(…But I’ve just made an offer on one)
As agents, we are often accused of sending out completely the wrong type of property to people (only for them to subsequently buy something exactly like that). So why do people reject those properties at the time only to purchase them later?
In terms of estate agency cliché’s, sending out ‘the wrong type of details’ ranks alongside ‘all agents are awful’ yet, agents persist in doing it and, clients persist in buying ‘the wrong properties’. So is it the agents fault, or all of the buyers who don’t seem to know their own minds?
In fact, it’s a bit of both.
The buyers: As soon as buyers have made the decision that they need to move home, they usually have a relatively firm picture of the home they want. This idea is usually, and understandably enough, focussed strongly on the principle reason for the move (an extra room is needed for a new baby etc). Consequently, the initial description given to an agent will be a very clear instruction of perceived needs. However, if a suitable property isn’t found relatively quickly, buyers will often re-assess their needs.
This is either a simple logical process driven by market realities (they can’t afford to buy in the area they ‘had to’ move to so need to consider other options) or, a more complex one. There is often a realisation that their list of ‘must-haves’ are, in fact, not as essential as they first thought; following a re-assessment of other factors involved with the need for moving e.g. not just an extra room for baby but also the need to be near schools; bus routes, play parks, have a garden etc.
The agents: Let’s be honest from the outset; far too many agents are just plain bone idle and don’t listen to buyers. It’s much easier to mindlessly fill an envelope with everything on the list, than take a little time and be selective; after all, if you throw enough rubbish at a wall, some of it will stick; right?
However, there are also those agents who have been around the block a bit and have a good idea of what a buyer actually needs compared to what they say they want, based on the reasons given for moving. Consequently, they may appear to be throwing rubbish at a wall but, in fact, look a little more closely, and you will see a pattern emerging in what has been sent. It’s still not ideal but, it’s understandable.
You then have the agents who will take the time to ask a great many questions of the buyers when they register (whenever possible), and to use this information to build a personalised picture for that buyer. The agents will also explain WHY they need that information and how this will help them find a property the buyer wont put straight back on the market having moved in, as they have overlooked a crucial factor. The agent will also try and show the buyer some other properties and explain why they are sending/ showing these, despite what the buyer has just told them. He is trying to help them save money and find a property that really suits their current and likely future needs. In short; he is trying to find them a home.
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About Chris Wood: Chris is an estate agent with over 25 years of property experience. His business, PDQ Estates Ltd is based in Penzance and Helston, West Cornwall. He has worked with all sizes and types of businesses from single office independents to the management team and board of RBS and Tesco. A former President Elect of the NAEA and board member of NFoPP until he resigned in 2009, Chris has always championed the highest professional standards forestate agents in the UK. No stranger to the media, he has appeared on various programs including BBC, News 24, ITV, independent and BBC radio and is a regular contributor to trade journals, local and national Newspapers. Chris is on KloutLinkedIn Ecademy Facebook and Twitter. Chris lives in Penzance in west Cornwall, and was a long-standing member of the Territorial Army. In 2010 he mobilised for a tour of duty in Afghanistan with 1 Rifles as part of 3 Commando Brigade.