Don't do it!

September 25, 2017 by Rob @ Scott & Stapleton

When you instruct a high street estate agent like Scott & Stapleton what are you actually paying for? Well it seems obvious, but the main thing is to sell your house.

There is obviously the marketing, expertise, advice, advertising and sales progression to make sure that the transaction actually goes through, but one of the main and often overlooked reasons is to act in your best interest. To be the buffer between you and your prospective buyer.

I say it time and time again but DO NOT swap telephone numbers with buyers or vendors. It may be something completely innocent like worrying about not bothering the agent to make an appointment for a second viewing and it is always with good intentions that direct contact is initially made, but believe me, after many, many years experience what can start off as a friendly chat after 4 months of protracted conveyancing, survey re-negotiations and completion dates and deadlines missed can be anything but.

People are probably very nice but are you really going to be friends with these people? Do you plan to go back for tea and cake to the house you sold them and swap Christmas cards for the next 20 years? This is a business transaction and needs to be treated as such. After all, that is what we are here for and what you are paying us for.  

You don’t need to be like Donald Trump in your gold tower lording it above all the other people involved in the transaction but a bit of distance between you and those you are negotiating with can be very useful.

If you are selling your property your agent will work in your best interest to attract prospective purchasers to your property and to get the best possible price. He or she will never disclose a price that you may possibly take for the house unless instructed by yourself to do so.

For example, on the initial valuation you say to your agent that you would probably take £250,000 but want to try initially at £275,000 to see what happens. If a interested party then offers £270,000 your agent will never say ‘oh don’t offer that much, they would take £250,000’.

Also being that buffer between you and your prospective purchaser we as agents can look subjectively at an offer and base it on its merits alone. You may really like the couple, they may remind you of when you were the young family looking for the particular school catchment and really like their dog? (you never know?) Your agent will get to the nitty gritty and not get influenced by this. Basically, can they afford it and what is their chain like?
Based on these types of points your agent will advise you what to do and unfortunately have the unenviable job of playing ‘bad cop’ and letting people down that lose out on their dream homes.

Once you have decided on who to sell the house to then again this doesn’t mean you are life friends and are going to spend summer holidays together. We have still got a long way to go so again keep your distance. If your buyer has had a survey that has highlighted some issues with your house they may think it is right to call you directly to try and renegotiate the price (ask for money off). Don’t let them. Your agent will always ask for a copy of the survey report to double check what the purchasers have said. If any quotes have been sought for specific works we would want to see them in writing as well. If someone asks us for £10,000 off a house they have already agreed on where has that number come from. Is it plucked from thin air? From a builder on the back of a fag packet or is it based on specialist advise?

Also if a buyer is purchasing a Victorian house for £800,000 that has been standing for over 100 years and the survey has shown £500 worth of damp work that may be required in the future then the agent will advise politely that perhaps the buyer should have expected this and are they prepared to let the vendor re-market the property for £500 less? Again it is good cop, bad cop.

You can be all smiles and friendly when your buyers visit the property but leave it to me to be the bad cop and play hard ball when it comes to the negotiations. It is much more difficult to say no to someone directly if they turn up at your door or call you directly but if they have clear instructions to deal only with your estate agent I will have no problem saying no.

It sounds like I have lost all faith in human nature but hopefully that is not completely the case. You have to be optimistic and have an element of trust being in this job! I have however seen people take advantage and abusive situations. Little old ladies selling properties who have been approached directly by buyers to store items or even have work started on properties before even exchanging contracts let alone completing.

People who started out all friendly and laughing and joking, shouting and screaming at each other about a washing machine being left or not at a property. People prepared to lose thousands of pounds in fees and expenses because somebody in the chain can’t move on the Thursday but can do the Friday.

Your agent will be that buffer and soak up all of the frustrations and bluster and take the bits out of the conversation that are relevant and relay that back to all parties in the chain.

Speaking directly it is very easy for either tempers to flare or to feel like you have been steamrolled in to a decision that you didn’t really want to take.

Basically please let us do what we do. We know that your intentions are good and it is because you really like these people that who just happen to be buying your house but let us get the transaction done and completed and then you will have all the time in the world to spend long summer holidays together, if you wish???

This article is by Rob @ Scott & Stapleton
Tel: 01702 471155
To read all of Rob's previous blogs please click the link here 


Note: If comment section is not showing please log in to Facebook in another browser tab and refresh.