During the thirty years I have been in Estate Agency there has been a common industry trend that frustrates me; how people within the business believe clients should choose their estate agent.
Almost daily I seem to read advertising and blog articles that focus on the things agents think their clients should be asking in order to select them. ‘Don’t choose someone else because they promise you this…’, ‘You need to do this to sell…’, ‘Choose us because we do this, this and this…’
If you are thinking of selling I’d be interested to know how much you believe the following things matter and at the end of the article I’d like to see if the questions I believe you should be asking make sense to you and seem relevant.
You see, for me, the flaw with most agents thinking is it relates to one scenario, that you, as potential clients, are put into one and only one category and what that means you want to hear is this, apparently:
We’ll sell your home quicker than anyone else!
You must be on as many property portals as possible as quickly as possible.
If you don’t reach the widest possible audience you won’t achieve the best price.
More viewings mean a better sale price
You should choose the agent with the largest housing stock as more buyers will talk to them.
This agency lists more houses locally than any other agency, why would you choose someone else?
We market your home on more websites than the other agents
Our for sale boards are really eye-catching
We have brilliant High Street Premises
If you’ve spoken to more than one agent recently then you will have heard at least some of these repeated verbatim to you time and again. They all are pretty compelling points don’t you think? Everything is very much about the estate agent though, great if you are client IC1.
The thing about it all is our clients are people, not numbers or categories. The above points all matter, but in varying degrees because you personally will be approaching the thought of selling from one of a myriad points. You may need to be to be flung headlong into the arena at the mercy of the lions, to have your hallway trampled by endless feet, your cupboards opened and the minutiae of your home life inspected by all and sundry in the hope that one of those thirty or so viewers may be your perfect buyer.
In reality that won’t be what many people want or need. Just because the agent tells you that it is the only way for you to go about selling your home doesn’t mean it is the right advice for you. It may be easier for the agent because it is the simplest way for them to work but pause for a moment and question what you need. There are other considerations to marketing that will depend on your individual circumstances and needs.
Let me ask you if any of the following phrases or questions might apply to you.
I lead an incredibly busy life and I know it won’t just go on pause because my home goes on the market, I can’t afford to have my time wasted.
Securing the right home near the schools we want is going to be very difficult.
I’d love to move but I need to achieve a set price to be able to buy what I want.
I’m thinking of downsizing but it only works if I can realise this much capital.
I love my home and although I know I need to move I’m not going to buy just anything.
I’m worried about going under offer and then not finding, I’d hate to let people down.
I’m worried that I won’t sell quickly enough once I’ve found but it may take me ages to find the right place
I don’t really want hoards of people trampling through my home unnecessarily
What happens if I put my home on the market to test a price and it doesn’t sell? It looks bad if I keep reducing doesn’t it?
I don’t care how long it takes to sell I need to achieve this price and nothing less.
My home is one that lots of people will want to see just because it is so individual. How do I ensure buyers are genuine?
I don’t want to be rushed into this moving lark, what happens if someone wants my home and I’m not ready?
What happens if my home is on the market for ages, not because I can’t find a buyer but because I can’t find somewhere to move to?
I haven’t been able to find somewhere to buy and have lost buyers along the way, now prices have risen around me and my house is slipping back!
When is the best time to go onto the market for my home and me?
Your personal situation may relate to one or more of the above, it may be that you have a question or thought I haven’t mentioned. The point is you are all individuals with unique needs and the marketing you undertake when you come to sell your home should reflect what you need to achieve and how you want things to happen.
The thought of moving home is at once exciting and terrifying. There is a thrill to change and a nervousness hovering over it, moving home is a stressful process.
Many people are surprised by the notion that there is more than one way to approach the marketing of their home.
What I believe and have placed at the core of Graham John as a company is that the client comes first. Ours is a service and we like to make it personal to each of our very special clients so, it starts as you prepare to go on the market and is still there for you after you have moved, with us you become a client for life.
If you are looking to find yourself an estate agent I would suggest that the most important questions you should be asking are these and yes there is more than one.
Dear Mr or Mrs Estate Agent: How are you going to show you understand what my needs are and how will you work accordingly? How are you going to look after me?