Back to the blogs list

Cast  your minds back to the summer of 2014 … 9.55am somewhere in east London “Sorry I’m  late“ offers the young underprepared estate agent as he crosses the street  weaving between 30 to 35 people who have turned up to see a nondescript two  bedroom mid terrace for the advertised 10am viewing. “Are you going to let  these all in at the same time ?” proffers the owner of the property as the  first  viewer crosses the threshold without any interest in the remonstration of  the vendor with no attempt to wipe their feet

… The openhouse is born.

Roll on to the  summer of 2016. The same sort of stage… only its 9.40am and there are three  members of the instructed agents sales team welcoming the first of the 40 -50  prospective purchasers with a smile, knowledgeable repartee and a brochure with  great photos and floorplans. An eclectic group of people ranging from the resurgent  first time buyer through to the would be property magnate jostle for position  with purposeful gait…

“I would like  to make an offer …who do I need to speak to“

November  2018 …the scene is set 1 Acacia Avenue … priced sensibly… great kerb appeal … “Let’s review the numbers people, how many viewers we got for Saturday”…. 2….

“2 !!!”…“Where’s the buy to let fraternity gone” … “Stamp duty killed that avenue” Where’s the Eastern European builder gone … ”Worried about Brexit or  building a house on the outskirts of Warsaw with the well-deserved profits fromthe sale of the house in East London that they bought in 2011” … “Where are the  first time buyers?”… There are two booked in …I phoned them and sold them the  idea of a viewing!!

… You did what?

The first time  buyer is at the front of 1 Acacia Avenue … “where is everyone” he thinks…usually the cocky agent is here avec patronising and condescending repartee,  with 50 odd individuals jostling for position in the two in two out game. Cocky  agent is now not so cocky … he’s got two viewings … and one of them utters the  words that are incomprehensible to the agent … “this has been on the market for  two  weeks, why isn’t it sold” the agent doesn’t know what to say.

A lightning  bolt style realisation of biblical magnitude ensues …this is the death knell of  the “Open House viewing” The block viewing is dead …long live the  viewing.

Enter stage  right the traditional independent agent … pro-actively promoting their latest  listings with knowledge attained from years of working within the local area.  No sale no fee, a branch network offering from the corporates, an insightful upto date input from the local independent agent.

…Surely these  are the people to turn to in an uncertain market?

In summary the  days of listing a property on the main portals and expecting the right result  within a week or two are over. Selling a property is a skill and an art form  that encapsulates the full spectrum of emotion, tenacity, perseverance. Skill  sets and old fashioned hard work.

Good agents  with an authentic proposition can harness all the skills required in a businessthat’s all about people and also about technology, they go hand in hand. The  business of selling a property is relatively simple on the face of it, only  complicated by the essential core elements …people ! There's nothing more  complicated than people, but the more you can assist and show willing to help  with true interest and desire to assist the less complicated they become.

An estate  agent is responsible for assisting in a process that in some instances takes upto six months (or even longer) and is often cited as one of the most stressful  experiences in a person’s lifetime…

The question  is a simple one … “should be choosing an estate agent be considered on many  levels and not the traditional method of fee v price?”

Good  service offers the opportunity to tackle problems and overcome hurdles.

Does  good service come at a price? … the answer is unequivocally yes.

Can  the online agents, or the desperate agents looking to hit targets by taking on  overpriced property at low fees offer the service in a market that could/is now  changing into the buyers favour with the uncertainty of the economic horizon?…the answer suggests no …

The market we  are about to be thrown into, (or already in) with the advent of Brexit and the  slowing of the economy (that could also be down to Brexit) will see the good  prevail and the average or poor struggle through excuse, denial and the  inability to roll with the punches.

The agent you  may look to for assistance, must at least be relevant, reliable and at best be  completely responsible and just maybe …remarkable.

Mark Harris –  February 2019