I have registered lord only knows how many thousands of buyers in my time owning Mr Green. Some do it really well, some do it so badly that they make it near impossible for us to be able to help them, let alone want to spend any time doing so.
The truth is that as a buyer, especially in a sellers’ market, the amount of time and energy an agent can spend with you deteriorates to next to nothing. Other than the people we personally remember, everything else is handled by our systems.
So to cut to the chase, you’re either being looked after by the agent or you’re being looked after by the system. If it’s the system, you’re never in a million years going to be the first person notified of a property coming to market. You’ll be notified, but it will be at the time it likely hits Rightmove.
The key things that ensure you get at least a bit of priority from an agent are when registering (if you’ve already registered you can go back and do this):
- You’ve got your end under control and know what you want. Worst thing you can do is call up and say “I’m not sure what I want and I’m not sure when I want it by.”
- You have the attitude that you’re prepared to look at anything. (you don’t actually have to look at everything, but you need to have the attitude that you will.) You want the agent to feel comfortable calling you.
- Be nice. Be humble. Ask for help. Works every single time with me anyway.
- Don’t over-sell yourself to the agent. Just puts you in the same category as every other person that does it. #annoying
- A lot of agents aren’t actually all that well trained. It’s not their fault. Give them a break. It might just be that annoying idiot that keeps trying to strong-arm you to speak to their mortgage guy that finds you the ideal home.
“How often do you call the agents? I don’t want to annoy them.”
I get asked this question a lot.
When buying somewhere, the amount of time and effort you put in to your search will dictate the number of opportunities you have. If you want greater opportunities, invest more time and energy and learning.
Have you ever heard someone say “We rang the estate agent and they’d just been to value somewhere that sounded okay. We went to have a look immediately and it was perfect so we went for it. We were REALLY lucky.”
What might not be noted in the conversation is that that buyer called all the estate agents every couple days to touch base on the off chance that something had come up. Doing that had created the opportunity to view 10 other properties under similar circumstance that weren’t suitable but they had gone to view immediately.
In a sellers market, the approach of staying in contact with the agents is even more important because there are too many buyers for each property. If you’re not putting in the work, someone else likely is. Guess who is going to get through the door first and have the best opportunities?
From an agent’s perspective, it’s really difficult to forget the person that is on first name terms. They get in your subconscious and naturally link to Eg. 3-bed house on XYZ Road. If I then go and value a 3-bed house on XYZ Road, guess who I’m going to be calling first?
This step though is only viable if you actually have all your ducks in line and are ready to go.
I do totally understand how much of a pain this can cause. Two tips for the buying process that will make this level of contact with estate agents remotely bearable:
- Get a pay as you go phone with a new number. They’re cheap, the battery lasts all day and you can bin the sim once the process is over.
- Get an email specifically for house-hunting. You won’t miss what you wish to see and you can simply switch it off once you’re finished.
In a buyers market, you will see this change around massively. The estate agents will be on the phone a lot to you to see how you’re getting on and offering you their wares.
So in conclusion, get on the phone and return agents calls. Try and meet face to face if possible. Do not rely on email and do not avoid calls, even if it’s a massive pain speaking to the more pressure oriented sales agents. They may just have the perfect home for you tomorrow!