Recently I was helping my girlfriend to sell her house.  Three Agents were invited round for a consultation.  What an interesting experience it was.   The best part was that they all turned up on time.  An encouraging start.  

Agent 1 was professional until we started to discuss charges, where, without questioning their initial figure, they went from 1.25% to 1%, plus VAT.  Until this point, I had sat relatively quietly and they were quite taken aback when I asked why they would do such a thing.  Effectively, if they were already negotiating on their fee, how would they be at negotiating a premium price for my girlfriend.

Agent 2 was very clear on their charges.   1% plus VAT.  I loved the value they added by suggesting they bring an architect round to the house to see what planning potential the property had for potential buyers.

Agent 3 was ill-prepared, asking why our meeting was so formal.  He did not to want to give a marketing price at our meeting but when pressed, he was 20% more that the other Agents. 

My girlfriend was clearly aware that this was an overestimated property price at which point he came down by 20%.

So, what lessons can Agents learn?  

Lesson 1: A seller wants a skilled negotiator to achieve a premium price in an acceptable timescale for the seller and taking any stress out of the deal. If you’re an Agent, demonstrate to the seller how you are a skilled negotiator.  Bear in mind, the cheapest agent is the one who achieves the highest price for your property.  Not the one that charges the cheapest fee.

Lesson 2: What can you do to add value to the seller on an initial valuation?

Lesson 3: Prepare before you see the seller. Don’t wing it.

Authored by Stephen Brown,
Agents Together