I still adore the job I started doing in 1993 especially because I now work in a very different and beautiful area compared to where I sold my first property!
Fast forward to 2016. Some things change and some don’t – notably the legal conveyance process, which unfortunately still takes the same amount of time as it did forty years ago.
Nowadays, an agent’s job is very different though. The phones rings of course, but compared to back then, nowhere near as often. These day it’s all about emailing and the internet. Because floor plans are generally seen as standard, digital photography, site maps, virtual tours, street maps etc are all readily available, and a buyer could be forgiven for thinking that they don’t need to know any more about the property. Possibly they feel that they have already viewed the house so the volume of registrations and enquiries with agents is much lower. The internet is now seen as the ‘go to’ tool. Only if the property is good looking, the photos are sharp and it’s priced sensibly do we have a chance to speak to a potential buyer. It’s only then that we can get to work to find them something.
I remain convinced that buyers who only keep an eye out for properties on the web are potentially missing a trick and losing out. A study of buyers once showed that up to 30% of all buyers ended up buying a style of property, or in an area that they hadn’t considered initially. Why? When a half decent agent talks with an applicant, they find out things that really matter to the buyer. They listen and pick-up on the little things that the buyer might not even realise they have said but fundamentally influence where they want to live.
I have a question for applicants that I find really helps. It generally stops people in their tracks to reflect (even when all they say they want is a three bedroom house and garden).The question is simply:
What is absolutely the one thing about the property you’re looking for that you will not compromise on? If the answer is a garage, for example, then everything else is fair game, right? Not quite, but we have a big start and we go from there. No garage, no viewing. Otherwise, be it old/new, good/bad condition, big/small garden etc suddenly we have lots of options.
As agents, our overriding priority is of course to our clients in selling their property, but what we also really enjoy is finding the right house for the applicant too.
My message is simple: by all means keep surfing the web for your perfect house. It is the right thing to do but it’s also good (and free!) to talk to an agent and tap into their knowledge. They should know the local properties inside out. We are here for you so make the most of it and register your details. Sometimes things comes to market on a ‘low-key’ basis and don’t go straight on the web. We will keep you posted when something new comes on and we will offer up an occasional ‘curve ball’ option too.
Ultimately, the real benefit to the buyer that registers with an agent is simply this: if we have listened properly and we work hard, there is a very high chance that we will find the right house for them.
Brearley & Rich
If you would like any further property buying tips or home sales advice please feel free to contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org or 01672 514820