Who'd be an estate agent?!
Having finally exchanged on one of the longest running sales in, what felt like, the history of the universe, I thought I would take a few minutes to explain what goes on behind the scenes, once a sale has been agreed.
Hold onto your hats!
An article written by a broadsheet columnist recently caught my eye, mainly because it was one of those rare things – a positive article about estate agents, in which the writer described how incredibly stressed and unreasonable she had been throughout the recent sale of her house, yet her estate agent (who, like us, also doubled as her councilor) took it all in his stride and held her hand through the protracted experience. It was only when the deal was completed, and the cloud of stress lifted that she realised how difficult she had been to deal with, and what a great job the agent had done.
In response, the estate agent’s remark is rather tongue in cheek, but there is a serious side to his comment, for it is not unusual for the stress of buying or selling a house to bring out the worst in people. People that are naturally mild-mannered or laid back can easily turn into a whirling dervish at the thought of a buyer trying to get their house ‘on the cheap,’ or, when the boot is on the other foot, and the seller won’t include a set of Primark curtains as part of the deal. This is because it is human nature to feel, whichever side of the equation you are on, that you’re not getting the deal you ideally want.
Compromises have to be made, and sometimes that leaves people feeling that someone is trying to get the better of them. Sometimes sales/purchases are born out of stressful situations, which obviously bring their own problems. Throw into the equation mortgage lenders who take an eternity to organise paperwork, solicitors who are firmly in the camp of their client, and an ever fluctuating market, and it becomes apparent that even when a sale has finally been agreed, you’re not even halfway close!
I could easily write ‘a day in the life of an estate agent,’ detailing a list of things we get stuck into on a daily basis, but that would be a touch boring! As a little taster, however, I can tell you that last week Anthony was on the top of some scaffolding taking photos of some flashing and rendering, measuring the distance between a tree and a property to ascertain whether buildings insurance could be obtained, and buying up half of B&Q for the purchaser who is currently living abroad. Not what you expected, I bet?!
Now, maybe not all agents do what we do. We are in the fortunate position where it’s no longer a numbers game, but instead we run our business model based on having the time to meet the (high) demands of our clients, as this is what we believe is most important at Chantries.
Whilst I can hear you all reaching for your violins, we don’t want your pity (just your business!), but it’s important to us that our clients are aware that, behind the scenes, there is a lot of experience and effort that goes into providing them with the best service possible.
I will now leave you with one final thought. We recently had a property that we conducted over fifty viewings on, and a lengthy sales process ended when our client deciding not to sell at the eleventh hour. Despite the hours of work involved, we don’t charge our clients if they make the decision not to sell, we just smile sweetly (and hope they feel guilty enough to tell all their friends how great we are)!
Who’d be an estate agent, eh?!,
Woodlands Park, Guildford, Surrey
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