Let’s face it, estate agents are a necessary evil. However there are a few practical ideas you can follow to win them over to your side when buying or selling.
So while they may not work for you, if you’re buying, you can try your best to caux them over to your side! So what does an estate agent do? Let’s explore!
Become an estate agent detective
Before choosing an estate agent, check if they are affiliated to a professional redress scheme and are a member of a trade association. While estate agents are legally required to join a redress scheme, being a member of a trade body should mean they’re up to date on the law, marketing and sales methods.
Approach a few agents and ask if you can talk to at least two of their past clients. If necessary, knock on the door or put a note through the letterbox of people who have a “Sold” sign outside their house. Ask them what they thought of their agents.
See them as Friends
Instead of treating estate agents as foes, make them your friends. For example, if you stop for coffee on the way to a viewing, why not pick up one for your estate agent too? Take an interest in them as a person. Try to write down facts that they give you in conversation.
The stronger your bond with them, the more likely they are to be honest. Building a solid relationship will mean you’re easer to remember, which will also help your case.
Squeeze them for information
When you have bonded over the coffee, magazine and enquiries about children, use this to gather more information. Find out why the seller wants to move (death, debt, divorce, accepted planning permission)? How long has the property been on the market? How many offers are on the table? What is the lowest price they would accept? Has the vendor found a new property yet?
It will surprise you how readily an estate agent will respond, provided you’ve put in enough time building a relationship with them.
When you offer
Having built rapport with them, you are more likely to get your offer explained to the vendor. This will help you to get a better deal than merely giving the vendor a price. Or even worst a price and half the story. A tip on making an offer, don’t put in a bid while you’re on a viewing. Go home first and put in your offer over the phone.
Finally… don’t complete on a Friday. As if things go wrong with the money transfer, the banks will be shut all weekend.