As the vast majority of people know, moving home is deemed to be one of the most stressful experiences in life, coming a close third place behind listening to Barbie Girl by Aqua and rubbing polystyrene together. The fact that a lot of estate agents focus purely on the sales figures rather than the people and story behind a move, is one of the reasons the industry has had a bad reputation for so many years.
In many cases that disconnect between the needs of the client and the priorities of the agent are what can eventually lead to a property stagnating on the market for months on end.
Understanding Property Value
The first question everybody wants to know when initially contacting an estate agent is “how much is my property worth”, but that's jumping the gun a bit. The obvious cliché answer is that anything is worth as much as somebody is willing to pay for it. The question should be more along the lines of “I want to achieve a sale in X (days/weeks/months), so with that in mind what price do you believe the property should be marketed at?” The price that can be achieved (and therefore the property's value), is not just locked into what somebody is willing to pay. It is intrinsically linked to the vendors motivation to sell.
It is worth noting that for part exchange valuations on behalf of developers, estate agents provide 3 values; a guaranteed sale in 90 days value, a general value for going on the market and a maximum ceiling value for the location. The companies need this in order to properly assess their options and choose the figure to market at. If they need it, why should your property valuation be any different?
Decide on timescale from day one
A discussion about timeframe opens up the conversation at your market appraisal. Your agent can then find out more about what is motivating the sale and discover what will really determine whether you can accept an offer or not.
By both parties knowing the required timeframe at the outset, expectations can be managed and the agent knows that their window of opportunity is not open ended. Those agents that rarely stay on top of their property performance figures are then more likely to be looking at them and speaking to you about changes that need making in order to meet the deadline.
If you are selling your property without having had these discussions with your agent, how can they possibly know how to pitch useful conversations with potential buyers? To make matters worse, in many cases the sales negotiators taking the offers may have never even spoken to you or even been to your property, so how can they do your situation justice?
Estate Agency is not just about selling property
Those who have made it into a long-term career (and been successful at it) are the ones who understand that it’s an estate agents job to help people move home, not to sell houses. They take pride in knowing that they are part of a process that can be life-changing for some people. A successful home move can mark the end of a difficult period in life or the start of something new. The chances are those people will remember the agent who helped them for decades to come.
If you have an estate agent who understands the above and knows that their job is only just starting when you accept an offer, then you will be one of the lucky few for whom moving home is not one of the most stressful experiences in your life.
We’re proud to say at The Agent that we deliberately only take on people who understand that our job is to help people move, not just to sell property. With our company you are allocated one dedicated professional who is with you from start to finish. They negotiate your offers and see your sale from valuation all the way through to completion.