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Last Updated: 15/03/2017  
Tags: Marketing, Property, Selling, Accountability

There has been a lot of debate recently about how useful or necessary Estate Agents are.

I believe, there are a lot of agencies which like to remain shrouded in a veil of mystery…why?

Beats me, what they got to hide?

So…let me endeavour to unmask the industry in the hope of providing a little insight into our usefulness and how we can achieve great results for you and provide some sanity in this crazy market. Oh, and why that % is money well spent.

I received the below from someone I’d been exchanging emails with who was interested in us potentially marketing his property.

‘Ok I'm interested.

If you were selling a property what would be the top questions to ask an agent looking to sell the property?

What are the most important factors?

I have contacted a number of agents and need to decide when to sell and with who

I look forward to your intelligent response’


Yup, that was it.
His approach maybe a little abrupt, but he has some valid questions, ones he has a right to know.

So….

 

Ok, I’m interested.

Well that’s a start, always nice to have someone willing to listen.


If you were selling a property what would be the top questions to ask an agent looking to sell the property?
How would you go about marketing the property?

 
It is vital to get good photographs and not get an agent to do them, otherwise you could end up gaining national press for all the wrong reasons: Daily Mail

We employ a professional photographer to take pictures and draw up a floorplan. We then write a description that consists of more than:
2 beds
2 baths
Maisonette….Yawn…
Or, and I’m not sure what is worse, nonsense like this:

‘Slowly drink and savor the Two Double Bedrooms, an open plan Reception Room and Kitchen and get excited about the fantastically fruity roof top Terrace that adjoins a second upstairs Reception area.’

We elaborate on the layout of a property and include information on transport links and key spots nearby, be it the local gastro pub or nearest grocers.  We like practical information but importantly we want to create a picture of what it would be like to live in the area.

We also employ a PR agency who are responsible for getting National press coverage on your property.
Sometimes we accidentally generate a buzz from just doing what we do….
Channel Four News...

What price would you market at and why?

The price is based on comparable property sales in the last few months in the area. That said, it’s tricky at the moment as prices in London seem to be soaring almost weekly. You don’t want to be so bullish that your property sits there but competitive enough to drive interest. It is always preferable to have more than one person interested in a property to drive offers and give confidence to buyers that they are not alone in liking somewhere. As I’ve blogged about before, no one likes sealed bids but at least you know you are buying a sought after property and therefore will always be able to sell it again.

Are you on the property portals?

Yes, all of them. Anyone looking for a property in this area, in this price range, will find it online.

What have you sold in the area, block?

Obviously depending on where it is the response is….Yes, typically we are finding that there is a huge demand for 2 bed apartments in this area due to location, proximity to the tube and say, area,  plus it is a great Buy to Let or first home. I can see a couple, a young professional…etc.

What is your commission?

This information is reserved for clients, we do occasionally offer discounts but this is not always possible. We won’t however do it for nothing or charge the buyers our fees. Fyfemcdade has worked hard to get to where it is today, ploughing money back into the business enabling it to open 3 offices within 5 years. We pride ourselves on our customer service and developing relationships with our clients, we don’t waste their time or yours by forcing them to view a property that is clearly not right for them. If we did, clearly we haven’t listened to their requirements and they won’t trust us. It’s a bit like the boy who cried wolf, if you continually mess up when you do have something relevant they won’t make the effort to come out.

How long are you going to tie me in for?

We don’t tie you into a month or in some cases 16 weeks, yes 16weeks! If you haven’t sold by then I’d be seriously worried…N.B read the small print. All we ask for is some warning and a few days grace to follow up any existing leads.

Have you got existing buyers for this property on your books?

Yes, we cross market across our 3 offices, so covered by 3 sets of negotiators. We aren’t precious about who sells a property just that we get a good buyer and the right price for the owner. Oh and we congratulate each other rather than mutter, muttley style behind our laptops.

How would you go about showing the apartment?

All depends on the circumstance and what suits you. If tenanted we try to minimise any disruption so will liaise with them and block viewings. As a general rule block viewings tend to be the way forward in this aggressive market. Why? It demonstrates the level of interest in the property to buyers and creates a buzz. It can be daunting though for first time buyers so I would recommend a second viewing slot where possible.

Who will be doing an open day?

If you want one of the managers or the person you have meet to do the viewing day, we are happy to do that. Often sellers met one person who they like and then discover they have a junior, slightly clueless negotiator showing the property. That said all our negotiators are highly skilled and not one of them would feel comfortable holding an open day without being fully briefed.

What happens if you go multi, what are the plus and minus points?

Honestly, not much I can say about going multi that I’d recommend. You will end up paying more commission, and your property will be duplicated on the portals making any buyer think you are desperate to sell. DON’T DO IT, unless you HAVE TO!

Tell me more about your agency, your ethos?

• We are people centric
• We don’t wear suits
• We like brogues/bikes and dogs
• We know our areas
• We like property and people.
• We are here because 2 Scottish guys decided to create an agency which had a fresh approach to marketing and working within the industry. I think the Carlsberg ads have a lot to answer for….

Fundamentally do you like the person you are talking to, chances are if you do, buyers will. Yes, you don’t have to like the person selling a property but the property itself, but you’d be surprised what a difference it makes. You generally receive more offers when buyers trust the agent and don’t feel they are being bullied into bidding.

I have contacted a number of agents and need to decide when to sell and with who?

Truth be told, in this market, the majority of agents can sell your property. Personally I think it comes down to who you like, who’s website you find easy to navigate and who has LISTENED to what you have said.


I look forward to your intelligent response’

Well…not sure if I’d go that far but I have responded