Choosing the right estate agent

Moving home is one of the most important decisions you can make and choosing the right estate agent is crucial. Mike Bidwell, Director of Fine & Country Cambridge explains the significance of setting the right price to sell your property.

Mike Bidwell, Director Fine & Country Cambridge

Whether you are looking to downsize after many years of raising a family that have since moved out to start their own, or looking to take that second or third step up the property ladder, the thought of moving house can be daunting.

Some estate agents advocate the approach of artificially reducing the asking price in order to generate a bidding war in an effort to obtain multiple higher offers. What these agents fail to appreciate is how annoying this is to buyers and this could ultimately have a negative affect on the price achieved.

Further, there is often a ‘glass ceiling’ price at a certain percentage point above the guide figure that buyers will simply refuse to pay meaning that the final price achieved is not necessarily the best price that the market will pay.

It could be argued that whilst this approach is good for the estate agent in terms of a quick and easy sale, it is bad news for the two most important parties in the transaction – the seller and buyer!

It stands to reason that a buyer that feels he has been badly or unfairly treated in the initial negotiations could hit back at a much later stage in the transaction by attempting to renegotiate the price at the point of exchanging contracts by which time the seller may well be committed elsewhere and in the meantime any previously interested under bidders could have purchased elsewhere.

Beware also, the agent that artificially over inflates the asking price in order to entice the seller to place their home for sale or to win the instruction over competing estate agents. This can result in considerable wasted time and effort and the property becoming stale on the market if it is available for too long and possibly eventually selling for a lower price than might have been achieved had a sensible price been set in the first place.

An aggressive and stressful selling process is bad news for the sellers and buyers and will rarely realise a win-win outcome. Whilst the agent is normally acting for the seller, there is a great deal of truth in the adage that by helping the buyer buy, this helps the seller sell.

Your home is both a financial and emotional investment and any good estate agent takes the instruction to sell your home as a privilege, an honour and a serious commitment. Your agent should be carefully vetted and expertly trained and educated to assist, advise and inform you through each stage of the property transaction.

The sale of exclusive properties requires a bespoke approach to marketing and combined with the expertise of trained professionals requiring local knowledge, experience and contacts.

By choosing an honest and ethical agent to sell your home you are able to sit back and relax and watch a comprehensive marketing and selling strategy spring into action on your behalf.

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