How about a little estate agent mix and match?
So you’ve decided to sell your property and you’ve had a few estate agents in to suggest a marketing price. You’ve got a pile of pitch packs, the usual sales spiel; glossy corporate literature and standard letters telling you why you must instruct them. But who do you appoint?
The choice is a large chain, local independent, a prolific networker and a combination of all three?
At the end of the day, agents all seek to highlight their USPs, but they are really much of a muchness; it’s simply about matching people to property and there are very good agents as much as there are average agents and it can be a lottery as to who will deliver the results, especially as agents move around within their career span.
So it’s more about the people connection rather than the brand connection unless of course you’re already deeply ensconced with a particular brand.
What’s essential is the relationship you have with your agent and that your instinct tells you that they’ll give it all they can to deliver the results you are seeking. Sometimes it’s an instant attraction and sometimes it takes a little time.
Many agents highlight all sorts of extras to entice you their way, such as links to international buyers and networks, extended office hours or a nominated ‘sole contact’, beholden only to you, their most prized client!
Honestly, in over 30 years of trading, I’ve mainly sold to buyers already in the U.K. And if not, they are primarily already represented by buying agents, so are not registering direct anyway.
As for long office opening hours, most serious buyers know how to contact an agent and it’s not often during their down time and certainly not visiting an office late at night.
As for a nominated sole contact, this isn’t always the person conducting your viewings and negotiations and they, like all sales people, have targets to hit, irrespective of outcome. Ultimately you could just be another number on their target sheet. So don’t be fooled.
My best advice is to go with who you like; the person you feel has genuine passion for your property, enthusiasm to work with you and most importantly good experience and a sound track record that can deliver results with great service.
There may not be one outright winner. Often a good combination is a strong branded agency chain (with an individual that you feel you can work with or from whom you originally bought), along with someone that brings something different to the party, such as access to a black book of contacts that only a few reach and market intel that only they know.
Going bigger is not always better. If you mix and match you’ll have all bases covered and the rest is simply down to healthy competition and determination to bring in the results.
Selecting an estate agent is no different to going to the cinema and choosing the pick ‘n’ mix, instead of the expensive pre-packed sweeties: You get exactly what you want and need from your agent, and the results will soon follow.