Property Gold: What are you really paying an agent for?
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Last updated Jun 18, 2021

Property Gold is a monthly column written by independent bespoke property consultant, Alex Goldstein. With more than 17 years’ experience, Alex helps his clients to buy and sell residential property in some of the most desirable locations in Yorkshire and beyond. This month, Alex explains what an estate agent is really paid for.

 

 

The sceptics out there will say this sounds like an oxymoron; however it has never been more important to have a rock solid agent that is correctly remunerated to keep their motivation.

Let’s be clear about something – getting your property on to the market with high quality photographs, floorplans, brochure and web entries is easy. You do not need to be the best agent to do this.

Matters then step up a gear when it comes to viewings and the general administration of your sale. Again, you do not need to be a great agent for this.

So where then does your estate agent commission go and what are you actually paying for? The answer lies with once you have found a buyer, or you think you have found a buyer.

Current property law means that a buyer or seller can withdraw from a transaction at any point up until the point of exchange, without any financial penalties or otherwise. It is therefore vital to keep the time between Under Offer and Exchange as tight as possible, whilst ensuring you are agreeing terms with a reliable party.

Importantly, do remember that getting the best offer from a buyer doesn’t necessarily mean running with the person who puts forward the most amount of money. One has to weigh this up with the reliability and security of the buyer – in other words, will we transact with this buyer or not?

An experienced agent will instinctively know the tell-tale signs if a buyer is serious, get the most money from them without pushing too far and losing them, ensure the foundations of their offer are robust, plus know where the monies are coming from and the situation behind the façade.

Whilst the Yorkshire market continues to charge along for the time being, getting from Under Offer to Exchange of Contracts remains incredibly demanding – arguably the most difficult I have known it in 19 years.

One of the main reasons for this is the length of time everything takes. Keeping the attention of buyers and sellers during this time, whilst pushing conveyancing solicitors and the several other associated professionals in the right direction, plus keeping timeframes to an absolute minimum in order to reach Exchange is a tall order.

If the sale falls through, then it is the buyer and seller who pick up the pieces. The extra often notional amount of money on agents’ fees, will mean that your transaction gets over the line first time and on time.

Your agent needs to have the time, experience, detective skills, relentless persistence and clout in order to see transactions through. After all, going Under Offer is only step one.

If you have any comments or questions for Alex, please feel free to contact him on [email protected].


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