can’t answer your questions and tell you you’re on your own, make sure you know what you’re doing – or more likely – go elsewhere.

Written by Ed Mead, FRICS
Independent property advisor and commentator
Founder of www.viewber.co.uk

 


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