4 Ways to Work Estate Agents to your Advantage

Estate Agents are not the most popular of people. In fact, it’s not unusual to hear them compared unfavourably to criminals and rodents. Thankfully the truth is a little less clear cut, and there are many honest agents working in the industry. Here is how to deal with estate agents so that you don’t fall into any of their traps, and so that they make money for you as much as they do for themselves.

1. Don’t Ask Silly Questions

If you ever find the words ‘is this house/flat worth it’ passing out of your mouth and towards the ears of a nearby estate agent, you are making a big mistake. Estate Agents are salespeople. Would you ask a vacuum salesman if the hoover he is trying to sell you is worth it? No, because you would expect him to say yes. But many people confuse agents for some kind of impartial observer. They are not. The bulk of their pay comes through commission, so if you find yourself asking them qualitative questions- such as whether or not the neighbourhood is ‘good’, then you’re doing something wrong. Better to stick to factual questions that you can later check yourself. Agents are unlikely to mislead you when they know you can check their comments.

2. Spread your Net Wide

Many people seem happy to only hunt online and contact agents accordingly. Don’t be one of them. Whilst internet portals are all well and good, there is still an advantage in registering with agents in an area you are house hunting in. It will prompt a wave of sales calls, but it should also make sure that you know first when they have a property coming on the market. Usually it can take up to a week to get the property measured, photographed and uploaded to internet portals, but agents will often show the property before then. If you’re first through the door there’s a greater chance you’ll get it before someone else.

3. Be Nice

It’s a shame that we live in a world where it’s necessary to make this point, but then again it’s also a shame that we live in a world where estate agents are necessary. It may well be tempting to be rude to agents, but don’t be the house hunter who walks through the agency door with the ‘I don’t like or respect you’ attitude. Estate Agents are still people and if you offend them then they are unlikely to call you when that bargain property comes through the door. Be polite, ignore or brush off untruths, and go into each encounter without pre-judging the agent. Many are honest. Honestly.

4. Know what you want

Do you know what you’re looking for? Budget, number of bedrooms, garden or no garden, rental yield? The more information you give an agent the better. This has two effects- the first is that it saves you time when they call you with a property you don’t want. If you’ve given them extensive information then it will discourage them from calling about any old property. Secondly it makes you top of the list when a property with your exact requirements come up, and more likely to be first through the door.

So there you have it, 4 easy ways to make estate agents work for you!

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