Estate agents are they really that bad? 23 Oct 2017
New research shows that complaints against estate agents are at their highest levels ever. We just don’t seem to like or trust them – but do estate agents really deserve their poor reputation?
It may be the Minis with logos splashed all over them. The over-enthusiasm when you first meet one or the fee when they sell your homes …when in actual fact it’s you who is selling your home! Has anyone actually ever met an agent that discourages you from buying a home simply because it’s unsuitable?
Hey Mr Estate Agent, is that 2 bedroom pent house suite an appropriate living environment for my wife, 4 children and dog?
Well, let me see; according to my calculations, I get 1.5% of the sale price. So if I worked this out correctly- then YES, it’s a perfect living environment for you and your family!
Sadly no matter what it is, people just don’t seem to like estate agents. Talk to almost anyone selling, buying, letting or renting and they’ll have a story. Few of which will have a happy ending, but do they really deserve their bad reputation read on to find out…..
Times are changing and so are the way in which estate agents run their businesses from online to reduce costs to those who focus on niche markets in order to really excel at what they do.
Online ……The new breed of online, fixed-fee estate agents such as Yopa www.yopa.co.uk and Purple Bricks www.purplebricks.comare disrupting the property market and challenging traditional agencies with high-quality, flexible and transparent services at a fraction of the cost. These new measures are making it very difficult to continue shining the same unsavoury light upon them. Ergo can we really label estate agents as these greedy, unsavoury , commission chasers they once were…I think not.
Estate Agent or Estate Angel………have you ever been greeted by Darth Vader while sat at your desk? Attended a mid morning meet with a naked stranger? ( if so….pray tell?!) Or been in a room filled with snakes? Having spoken to some estate agents these are just a few of the examples of what they have to deal with on a day to day basis. On top of this whether using online agents or the more traditional format, buying or selling can be both stressful and exhausting for all involved. Right up until the last minute a deal can be sabotaged by a final act of panic or greed. The dynamic of people, money and property can be fraught with emotions and vendor / purchaser can be locked in financial combat. An agent can spend months working on one particular property for it to all fall through at the last minute and ultimately end up working for zero pounds and zero pence. Could you do it?
Just to add salt to the wound a recent Facebook post highlighted just how much stereotype has become the biggest challenge agents face. The post outlined that this particular agent no longer wanted to deal with a very difficult client and simply walked away. There were over 275 comments and judging by the tone short of lynching said agent no punishment would have sufficed. These comments came from complete strangers who knew neither agent nor seller, had no details about what happened, and no information other than the comment from the agent. The public immediately jumped to the sellers defence and one can only assume this is down to public misconception.
However like everything in life we must take care to distinguish between opinion and fact. There are numerous sources which criticize the profession, but like many other jobs, a few bad seeds can spoil perceptions of the industry. They should not be taken as general rule. There are however agents who are tackling these preconceived ideas and challenges head on.
For example Ivywell Estate Agents http://www.ivywell.co.uk who and I quote are “inspiring action” to make your home stand out in a “sea of similarity” These chaps really do go the extra mile. Their area of speciality is the Prestige Property Sector and they incorporate integrity and dedication in all their decisions via the route of discussions over dinner plus interior styling and professional photography from the likes of those who shoot for Vogue, The Resident and Elle Decoration to maximise the value of your home.
WA Ellis http://www.waellis.com/Estate-Agency-Foundation an estate agents, though set in the heart London’s most luxurious and prestigious area of Knightsbridge gives back. Lucy Morton one of the team is a member of the Property Standards Boards and works closely with Estate Agency Foundation who are charity set up to combat homelessness. Something we at Jackson Partnership feel very strongly about. The charity raises funds from fundraising events and activities. Their most recent bike riding event was sponsored by Zoopla. The money is then distributed to established and relevant charities. Do you still think agents don’t care?
Finally does anyone remember Telegraph columnist Mary Portas ripping into an estate agency on her Channel 4 programme Secret Shopper? Well it was this one. In response, Martyn Gerrard http://www.martyngerrard.co.uk has cut the flannel and sorted itself out. It has increased details on properties, even gone on to win awards . Most recently winning Gold for Letting Agent of the Year and Silver for Estate Agent of the Year. There is also a new homes section starting at a cheap-for-London price of £170,000.Who says agents can’t change?
With the likes of Yopa, Purple Bricks, Ivywell , WA Ellis and Martyn Gerrard using transparent pricing methods, focusing on integrity and honesty this must go somewhere to dispel the myth of predacious men in cheap suits, heavy on hair gel, long on unfulfilled promises and show they really do care, have integrity and can change for the better.