Too Much Of A Good Thing Is Bad For You – Have Up To 3 Agents But Never More

The single most important thing you need to decide when selling or letting your property is which estate agent to instruct? The choice is wide and varied and despite popular pre-conceptions, fuelled mostly by the wider media, not all agents are the same. Unfortunately estate agents regularly feature in polls of the ‘top 10 most hated professions in the UK’ alongside bankers, politicians and bailiffs to name a few.

As with everything it takes just a small number of individual negative exceptions to reflect badly on the industry as a whole and here at Lurot Brand we work extremely hard to off-set that negativity striving for excellent customer service. As a result we pride ourselves on building longstanding relationships often working with many Clients and their families over many generations. Word-of-mouth and its positive reinforcement is priceless.

Some points to consider when choosing the best estate agent to market your property:

  • Location, location, location – does the agent have a current and in-depth knowledge of the local market in relation to comparable properties to yours?
  • Macro-economic factors – does your agent demonstrate a current and in-depth knowledge of wider economic factors that may affect the suitable buyers and tenants they can introduce to you?
  • Track-record – can your agent demonstrate recent comparable sales or lets in your area?
  • Professional qualifications – can your agent demonstrate which professional bodies they are members of? What qualifications do the individual negotiators have? A good agency will invest in the long term training of their staff. Legislation is changing all the time.
  • Marketing – with the growing significance of social marketing and reliance moving away from paper advertising, is your agent up to date? What is their reach? Core audience?
  • Lastly, but arguably most importantly, do you trust the agent? The likelihood is that if you have an instinctive confidence in the individual employees representing the agency then they will do a better job than their competitors.

How many estate agents to instruct?

  • 1 is best, 2 can generate healthy competition and never, ever more than 3. In the last five years, the landscape of estate agency marketing has changed dramatically moving away from the traditional high-street agency and paper advertising towards the internet and social marketing. Today in Lurot Brand Lettings, the internet and corporate Tenants have an almost 50/50 split and for Lurot Brand Sales between the internet and historic Clients it is c. 75/25 split respectively. We often hear ‘but more agents means more exposure and thus a quicker sale/let’ – with all reputable estate agents subscribing to a wealth of web portals there really is no need to instruct many agents. All it does is risk over-exposure of your property leading potential buyers or tenants to think mistakenly that there is something wrong with your property or that you may be over-keen to effect a sale or let. Equally working with one or two motivated agents only usually means that you will be given extra solicitous service ensuring the best price is achieved for your property.

What service should i reasonably expect from my chosen estate agent?

  • Advice as to how to present your property to ensure the best possible sale or let. For example the majority of tenants will prefer a property that is at least freshly redecorated and will often pay a premium for a newly refurbished property whereas buyers more often than not are looking to ‘add value’ themselves.
  • Comprehensive terms of business – a clear, coherent and accurate contract is indicative of the professionalism of the estate agent
  • Professional photographs and floor plans
  • Comprehensive and tailor-made marketing strategy – not all properties are the same and therefore should not be treated the same
  • Regular feedback on marketing progress and viewings
  • Full support and advice through the negotiation of offers through to agreement

What after-care service should I expect from my chosen estate agent?

  • Full guidance through the sales or lettings process
  • After exchange of sale, start of tenancy, does your agent follow up with you to see that you are happy?
  • If you have instructed the agent to manage your property, what inspection reports will they provide? What level of service will they provide to your Tenant?

Lastly, but by no means least, relax. Your chosen estate agent is there to do all the hard work for you!

Written by Lajla Turner MARLA – Public Relations Manager

Featured Image Attribution: Bev Goodwin