Paul Campbell was talking, like he does, to one of our sellers the other day and the subject of researching estate agents cropped up.
“It always amazes me how our clients make decisions when it comes to choosing the right selling agent/rental agent to act on your behalf. It’s not all about the biggest valuation quoted and the cheapest fee – in fact it’s quite the opposite” said Paul.
Having quizzed the lady a bit more, Paul asked if the lady would write a few words on her thoughts and this is what she wrote:
“We are told that moving house is one of the most stressful things one can do.
It is also one of the most expensive and involves one’s greatest asset, yet few of us research our chosen estate agent with any vigour and we tend to pick the chap who comes up with an asking price that meets our preconceptions. Or the middle estimate of the three one has asked for an opinion!
If you are a serial house mover, then it is probably best to stick with a tried and tested agent.
However, for those of us who move once in a blue moon, it is vital that we pick the agent who can maximise our investment and show that he is not “a one-trick pony”.
Any agent can come up with an acceptable asking price, a pleasant spiel, some nice leaflets and has access to various internet property sites. The vendor can just sit back, relax in the knowledge that ‘he’ has it all in hand and, then wait and wait and wait! For some this approach is OK, moving isn’t vital and there is no urgency – after all the market will pick up in the Spring, won’t it?
For other vendors, it is more important that the agent you pick is actually the best man for the job; that he is not just an estate agent, that he and his company understand your needs, that he will explore the best option for you whether it be the ‘bog standard’ asking price, the more enticing guide price, the single viewing or the massed hordes that arrive during an open hour. He also needs to have the intelligence, local knowledge and contacts to pitch your property to the right sector of the buying public whether in be by private treaty, tender or auction.
So how do you pick the right horse? Research, research and yet more research!
This is fairly easy if you have internet access. All agents worth their salt have a website, so check out what they do – sell properties, find properties for clients, let properties, are surveyors and/or auctioneers, run landlord portfolios, advice on mortgages, solicitors and builders – all are part of the property process and the more strings to their bow, the more they will understand the entire market and, more importantly, your requirements.
Try to appraise the website subjectively. If it doesn’t grab your attention, then it probably won’t do it for possible buyers. Look at the nitty gritty – is it well written, are the pictures plentiful or sparse, does it ‘sing’ professionalism or does it just have a page of what properties are up for grabs?
More importantly, does it suggest that the agents involved can actually embrace your needs and circumstance, and then advise you accordingly.
After all this research, there may be two or three who you believe can cut the mustard; so then is the time to get in touch, ask for a valuation, offer a cup of coffee and quiz them on price, marketing strategy and expected outcome.
Hopefully, you will then pick the right one!”
Thanks Jenny we really appreciated your thoughts.