Tag Archives: relationship

laptop at the top of the side table When did you last speak to your estate agent?

It’s difficult for both you and your agent when the market is slow; they don’t have anything to tell you, so not only will they stop calling, they may even start avoiding your calls too.  Meanwhile, you’re left feeling frustrated and powerless, wondering what on earth you can do when no one wants to view your home.

Communication between you and your agent at this tricky time becomes all the more important.  Without communication, there can be no trust, and without trust, there is no worthwhile relationship.   But when you’re in a locked loop of your agent not calling because there’s no interest, yet you need to know what you can do to improve the situation, it’s easy to become despondent.

Here are my top five communication tips when you’re trying to sell your home, to ensure the relationship doesn’t degenerate irretrievably:

1. Pre-empt any issues by agreeing a communication schedule before you launch your home to the market.  This is over and above any calls to arrange viewings, or to give feedback afterwards; this plan outlines your expectations and so your agent has some chance of meeting them.  For example, you could ask for a fortnightly call on a Friday, regardless of whether there had been any viewings in between.  In this call you could ask them about market conditions and trends, recent sales, viewings on other comparable properties, and updates on any of your recent viewers.  With a plan agreed in advance, there are clear expectations and if these are not met, you can refer your agent back to their original agreement.

2. Keep your communication positive – if your agent feels that they are being told off, or held to account, for a lack of interest in your property, they will be increasingly reluctant to pick up the phone to you.  If however, your tone is encouraging, friendly and supportive, they will look forward to speaking to you, and they will be only too happy to have a chat to you, even if there is nothing concrete to report.

3. If you’re in town, near your agent’s office, pop in.  Take them cakes, or flowers out of your garden for the office.  If they offer to make you a cup of tea, even better.  Take the time to really get to know the staff in the office, and you and your house will be at the forefront of their mind when they next receive a suitable enquiry.  Agents are just like me and you; they have favourite clients, so make sure you’re one of them.

4. Ask for advice: lots of vendors do this, but then they either don’t listen to any suggestions, or else they argue with it.  If you genuinely listen and show that you value any input that might improve the level of interest in your property, you will find your agent much more confident about discussing the issues with you.

5. Share your plans with them: if your agent knows how important your move is, perhaps to be closer to a special relative, to give yourself more financial security, or to realise your long-held dream of living in the country, they will be able to genuinely identify with your aspirations.  By taking them into your confidence, you are showing that you trust them, and the resulting enhanced relationship will allow them to do the best possible job of selling your home for you.

Selling a premium property in this market is not easy, believe me.  There is very little confidence out there, and anything you can do to help your agent will in the long run, only benefit you even more.  So be nice, be friendly, and be kind.  They are all big softies really!

If you’d like my help to sell your home more effectively, please answer a few short questions here and if I think I can help you, I’ll be in touch.

laptop at the top of the side table When did you last speak to your estate agent?

What to read next: Would you DATE your estate agent?

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Chair with a basket full of wine Putting all your eggs in one basket

I was contacted by a gentleman in York this week, who was selling his house for the first time in over thirty years. In a small 1920s close where most of the houses there had been redeveloped, his home clearly had huge potential and the local agents were falling over themselves to win the instruction. When he called me he had already had visits from six agents, and was thinking of using five of them, on a ‘winner takes all’ basis. He asked me what I thought. I of course, told him.

Firstly, with that amount of competition between agents, he couldn’t hope to get a sensible valuation. He confirmed this by telling me that the variation in valuations had been huge: £1.3million right up to £1.75million. How on earth could he have any confidence at all in any of them? My first piece of advice to him was to get an independent valuation from a local surveyor. This result doesn’t show in any public records; it’s simply a piece of private information between the two of you, so if he didn’t like the valuation, he could just ignore it.  It would however give him some idea of the ‘true’ value of the home, albeit with a few thousand added on for marketing and negotiation purposes. Don’t forget that a surveyor is completely independent, I reminded him, with no agenda whatsoever other than to give you an accurate representation of the value of your house. For around £300, you will find his report a useful insight, I told him.

Secondly, it’s really not a good idea to ask five agents to sell your home.  Your relationship with the estate agent you select is founded on trust and liking; after all, there will be plenty of obstacles to overcome along the way, and you really need someone on your side throughout this often traumatic process.  Select the agent you like most; the one you really believe in, and that you won’t get irritated by over the coming months.  Place your loyalty and confidence in him, and let him know you have faith in his ability to sell your house.  Trust works both ways, and you need to do all you can to make his job of selling your house as easy as possible.  Aim to be the best vendor you can be, and your efforts will pay dividends.  If you think his valuation is too low, tell him.  Do your own research and show him evidence that supports your viewpoint.  He may well agree with you, especially if he is very keen to win your instruction.

The third point is that all that will happen if you instruct more than one agent, is that your property will appear multiple times on the property portals, which just smacks of desperation.  And don’t even think about the battle over boards: your local authority will only allow you one, so how would you choose which one?  You’d have all five agents sabotaging each other’s boards in the middle of the night!

In the case of selling your home, it really is about putting all your eggs in one basket, then being very careful not to break one!

If you’d like my help to sell your home more effectively, please answer a few short questions here and if I think I can help you, I’ll be in touch.

 


What to read next:
 Let Buyers See Your Front Door

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