There isn’t an estate agent in the country that hasn’t been told by a member of the public at least once that home-owners have no need of his or her profession.

There isn’t an estate agent in the country that hasn’t been told by a member of the public at least once that home-owners have no need of his or her profession. It might be a very tempting thought, but the reality might just be very different indeed.
Mark Rimell of property specialist Strutt & Parker says. “What you are paying for when you employ an estate agent is firstly that firm’s expertise and experience in assessing the right guide price at which to pitch your home, and then controlling the sale from start to finish.  Secondly, you are paying for the access to the market through their database and marketing abilities – something that we have been building up over many years”.
Estate agents start earning their keep right at the beginning of the sale process. A homeowner might ask three or four agents for appraisals of the property’s value, and although the temptation may be to opt for the highest this isn’t always the best route to take.  The biggest factor in achieving a good sale is to pitch the asking price at the right level; in a strong market the seller might well see offers above that price, but the starting point has to be in the right place.  The best person to do that is a knowledgeable agent who knows the area.
One of the most important and one of the most often overlooked reasons to use an agent is the estate agent’s database. As Rimell says “Your agent will invariably have marketed homes like yours in the past and of course each home will only have been bought by one person.  So if 25 people viewed a property then there are still 24 out there who are looking for a house or apartment of that style in that price range.  That’s a very valuable pool of potential purchasers.”
‘Once a sale is agreed’, Rimell adds, ‘a good estate agent will play a very important part in managing the sales process.  It can be a difficult and emotional experience for both buyer and seller – researchers always say that it’s second only to divorce in terms of stress – and no matter what problems occur you can be sure that an experienced agent will have come across them before and will know the best course of action.’
‘It’s also true to say that there is no substitute for using a trained negotiator when you are reaching that final price. There is an art to negotiating, and agents know the value of patience and not losing sight of the objective. It is always, always in your agent’s interest to get the very best price for your home.
‘It’s also important to remember that most estate agents do operate under strict legal controls, and are answerable to professional bodies. If we get it wrong we pay a price.
‘I know that some vendors are tempted to act as their own estate agent, but believe me, more often than not it ends in tears. Very few people try it a second time!’
Mark Rimell – Strutt & Parker

Mark Rimell - Strutt & Parker

Mark Rimell - Strutt & Parker

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