There are countless estate agents out there and it can seem almost impossible to tell if you’ve found yourself a good one or not. The type of property you’re dealing with will help you to narrow down your search. If you’re selling a house you’ll need a domestic sort of agent; if you’re after office premises to rent, you may need one of the Royal Docks estate agents in London. Once you’ve sorted that out, here’s what you need to look for.
A communicative agent
An uncommunicative estate agent is a major cause of stress to renters, vendors and buyers. The property market is incredibly time sensitive, especially in London, so you need rapid information, immediate tip-offs and timely feedback from your agent. Agents can become a bit complacent because they are confident in their business, but this can leave a first-time buyer feeling lost and nervous.
A proactive agent
A good agent is one who’s always on the phone to, or emailing, sellers and buyers. They should also be looking for new leads, properties not quite on the market and companies planning to vacate their offices in three months. If you often have to call your agent to find out what’s happening, they’re not proactive enough.
A good listener
One thing you should beware of is an agent that does most of the talking. If you find you scarcely get a word in, you should choose another estate agent.
You’re the customer, your needs are unique and the agent should be listening to you in order to tailor their service to those needs. Asking lots of questions isn’t a problem, it’s not listening to your answer that is.
They’re very client-oriented
Estate agents rely on their clients getting a good deal, as this means they’re getting a good deal as well. Not only in terms of commission, but also in reputation and client feedback. This is why you need an agent who puts the client first; whether it’s fending off the “other side’s” agent or offering a sympathetic ear to a worried first-timer, your agent is there to look after you.
The agent is adaptable
Everyone has a communication style – some like to email, some start an email then get fed up and pick up the phone instead, others prefer to stick to phone calls only. Estate agents shouldn’t have a preference, they should be happy to communicate in the way the client wants.
They understand time!
If a client is in a hurry to sell or sign a rental contract, then the agent should be sensitive to this and be prepared to work to a tighter deadline, even if it means pulling out all the stops. If, on the other hand, the client isn’t in a rush, then the agent shouldn’t be too pushy or keen either.
The agent knows what your plans and motivations are
A good agent will find out what your plans and motivation is – are you selling your childhood home or looking for a starter home as a buy-to-let? These two scenarios involve very different emotions and so clients’ needs to be treated very differently.