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At least I’m not a Traffic Warden…Chapter 1#

Every few years a new survey comes out with the title ‘the most irritating profession in the UK’. Estate Agents are usually somewhere at the business end of those charts, fighting for one of the final Champions League spots (alongside Bankers, Politicians and Traffic Wardens). It’s time to separate the fact from the fiction and tell the truth about house selling.

1# Do Estate Agents really sell a house?

The simple answer is ‘No’. Unless the buyer has a medical condition, there is not a person on the planet that could convince someone to buy a house they really do not want to buy. Do Estate Agents give you the potential for achieving a higher figure? The answer is ‘Yes’ in most instances.

So, what does sell houses?

Well, houses sell houses of course. This can be a complicated equation however and is dependent on the individual (viewing) and what they care about the most. Is it local schools, crime statistics or number of bedrooms etc? The buyer may compromise on some requirements, but not all.

Example. A young family go and view a house that meets their criteria in terms of condition, parking and bedrooms etc. They know that there are two Primary schools in the area. The family love the house and want to make an offer.

After doing some research, they find out that one of the two schools have a dreadful OFSTED rating. The school was so bad that Channel 4 decided to do a documentary about it. Unfortunately, the second school has a four year waiting list. Will our smooth-talking, Ray-Ban wearing Estate Agent convince them to still buy the property? I doubt it very much!



What is the point of an Estate Agent then?

You would hope that prospective buyers have carried out the necessary research before requesting a viewing on a property. Unfortunately, some viewers seem to have a lot of time on their hands. It is important that the Agent finds out the requirements before booking. There is nothing more frustrating than getting feedback ‘it’s not in an area I would like to live’. It’s very difficult to physically relocate a house these days….

Assuming you have a motivated buyer (who has done their research), it is time for your Agent to spring into action. See how far the buyer(s) are willing to go to get the property. Drive the price up. Know when to call it quits, don’t let them get away.

More importantly, make sure that the prospective buyer can proceed with the purchase. Do they have a deposit? Have they got a mortgage agreed in principle? Do your due diligence. You would not believe the amount of times I have heard ‘I am a cash buyer’. Really? you have £400,000 sitting in a bank account doing nothing? I feel like a pauper. There are people that do have that kind of cash in the bank. Though, the majority have it tied up in pensions, trust funds and property etc. Just make sure you don’t have a promise from a liar.

In our next chapter, we will focus on the pro's and cons of using 'Online' Estate Agents to sell you property.

Published by: Lee Atkins (Managing Director) @ iLove homes

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