Why Gamble by Selling with Anyone Else?

Why Gamble by Selling with Anyone Else?

“Why Gamble by Selling with Anyone Else?”

From a leading estate agency in my home town.


Because I’m not persuaded by facts and data.

I’m persuaded by character.  My decisions are emotional.

“Picking a winner is easy when you know who! –  why gamble by selling with anyone else?”  They said.

And there followed a 4 page cover spread in the local newspaper.

“If you knew which agent in 2017 had……

…sold more properties in (this area)…

…sold more 3 bedroom properties

…sold more 4 bedroom properties.

…sold more 5 bedroom properties

…sold more homes between £250k – £500k

…sold more homes between £500k – £750k

…sold more homes between £750k – £1.5m

…sold more detached properties than any other agency.

* Rightmove 1/1/17 – 31/12/17

A competent estate agency, no doubt. The message is clear.

We sell more homes.  I get it.

But in 4 pages, there’s something missing.

Readers will know of my love of asking questions. And, the need to know the answer you should expect.

First question that springs to mind is:

What % of asking price did your agency achieve.  Relevant, for the 4 bedroom home that I want to sell?

It’s not about selling more homes.  It’s about achieving a premium price for the vendor.  If your agency achieves only 98% of the asking price, I am better off with another agency. One that achieves 99% of the asking price, or better.  That 1% equates to £5,000 on a typical 4 bedroom home around here.

From that question, the follow-up might be to ask for some examples.  Of negotiation skills within the agency.  Simple stuff, but it’s surprising how many agencies don’t negotiate well.  They accept the first offer and bank their commission. Resulting in  a lower % of asking price metric.

Second up is:

How long on average does it take your agency to sell?  From instruction to exchange of contract?  Again, if you’re looking for an agency to sell your home, it makes sense to instruct one whose skills and performance match your needs,  If you’re happy to wait for a premium price, average days on the market might not be too important.  If you’re looking for a quicker sale, these things matter.

Third question?  From agreed offer to completion, what % of sales fall-through?  You’re checking to determine whether this agency excel at sales progression.  Keeping on top of communication with the buyer, with the solicitors and the funding.

Three basic questions that, to me, are more important than how many homes the agency sells. Four pages in the local press is ample room to cover the important facts.

One might imagine that if the focus is on how many homes this agency sell, the other metrics are less impressive.

Consider this, though.  The above facts comprise data from Rightmove.  Not The Land Registry.  Facts from a property portal that advertises their, and competitors, homes for sale.

Now, what if a competitor has a very strong database of registered buyers.  Wins an instruction.  Picks up the phone.  Arranges a viewing.  Receives an agreed offer and completes.

All without uploading the details to Rightmove?

Off-market sales are a reasonably common practice.  Property portals are not the answer to your prayers.  As some agencies would have you believe.

That’s data for you.  Useful when you want it to be.  Irrelevant, sometimes.

One thing we do know is that this particular agency isn’t keen on sharing their beliefs or values.

Not a word of the people behind this ‘successful’ agency.

Vendors want to know where the service originated.  Who the people are behind it.  And how committed they are to delivering a quality service. Vendors don’t so much buy into a logo or data, as much as they buy into a set of values.

They will scratch an agency off the list for logical reasons. And choose based on how the agency made them feel.

Every agency needs to establish an emotional connection.

With me at least.

“Why gamble by selling with anyone else” then becomes an axiom. Rather than a platitude.

Don’t for one minute let me dissuade any homeowner from considering this agency.  They are more than competent.

It’s the character that I desire.

If you need help deconstructing the message from any estate agency, or in asking better questions, we’re always happy to help.

Drop an email to:  [email protected]

Thanks as always for reading.