I once went to view a property on behalf of a client; a lovely little cottage in Cheshire at £350,000. When I arrived with a colleague, the front door was wide open and the viewing ‘rep’ was standing in the kitchen, reading the paper. At sixty-plus, he looked like a homeless person, or at least someone who was down on his luck. Unshaven and dishevelled, our first impressions were less than favourable.
It got worse. He 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 their client think?
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 for the security of her possessions?
At my agency, AshdownJones, we place viewings at the top of our services, and given them maximum priority. After all, this is where the rubber meets the road – the offers are generated. Which is actually the point of an estate agent.
Phil, my co-director, put a new property on Rightmove this week. Within an hour, a couple called from York, some 2.5 hours’ drive away, asking how soon could they see it? Phil shuffled round his diary, and set off to the house, an hour from our office. It was a two hour viewing. Because we’d sat with the owners for hours discovering all we could about the house, he knew all the answers. In that two hour viewing, those people from York made an asking price offer.
How would other agents have handled that request, do you think? Would they have sent a director out of the office for four hours to do everything he could to ensure the outcome was the best for everyone?
Imagine if he’d been a ‘door opener’, like our friend in Cheshire. What are the chances he could have produced an asking price offer within hours of the property being available?
It’s an estate agent’s job to show your home
Estate agents need to realise their purpose at a viewing – whether it is a director, the manager, or a lowly viewing rep – is to sell the house. They do this by engaging the viewer, answering questions, and helping those buyers come to the right decision for them.
I work with independent estate agents all over the UK, and can probably recommend one in your area. Just tell me a few details about your home here, and if I think I could help you, I’ll be in touch.