Cheap agents don’t work!
Life has been very difficult within Hunters over the past few weeks following the tragic loss of a dear colleague who will be terribly missed (for obvious reasons I cannot comment on this), so having a trip to the estate agency industry awards was a welcome distraction.
Each year the Negotiator awards take place at London’s (very nice) Hilton Hotel in Mayfair – yep this place has “Bushell” written all over it! They usually have a guest presenter and this year was no exception with Hugh Dennis taking the mic (yep that’s the one, him off Outnumbered and Mock the Week). During this event we won the silver award for Best Estate Agency Chain of the Year, which is a fantastic achievement.
Whenever you go to these events (and when you’ve been around the industry for a time like me) you meet lots of people you haven’t seen for a while and that’s what happened, one of these works for an online agent that charges a flat fee of £245 to sell your home. Now then, I believe that estate agents can operate without premises, we have our very own model known as the Personal Agent franchise which is extremely profitable for many who operate them and so I am not an agent living in the past, quite the opposite. Having said that, I totally disagree with agents that try and buy their way into the market, because the numbers simply do not add up. To market a property to conclusion whilst offering the right level of customer service carries an element of cost which is far greater than £245. The only way this number can work is to not offer property portal marketing (Rightmove/Zoopla etc), no local marketing, to not carry out viewings or to not have any customer contact (the buyer offers directly to the seller, arranges their own viewing etc). Furthermore, they would need virtually every property that comes to the market to instruct them – which is simply unrealistic.
That old adage, you get what you pay for, is absolutely correct, we have seen many of these companies set up and then close down overnight as the numbers do not work. This chap has got it wrong (he’s a follower of my blog so I know he’s reading this) and am guessing he will be working for someone else by the time next years awards come round (yes, that does sound a bit harsh, but he’s better than that anyway).
If you want to sell your home my advice is not to go with the cheapest option, look much further than that as ultimately it is the sale price that you achieve that is key. Saving a few hundred pounds on the agents fee whilst losing potentially thousands on the eventual sale price makes no sense, not all agents are the same – some of us work damn hard for you, cheap agents don’t work!
Am getting used to going these awards now, what can I enter next… blog of the year maybe?