Does anybody really trust estate agents? Do estate agents really ever trust their customers? Do agents ever trust one another?
The more I see, the less I think any do. It’s such a shady industry and there’s a lot of money involved.
Is it human nature to not trust? Is it an English thing to be cynical? Are real estate agents trusted members of society in any part of the world?
Lots of questions, but are there any solutions? Surely there has to be a solution? Is it actually best just the way it is?
I have some ideas, but having never put them in to practice, I couldn’t say whether they’d work or not. Would be good if you could let me know your opinions in the comment section. So what do I think?
With people spending money upfront with no commitment to actually move until exchange of contracts, things can always go wrong. There’s always that fear that someone is going to stitch you up. It does happen. Not very often, but it does. And people will always talk about the time their neighbour was tucked up for £10k on exchange of contracts. Who wouldn’t? It’s a much better story than discussing the efficiency of a solicitor their mate used.
Agents are sales people. They have targets to hit and managers to keep happy. Sometimes those targets are very good for the business, not so good for their customers. A very nice person can almost be forced to be not such a nice agent. Which is a shame. But agents are only paid on completion. Most jobs involve doing some work and then being paid for it. Estate agency involves doing a lot of work and keeping your fingers crossed nobody changes their mind.
I think regulation would help solve one of these things. Make contracts more uniform, services clearer. It doesn’t take a lot of regulation to makes things better. My reservations with regulation are based on who will actually do it? They’d likely stuff it up and make life far more difficult for all involved. Whilst I’m cynical, I do see a true need for it to happen.
Let me know your thoughts.