If you are going to pay someone in the region of 1.5% of your major asset, your life savings even, it would make sense to know how to get the best out of them. Buying and selling houses is all about people and relationships. How you handle those relationships is the key to a stress-free moving experience. Well, lets be honest, it will never be stress-free but you can minimise the accumulation of grey hairs.
Remember why you are bothering to instruct an Estate Agent. It should be for these reasons:
- Marketing A great marketing reach, so your home gets to as many potential buyers as possible. Maximising your market means maximizing your price.
- Negotiation skills You rarely buy or sell a house. An Estate Agent will have sold hundreds. A good one will have the experience to negotiate a much better price for you than you can.
- Management of the sales process. Having a broker do due diligence on the buyer’s position at the outset and liaising between solicitors, mortgage companies, chains and buyer should make the process far more watertight. The more watertight the deal the less worries you will have along the way.
So onto our quiz and today we are focusing on Kevin, a rather good Estate Agent. You like him, you trust him you have instructed him. If you don’t like and trust him, stop reading now and go and get a different one.
Kevin and you discuss the asking price. Do you..?
A. Look carefully at his comparable evidence showing homes just like yours and what they sold for. Reach an asking price that you are both comfortable with.
B. Point out forcefully that you spent twelve grand on the stone-cladding, so yours is worth more
C. Kick him out with a flea in his ear for insulting you.
Kevin suggests a quick once over with a lick of paint. Do you?
A. Spend a couple of weeks sprucing it up so it’s clean and tidy?
B.Tell him people will just have to look through the junk and dirt to find the hidden gem.
C. Ask what the heck he’s on about- keeping chickens in the kitchen makes your house stand out from the crowd.
Kevin wants to put a sale board up. Do you?
A.Listen to the statistics of how many more people may be aware of your property as a result.
B. Tell him no, because the neighbours are so flaming nosey.
C.Tell him no, because your house is far too posh for one of them.
Kevin wants keys. Do you?
A.Have assurance they will be kept safely and get them to him sharpish.
B. Refuse to let him as you will ALWAYS be in.
C.Peer at him suspiciously, say ‘I know your game mate. You’ll be having parties here’. and refuse point-blank.
Kevin calls and wants to do a 9am saturday viewing. Do you?
A.Have an early night and clear off out.
B.Leave the kids in bed and the take-away all over the kitchen.
C.Say no, because you’ve got a really ‘Heavy’ friday night.
Kevin is coming around at 12. Do you
A.Pop out with the dog and wait until he’s finished
B.Leave the dog loose.. he’s great with strangers.
C.Stay in and closely follow Kev and the viewers around the house.
Hurrah! Kevin has an offer. Do you?
A.Consider the buyers position, the price offered and discuss whether he thinks he can get you more?
B.Loftily dismiss it out of hand, saying ‘there will always be another one’.
C.Berate him and the buyers for daring to insult you with such a derisory offer.
Kevin has sealed the deal. Great buyers and good price.The buyers want to bring the in-laws around.Do you?
A. Use it as an opportunity to develop a friendly relationship with your buyers.
B. Refuse, until they exchange. ‘You can’t trust anyone these days, I want to see the colour of their money’.
C.Use it as an opportunity to tell your buyers about the hideous racket the neighbours make.
Kevin rings to tell you that the survey has come back with ‘a few things’. Do you?
A. Consider the points carefully, if necessary have your own specialists look at the issues, then reach a grown-up compromise with the buyers..
B.Metaphorically throw your toys out of the pram and tell the buyers to put up or shut up.
C. Tell Kevin, to tell the Buyers that all Surveyors are rubbish.
Kevin rings to say that as you are near to exchange the buyer wants to set a completion date. Do you?
A. Ask when the buyer wants and try your best to make it work
B. Tell them the date you insist on is non-negotiable due to nephews up-coming Bar Mitzvah.
C. Tell Kevin to tell buyers you couldn’t care less if they are getting married the week you chose. ‘It’s my way, or the Highway’
It’s human nature to take any criticism of your home personally. Do try to put the Ego away and look at the end goal. A move to a nicer place and as stress-free a move as possible. Sensible compromise, without of course being taken for a mug, is the way to achieve that.
By the way, if you haven’t worked out that you should have ticked all the A boxes then I shall bow out gracefully….whilst hitting my head against the stone-clad wall.