What does an estate agent ACTUALLY do?
As an estate agent in East Bristol I get asked this a lot - from varying people. Some of those people have sold a home before and had dealings with an estate agent, others are yet to experience buying their first home. Initially I used to think, what a strange question, especially from those that have sold a home before. How can they not know? But the truth is, they were left after the entire process still scratching their head.
"Other than putting a house on the market and agreeing a price I don't see what you do. Anyone can do that" - to quote one person I met recently.
Why I thought this was a strange question was because I live and breathe this every day so where do I start?...valuing a property, dealing with buyers every day, negotiating a price everyone is happy with or the progressions part? If you're anything like the person that asked me that question recently, I'm guessing it's all relatively self-explanatory. Everything other than the progressions part. This is arguably the most important part of the selling and buying process, and it seems that too many estate agents take for granted the notion that once things go to solicitors, everything will just move along at a lovely pace until the keys are handed over. Some estate agents won't progress "below the chain". Effectively they won't see how things are looking in the chain below the house they've sold.
Truth is, it pays to be close to the action. The way I look at it, I've got access to the entire chain and I believe that with that comes a pretty strong level of power. For the seller I want to get this done as quickly as possible. As the buyer, same. You want to be in your new home sooner rather than later. So when I get told something like, "Yep, everything is in place", I say thank you very much, pick up the phone and make sure each sides solicitor does indeed have everything in place. You'd be surprised at what "everything is in place" can truly mean. It's things like this that made a huge difference - and by double checking every little detail, chasing all the paperwork and crucially setting the all important exchange and completion dates I can do my bit in progressing the sale along smoothly.
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