You just can't beat a '˜traditional agent'

Friday, 7th September 2018, 3:15 pm
Updated Friday, 7th September 2018, 4:33 pm

‘We also have the expertise to juggle all the balls and not drop them’

By Colin Shairp, director, Fine and Country Southern Hampshire

Some estate agents are reporting sales fall-through rates of a third but to me that statistic represents two things: major disappointment for vendors and a terrible waste of energy by agents.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

I aim to keep well below that figure through a very simple, yet thorough, process. It’s called being an estate agent!

Some people think they can sell their house themselves, others turn to purely online agents who want money upfront, whether or not they sell.It’s a good business model for them but a terrible one for the nearly half of buyers who don’t achieve success via this route.

I like to think of myself as a traditional estate agent, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have an online presence.

I use Rightmove and Zoopla plus other portals you may never have heard of but might just come across.I also use online magazines plus print media such as my own newsletters and local newspapers.

Nothing must be left to chance because the primary activity after giving a genuine valuation and getting instructed is to put the property before the public’s eyes and get it sold.

So it comes as a surprise to some ‘buyers’ when I don’t accept their asking price or even higher bid when they tell me they have still to market their house but have an agent ready to instruct who has made them believe it will sell overnight.

This has happened to me twice recently, each time with the ‘overnight’ seller amazed when I say their offer will only be acceptable when they have sold, and not before.

And each time the property has gone under offer to a third party who has already sold and is well on the way to achieving their ambition of a dream home.It’s all too easy to lose that dream once you have found it by being ill-prepared.

Then you have the nightmare of hoping you will sell in time to buy it and the heart-breaking disappointment of finding, when you have a genuine buyer of your own, that someone else who was better prepared has snapped up your target property.

One of the reasons for employing a traditional agent, for want of a better description, is that we want to sell a property, but only to the right buyer to avoid wasting everyone’s time.

We also have the expertise to juggle all the balls and not drop them – or at least recognise when one is at risk of falling and taking swift action to catch it!Progressing the sale is vital to earn our commission.

Online agents who charge upfront do not have this incentive and we often end up doing their job for them when a property they have ‘sold’ is involved in a chain just so we can achieve a satisfactory outcome for our clients and ourselves.