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Why Do We Need Estate Agents?

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You can take them out of the loop but at the least they protect you from having to deal with irrational buyers/sellers directly. I'm not sure we would have been able to buy our current home had the sellers been selling directly, it required their own agent telling them to wise up on a number of occasions and to keep them in line. The thought of the masses trying to sell directly scares me enough to appreciate the much hated EA!

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You can take them out of the loop but at the least they protect you from having to deal with irrational buyers/sellers directly. I'm not sure we would have been able to buy our current home had the sellers been selling directly, it required their own agent telling them to wise up on a number of occasions and to keep them in line. The thought of the masses trying to sell directly scares me enough to appreciate the much hated EA!

I couldn't have put it better myself. EAs are basically negotiators, forget about all that other crap about making nice brochures and taking photos of twigs in vases. The good EAs earn their fees from facilitating deals. It helps that they value a house accurately at the start and prepare the vendor for what offers may come their way therefore instilling a sense of reality from day one. If you had your way where sellers dealt directly with buyers we would have a number of nightmare scenarios including:

1/ Sellers putting their house on the market at a crazy price because that's what it's worth to them. The result is no viewings, ever.

2/ Sellers taking their own photos, making their own brochure and doing their own viewings. Not a total nightmare for someone with a bit of common sense but there will undoubtedly be some idiots who can hardly write their own name let alone market the biggest asset they own in an effective way.

3/ Negotiation: If you ever got to this stage by not falling for points 1 & 2 then this is where most of the problems are likely to occur. The buyer will almost certainly 'insult' you with a derogatory offer and because you are not used to negotiating house sales you will tell them in no uncertain terms to f**k off. You will be so offended by this first offer that you won't want to deal with this person again. No deal, ever. A good EA will take the offer, will know the current value of the house and can let you know how close this offer is to fair market value. If it's a crap offer they can go back to the viewer and tell them your thoughts but in a carefully worded way and give them your expectations. If the viewer is serous and is just starting off low then a deal may eventually be done with some compromise from both sides.

4/ If a sale gets agreed you will have to stay on top of the solicitors, the buyers and their mortgage company to make sure the sale is progressing and that it doesnt fall through because of some small hiccup. What happens if the mortgage valuer comes out and down values the house by 5k under the agreed price? More negotiation is required to avoid the sale falling through, I hope you are good at this side of things. Regular contact with all parties takes time and it can only be done during office hours as that is when solicitors and mortgage companies are open. Do you fancy taking time out of your working day to make phone calls usually to be told that they will call you back as no one is free right now. What happens if you have a job where you cant answer your phone during work hours, like Burger King?

At the end of the day you haven't begun to understand how many things a good EA can do for you and how they can take the hassle out of selling and buying. I stress the words good EA. Even crap EAs can be better than doing all the work yourself. For the sake of 1% fee I believe it is money well spent.

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For the sake of 1% fee I believe it is money well spent.

While I agree with most of your post, and its good to see a break down of the value an EA adds I don't agre with the last statement.

Why an EA should get a % of the sale price makes no sense to me whatsoever. I personally believe service prices should reflect the costs involved, and hate this idea of hiding costs. Why are EA services not fixed pricing, their costs are fixed. It would offer much more transparent competition. The only purpose the % sale offers is an incentive to push the price up, but as you know alot of EAs think this means when times are hard they need to push prices higher to compensate for lack of sales (I have heard this from a EA meeting from the person try to explain how stupid that was).

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I couldn't have put it better myself. EAs are basically negotiators, forget about all that other crap about making nice brochures and taking photos of twigs in vases. The good EAs earn their fees from facilitating deals. It helps that they value a house accurately at the start and prepare the vendor for what offers may come their way therefore instilling a sense of reality from day one. If you had your way where sellers dealt directly with buyers we would have a number of nightmare scenarios including:

1/ Sellers putting their house on the market at a crazy price because that's what it's worth to them. The result is no viewings, ever.

2/ Sellers taking their own photos, making their own brochure and doing their own viewings. Not a total nightmare for someone with a bit of common sense but there will undoubtedly be some idiots who can hardly write their own name let alone market the biggest asset they own in an effective way.

3/ Negotiation: If you ever got to this stage by not falling for points 1 & 2 then this is where most of the problems are likely to occur. The buyer will almost certainly 'insult' you with a derogatory offer and because you are not used to negotiating house sales you will tell them in no uncertain terms to f**k off. You will be so offended by this first offer that you won't want to deal with this person again. No deal, ever. A good EA will take the offer, will know the current value of the house and can let you know how close this offer is to fair market value. If it's a crap offer they can go back to the viewer and tell them your thoughts but in a carefully worded way and give them your expectations. If the viewer is serous and is just starting off low then a deal may eventually be done with some compromise from both sides.

4/ If a sale gets agreed you will have to stay on top of the solicitors, the buyers and their mortgage company to make sure the sale is progressing and that it doesnt fall through because of some small hiccup. What happens if the mortgage valuer comes out and down values the house by 5k under the agreed price? More negotiation is required to avoid the sale falling through, I hope you are good at this side of things. Regular contact with all parties takes time and it can only be done during office hours as that is when solicitors and mortgage companies are open. Do you fancy taking time out of your working day to make phone calls usually to be told that they will call you back as no one is free right now. What happens if you have a job where you cant answer your phone during work hours, like Burger King?

At the end of the day you haven't begun to understand how many things a good EA can do for you and how they can take the hassle out of selling and buying. I stress the words good EA. Even crap EAs can be better than doing all the work yourself. For the sake of 1% fee I believe it is money well spent.

