I once went to view a property on behalf of a client; a lovely little cottage in Cheshire. When I arrived with a colleague, the front door was wide open and the viewing ‘rep’ was standing in the kitchen, reading the paper. He was in his fifties, scruffily dressed, and didn’t even look up when we rang the doorbell, but just called at us to come in. In fact, he didn’t look up from his paper during our whole viewing, but instead left us to look around the cottage by ourselves. Even when we went to the back door and rattled it, looking for the key, he completely ignored us, only muttering “bye” as we left.
Appalled by the lack of care he had displayed with the seller’s cottage, I called the estate agent’s office and told the manageress what had happened. Her response left me stunned, to say the least. She said, and I quote, “He’s not there to sell you the house”.
“So what on earth is he there for?” I asked, genuinely confused.
“His job is just to open the door” came her reply.
I put the phone down. And closed my mouth.
What would the seller have said if she’d heard our conversation? If she’d known that he couldn’t even be bothered to find the back door key for me? Or the fact that we were left completely unsupervised to roam around this poor lady’s cottage, without a thought the security of her possessions?
Agents need to realise their purpose at a viewing, whether it is the agency manager, or a lowly viewing rep.
Their job is to engage the viewer, to open doors, to answer questions, and very importantly, to protect the seller’s possessions.
And yes, to actually SELL their client’s house!
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