3 Tips for Finding a Good Estate Agent

2nd October 2022 posted in Sellers

Certain types of agents are much harder to find than others.

Secret agents working for Britain’s MI6 are incredibly difficult to track down and contact – thankfully for the sake of our national security!  The same applies to special agents working undercover, on behalf of America’s FBI.

But estate agents on the other hand, they are incredibly easy to track down and contact.  Like it or not, they are everywhere.

Estate agents are cold calling you on the telephone, whilst you’re trying to watch the season finale of Strictly.  They’re knocking on your front door, interrupting your home Zumba workout.  Sometimes it seems, try as you might, you can’t avoid them!

However, whilst finding an estate agent is very easy, I believe that finding a good estate agent is much more challenging - perhaps it is even the hardest type of agent to find.

When researching and interviewing estate agents to potentially sell your home, keep my below tips in mind.  Hopefully, they will help you find a good one!

Tip # 1 – Forget what you’ve been led to believe about ‘good’ salespeople

There is a common misconception held in our society, that aggressive and pushy individuals make good salespeople (and hence, good estate agents).  This belief is built on the false premise that these individuals have the ‘killer instinct’ needed to close the sale, and get the deal done.

Let me tell you, this could not be further from the truth!

Individuals with these characteristics actually make for terrible estate agents, I personally would avoid them at all costs.  A good estate agent will be one who displays empathy, emotional intelligence, and kindness.

If you are hoping to sell your home, it is important to know that prospective purchasers are more likely to submit an offer on a property being shown by a pleasant agent who they feel comfortable with, over a similar property being shown by an aggressive and pushy agent, who they do not feel comfortable with.

I have a great example of this in theory in practice.  A friend of mine once told me how a couple of years ago, he had viewed a selection of very expensive apartments in London (we’re talking about several million pounds each).  Out of all the apartments he viewed, he had two clear favourites.  There was little to choose between them.

However, he told me that he actually bought the one he liked slightly less.  I questioned my friend further on this, who then revealed the rationale behind his decision.  It was simple: the estate agent selling the property he purchased seemed trustworthy and pleasant to deal with, whilst the estate agent selling his number one choice was intimidatingly pushy and aggressive.  He simply didn’t want the hassle of having to deal with the pushy agent!

Tip # 2 – A low fee agent can be a false economy

Some homeowners will invite multiple estate agents to appraise their home, and then instruct whichever agent offers them the lowest commission fee.

These homeowners misguidedly believe that they are being financially savvy, by negotiating hard and instructing whichever agent they are able to beat down to the lowest fee.

This can be a huge false economy.

Alongside the fee, you must consider the quality of service you are being offered. For example, will your estate agent be providing a professional photography and video tour package?  Will they be running paid adverts for your property on social media? Do they advertise on all the property portals? How much time will they dedicate to proactively marketing your home in the community?

Instructing a low fee agent may save you thousands of pounds in fees, but inferior marketing has the potential to cost you tens, or even hundreds, of thousands of pounds, in terms of the achieved sale price.

On occasion, the estate agent offering the lowest fee may also be offering the highest quality service.  Many high-quality agents offer low fees, particularly when they are looking to rapidly grow and scale their business.  However, sometimes you just get what you pay for.  Therefore, it is important to consider both quality of service, as well as commission fees.

3) Tailoring isn’t just for clothes

In the home moving process, each and every client will possess their own unique set of needs and priorities.  No two clients are the same.

Some homeowners will be inexperienced with regards to selling property, and will appreciate a lot of metaphorical hand holding throughout the process. These type of clients may appreciate daily phone calls to touch base, regardless of if there have been any developments.

Other homeowners will be highly experienced with regards to selling property. They may also be very busy at work, and would consider receiving daily telephone calls an unnecessary intrusion.  They might prefer to be contacted only if and when you have significant updates.  Perhaps it would be more convenient for them to be contacted via email, text, or whatsapp, rather than receiving phonecalls.

The computations of different needs and priorities are almost endless.

You will want to choose an agent who engages with you in a meaningful way. Find one that truly listens to you, and attempts to understand your unique needs and priorities in the home moving process.

A good agent will always explain to you how they can tailor and customise their services, in order to suit you.  Would you accept a suit or dress from a tailor, who didn’t take your body measurements, or even ask you for your design and fabric preferences?  No, of course you wouldn’t. If you wouldn’t accept this level of service for an item of clothing, why would you accept it from a salesperson responsible for marketing what is likely to be your most valuable financial asset?