Points taken - working with the public can be demoralising - a big upside with nice people but lots of negatives - and time is precious for everyone. The great unwashed - experts, snobs, pushy, chips on shoulder, family feuds, irrational, unreasonable, lack of understanding/empathy, break promises (lie), let you down. Been there, done that.

Quite a responsibility dealing with someones home, dreams, investment, legacy (and who can put a value - price - on emotion, convenience, fashion, art?) but mostly thats for the legal eagles. EAs are find & negotiate merchants - less find now with the web. There are good and bad EAs but the nature of the game (commission based salesmanship) can attract, or appeal to a certain kind of person just like, say, Traffic Wardens. And family run businesses can be, shall we say, insular.

But how good negotiators are they? How many sales have been lost through poor negotiation or won by 'gilding the lilly'? We may never know.

The gift of the gab, it runs in the family, I've always loved houses or a people person may not necessarily cut it.

And I've said it before it's the seller they are negotiating for (and then themselves) based on commission, a potentially destructive incentive in the financial and other arenas at the best of times. If you are moving, most people want the EA to sell their own house for the max, and buy the next one (from same or other EA) for the least - a difficult trick to pull off. And just as most of us feel able to criticise teachers (because we were all taught, weren't we) but this does a disservice to the complexities of a job most of us couldn't or wouldn't do.

Apart from the initial valuation angle, which I have massive misgivings on - the descriptions do a disservice to most people with 2 brain cells and the flowery prose is endemic in the industry. This, more than anything probably lowers the status of EAs in most ordinary peoples eyes. House descriptions are a bit like bonny baby competitions - every child is beautiful and so is every bride, even the ugly ones (some choice grooms BTW, and I'm no oil painting). No negative descriptions are allowed - every property has some redeeming features and euphimisms. EG ideal for FTB and investor alike = hovel. Only on internal inspection can you appreciate......

The unfailing optimism, opinion or indeed misrepresentation - now is a good time to buy, we've reached the bottom does this mostly unregulated and unqualified 'profession' no favours.

And all these things lead to, and mitigate against, trustworthiness.

It may be unfair, and it's not right to knock someone who tries their best to make a living and work hard and it only takes a few duds to create a stereotype. The couple I've dealt with from a buyers perspective have been amiable and reasonable enough but, one at any rate, could have cost me a large amount of money as a new build house I viewed dropped by £40k two weeks after I viewed it with the sole agent. That taught me a valuable lesson.

Edited by Shotoflight

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Points taken - working with the public can be demoralising - a big upside with nice people but lots of negatives - and time is precious for everyone. The great unwashed - experts, snobs, pushy, chips on shoulder, family feuds, irrational, unreasonable, lack of understanding/empathy, break promises (lie), let you down. Been there, done that.

Quite a responsibility dealing with someones home, dreams, investment, legacy (and who can put a value - price - on emotion, convenience, fashion, art?) but mostly thats for the legal eagles. EAs are find & negotiate merchants - less find now with the web. There are good and bad EAs but the nature of the game (commission based salesmanship) can attract, or appeal to a certain kind of person just like, say, Traffic Wardens. And family run businesses can be, shall we say, insular.

But how good negotiators are they? How many sales have been lost through poor negotiation or won by 'gilding the lilly'? We may never know.

The gift of the gab, it runs in the family, I've always loved houses or a people person may not necessarily cut it.

And I've said it before it's the seller they are negotiating for (and then themselves) based on commission, a potentially destructive incentive in the financial and other arenas at the best of times. If you are moving, most people want the EA to sell their own house for the max, and buy the next one (from same or other EA) for the least - a difficult trick to pull off. And just as most of us feel able to criticise teachers (because we were all taught, weren't we) but this does a disservice to the complexities of a job most of us couldn't or wouldn't do.

Apart from the initial valuation angle, which I have massive misgivings on - the descriptions do a disservice to most people with 2 brain cells and the flowery prose is endemic in the industry. This, more than anything probably lowers the status of EAs in most ordinary peoples eyes. House descriptions are a bit like bonny baby competitions - every child is beautiful and so is every bride, even the ugly ones (some choice grooms BTW, and I'm no oil painting). No negative descriptions are allowed - every property has some redeeming features and euphimisms. EG ideal for FTB and investor alike = hovel. Only on internal inspection can you appreciate......

The unfailing optimism, opinion or indeed misrepresentation - now is a good time to buy, we've reached the bottom does this mostly unregulated and unqualified 'profession' no favours.

And all these things lead to, and mitigate against, trustworthiness.

It may be unfair, and it's not right to knock someone who tries their best to make a living and work hard and it only takes a few duds to create a stereotype. The couple I've dealt with from a buyers perspective have been amiable and reasonable enough but, one at any rate, could have cost me a large amount of money as a new build house I viewed dropped by £40k two weeks after I viewed it with the sole agent. That taught me a valuable lesson.

Fantastic post.

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Estate agents and politicians among least trusted professions

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howaboutthat/5085369/Estate-agents-and-politicians-among-least-trusted-professions.html

Researchers working for the Bar Standards Board struggled to find anyone who would admit trusting the two occupations.

Just 1 per cent of people said they trust estate agents and politicians

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Old article.

Don't Be Swayed By Estate Agent Jargon

http://www.lovemoney.com/news/property-and-mortgages/buying-and-selling-property/1775/dont-be-swayed-by-estate-agent-jargon

Ideal for investors: You wouldn’t want to live there yourself but some desperate renters will probably go for it.

Deceptively spacious: You have been deceived if you consider this spacious.

Viewing recommended: There’s nothing good to say about it but if you see the inside and use your imagination there’s a slim chance you might like it a little bit.

Potential: Ideal for a DIY enthusiast with lots of time and money on their hands who doesn’t mind living in a dump.

Well, they made me chuckle anyway.

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  • 331 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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