Here we are again folks, thank you for continuing to read my blogs. In this one, I would like to try to educate some of my readers as to what some agents say or claim on their media to make you think that they are the top in their class.
I will not name any companies or websites but I think you will recognise enough of them from what I reveal.
My first myth buster is the online comparison platforms that claim to have the best estate agent in your area. If you put in your postcode, they will show you which agents are at the top of their game and therefore the best ones in your area should you be looking to sell your property. There are a few of these online platforms and they all work in the same way. The estate agent has to pay (quite a lot) money to go on these platforms. ONLY agents that pay end up being represented on these platforms, not all the agents in your area. If an agent decides that he doesn’t want the added expense of going on one of these platforms in order to keep their cost down for you as a client, they are not represented. How can the online platforms possibly claim then that they have the best estate agent in your area for you if there are a lot of agents that will not pay to go on them?
Next myth to be busted is very similar to the first. There are a few online companies that also say that they have personally checked the estate agents in your area and can now let you know which ones won awards for best service etc; some agents then claim that “they have been independently selected as the best estate agent in their area”, again, where is the evidence to back this up? Who were they judged against? Who were they judged by? How much did they pay to join that scheme? Was this a level playing field with ALL the other agents in their area included? If not, why are they allowed to claim to be the best? Maybe they should rephrase it to say ”We are the best of a small selection of estate agents in this area” but of course this doesn’t quite sell them in the best possible light but at least it would be more honest.
Another myth, those “Easy Move” “Smooth Move” “Assisted Move” schemes that say that they make your moving experience much easier and smoother than if you tried to do it all yourself the traditional way. This simply is not the case. The scheme companies again only use the local estate agents in your area that are prepared to pay them part of their potential fee for selling your house. Again, this does not mean that you will be given the best estate agent in your area just that an agent that is happy to give away 25% or more of their fee to the scheme organisers. Does this mean you get the best agent at the best value for you? I think may be not !! My advice is that if you are looking at buying a new build house, you are in a much stronger position to have sold your property privately first or at least be under offer to a buyer. If you are in this situation you are classed as a proceedable buyer and you will be in a much stronger position to negotiate a more favourable purchase price instead of being held hostage by what is essentially “Part Exchange” companies. Trust me when I say that if you use one of these schemes there are many strings attached that you may not see at first glance.
I recently had a case where a really lovely lady (who is now a good friend of mine) was looking to move, she decided to downsize and went for a new build property. As she was dealing with the developer (and an assisted move company), she was pressurised to use one of the agents that was paying away a proportion of their fee to the scheme operator. After a sale was agreed, below my valuation, the process began. Half way through, the buyer decided to reduce their offer by a substantial amount. This lady felt pulled in all different directions by the scheme operator whose only interest was getting paid by the developer, until in the end, she decided to use her life savings to buy the property outright without using her previous home in the deal, (this is very rare that people have enough funds to do this), thus breaking the chain. I was eventually instructed about three months after this fiasco started and sold her semi-detached property for £60,000 more than she would have got if she had carried on with the assisted house buying scheme.
I will end this blog by saying this, please check that if your agent claims to be the best, ask them if they have had to pay for this privilege? If you are using an assisted move scheme, is your agent paying to be on the list of agents that you have to choose from?
Remember, GOOD estate agents should never need to buy/pay for an accolade, www.allagents.co.uk is a website that genuine customers leave their honest opinion on agents in your area. Trust others that have been in your position before you believe the HYPE.