Cutting through estate agent nonsense…..

I’m pretty surprised by how many people actually read this blog.  It’s spurred me on to getting back to writing a little more frequently and helping out the house movers across the country.

Some of the things estate agents come out with are pure, entirely made-up nonsense.  The thing I get most frustrated with is dealing with people on the back end of them having fallen for the sales pitch/tactic/nonsense/jargon or whatever you wish to call it and seeing how badly it’s affected the customers desire to move home.  So much of the process is seemingly made of an entirely hollow service with bells and whistles that make absolutely no sound whatsoever.

If you’ve fallen for a smooth talking estate agent’s sales pitch, you are certainly not alone.  I’m writing this blog with the sole intention of hoping that at least one person is able to make a more informed decision than they would have prior to reading.

A few facts about estate agency.

1.  Buyers don’t care about your estate agent.  They especially don’t care about their branding, how many signs they have, how shiny their suits are or how many offices they have.  Buyers care about getting the best house they possibly can and doing it in the easiest, most relaxed way possible.

2.  There is absolutely zero substitute for expertise, effort and morals when selling a property.

3.  100% if your estate agent does a bad job, it will cost you money on your sale.  They’ll charge you too, but it will cost you more than their fee.

4.  Estate agents very rarely spend a single penny specifically on your sale beyond their time.

5.  Very, very few estate agents have ever been trained in how to actually market and sell a property, let alone being an expert at it.  Most are utterly incompetent.

Even the most intelligent people find it difficult to discern what is and isn’t nonsense when so much of what agents say is.  If you invite 3 estate agents round to value your property and all 3 spout a very similar type of nonsense, it naturally becomes believable.  It’s almost as though it’s a nonsense competition, with each trying to claim their nonsense is more nonsense than the other.  No wonder estate agents are so hated!

If you’ve got your property on the market and it’s not sold in 30 seconds, there will be a lot of estate agents trying to get you to switch to them.  The best line is “I’ve got someone that will buy your property.” Or even better “We’ve got loads of buyers for your property.”

I had an agent say this to a vendor of mine the other day.  They were utterly adamant that they had  5 fantastic buyers for their home and they should sign up with them too.  The agent has a whole 5 buyers that are desperate to buy in exactly their area that simply haven’t registered with any other agent or ever looked online or anything.  WOW!  A miracle!  This agent must be stupendously special to manage that.

I told the vendor that we’d give 100% of our fee to that agent if they booked a viewing with any of these buyers within 48 hours and they went ahead and bought it.  Guess how many viewings they booked in?  I later lowered it to 70% and 10 days later they still haven’t booked a single one.

The only way in which you can 100% see through an agents claims is by calling them on it.  I went and valued a house last week.  After looking, I knew I had 3 people off the top of my head that would be incredibly interested and were ready to buy.  The owner told me to bring them round a few days later.  We did 5 viewings, 2 offered and the sale was agreed at a price above any other valuation.  I didn’t make them sign a contract prior.  We simply agreed a fee and that was that.

So if an agent claims they can do something that sounds a little beyond plausible, call them on it.  I have never been able to get my head round how the agent claiming “I’ll sell this house in a week without doubt.” Has any necessity of a 16 week sole agency contract…..

My personal recommendation for keeping your agent honest is to not sign a contract tie-in whatsoever.  Don’t believe all the nonsense they tell you to try and get you to do it.  Mr Green pays for the pro photography, brochure printing etc. etc. all upfront.  We invest specifically in every single property we take on, and we don’t do a contract tie-in, so I’m darn sure that all the other agents that don’t invest in a property don’t need to tie you in either.

Simon Ward
Mr Green

Any questions or comments please drop them below.  Or alternatively email me at [email protected]