‘We want to know they are the real deal’
By Colin Shairp, director, Fine and Country Southern Hampshire
There are many reasons I could suggest you use an estate agent when selling your house but, as I don’t look like a policeman, you might think that security is not top of my list.
However, keeping both clients and staff safe is vital, and something the whole team in my businesses pays attention to.
Security must be at the forefront and it’s one of the reasons we like to conduct viewings.
We always try to dissuade vendors from doing so themselves, partly because we get better feedback if a member of staff is the go-between and also because it ensures viewings are not conducted without us first vetting the person who wants to take a look round.
When we get a response to an inquiry about a house that may be on one of our websites or a property portal, we establish who the potential viewer is, carry out an identity check, and also make sure they have the means to make the purchase.
In other words, we want to know they are the real deal.
Vendors are advised never to accept an approach from someone who just walks up and knocks on the door, as happened recently at one of our properties.
Luckily we managed to track down the person who asked for the viewing and it turned out they were genuine in their interest.
Even without a ‘For Sale’ sign, it’s easy to work out where a property on the market is situated.
We suggest they should always refer an enquiry back to us so we can make our checks.
Once satisfied, we will either call or email the vendor to say we have arranged the viewing at a time that suits them and then accompany the viewing all the way through.
It may sound as if we are a little bit paranoid but one of the best ways to stay safe is to stay in control.
So if your estate agent asks if you want them to conduct viewings, the answer should always be in the affirmative.
What’s more it shouldn’t cost anything extra because it’s what all professional agents should offer as part of their package.
There’s no room for compromise where safety is concerned.