Professional agents sell professionally: choose one who works ethically
You may have heard all sorts of horror stories of how some estate agents go about getting properties onto their books and then sell them.
While many are exaggerated, several are unfortunately true in some cases but – as with many professions – there are those agents who stick to ethical, professional standards and adopt legitimate tactics to help you sell quickly at the best price.
What underhand tactics are used?
Two of the most common are overvaluing and feigned buyer interest.
Overvaluing – most sellers ask maybe two or three estate agents to value their property and may be influenced by the one who offers the highest figure. Knowing this, some agents will deliberately provide a price higher than the market average just to get the property on their books.
Soon after, when it doesn’t sell, they’ll persuade the seller to lower the asking price.
Feigned buyer interest – an agent may exaggerate the amount of interest they have ‘stored up’ in their buyers’ list for a certain property they’re hoping to get onto their books.
Some have even resorted to using bogus viewers to conduct viewings straight after receiving an instruction to make it look as if interest is high so backing up their prediction.
To achieve a sale as quickly as possible and for the best price possible, choose a property professional with a good track record who knows the local market you’re selling property in and who you feel is trustworthy and will work ethically; this Shenfield estate agents is an example of an Essex based expert.
Ethical tactics abound and many will help secure that all-important sale:
Preparation – your agent may advise you to prepare your home for sale in ways that hit a buyer’s ‘hot button’ but won’t cost too much – maybe nothing. Examples include:
Kerb appeal – the all-important first impression a buyer gets when they approach your property achieved by ensuring the frontage is tidy and in good condition. Your agent may advise you to boost your property’s kerb appeal.
Cleaning and decluttering – a deep clean and removing excess clutter is one of the first things an agent may suggest (without trying to insult you of course!) These simple and cheap methods improve your home’s appeal enormously.
Simple decoration advice – without having to spend a fortune, your agent may suggest some basic judicious redecoration; this may be to remove certain shades that buyers may find off putting; create more light in darker areas and thus a feeling of space (so important to many).
Other basic tips such as putting mirrors up to create an impression of light and spaciousness is classic advice to help increase appeal.
Viewing routine – if you’ll be conducting some viewings with potential buyers as opposed to your agent doing them all, then they may advise you on how to show your home off to best advantage and ‘lead’ your viewer round without seeming to control the situation too much.
Qualification – your agent will work to ensure only people in a realistic position to proceed with a purchase will get to the viewing stage so saving everyone’s time and focusing on ‘good quality’ buyers.
For example, first time buyers without a specific mortgage offer should be screened efficiently by a professional agent who knows what they’re doing.
No need to resort to shady tactics
A reputable estate agent can conduct their business in helping you find the best buyer at the best price without relying on the darker estate agency arts, but using legitimate and effective tactics to help you sell.
A discussion of some legitimate and less savoury tactics used by some estate agents to sell property; how to choose an ethical professional using ‘good’ tactics.