Why estate agents don’t like estate agents by John Horton MNAEA MARLA

A pair of cuff links with Trust Me I'm an Estate Agent Engraved

Choosing The Best Estate Agent Guide – And 5 Traits of a Second Rate Estate Agency

If you haven’t had a hideous experience with an estate agent, you know someone who has. The new year ushered in the inevitable tidal wave of letters, emails and – can you believe it – cold callers (!) from our rival competitors. Cold callers knocking at the door! The very mention of them evokes the same uneasy feeling in local residents as it does in me.

With over twenty years of experience in selling and letting property in West London I’ve seen every shady, and frankly desperate, tactic in the book but door knocking really gets my back up. Why the sudden commentary? Can you believe our clients right here in Hammersmith and Shepherds Bush are regularly harassed by random agents on their own doorsteps? Despite being one of ‘the good guys’, I won’t defend the underhanded tactics of the competition – even estate agents hate estate agents. So here you have it:

Five Things I Hate About Estate Agency

  1. Letters through the door. No, I am not thinking of selling. No, I do not care that you sold a property four streets away last summer. No, I do not need a reminder that you are ‘valuing on my street.’ When we have agreed a sale on a particular road, we might write to the whole street – but only if we genuinely have disappointed buyers looking to purchase in that road. For example, we had a ‘best and final sealed bids’ scenario on a house in a popular Brackenbury Village road last month (yes, in the bleak January midwinter!) which resulted in 12 sealed bids and several distraught buyers who missed out so yes, in that circumstance, we might write to the neighbours. Do we do this every week, month or quarter? Absolutely not – just say no to junk mail!
  2. Cold callers. This is the most unashamed and desperate trick in the book. Homeowners, here is my honest opinion: if an agency has time to send their employees out to harass you on your own doorstep, they’ve got a lot of time on their hands! We would never have the ability to engage in such a practice because our schedules are full – each day is busy enough with talking to our clients, often managing complex chains, negotiating for our clients, understanding our buyers, reading up on the latest legislation and London market movements. We agree more sales in Hammersmith, Shepherds Bush and Chiswick than any other agency – we categorically do NOT have the time or the desire to knock on doors!
  3. Fake news. Social media sites with fake/bought followers, fake reviews on feedback websites, flagrantly false claims about their success, fake offers put forward from fake buyers on fake viewings, fake asking prices they know are unachievable! Over promising and under delivering… time and time again.
  4. Unprofessionalism. Incompetence, overpromising and under delivering, lateness, losing keys, forgetting to lock doors or close gates (oops, there goes the dog!), not calling back, forgetting to chase the solicitor, recommending a shockingly poor mortgage broker, tracking mud through your home, ‘ghosting’ their own clients, screwing up your completion date because they forgot to write it down!
  5. Indifference. Shiny suits, cheap shoes, limp handshakes, lack of eye contact, chewing gum, halitosis, body odour, eating at their desk (and wearing yesterday’s lunch on their tie!).

I wish I could champion and defend my industry. There are many A1 local and community focused estate agents out there today but remember the caveat “buyer beware!” The property industry has a reputation for being a sea full of sharks. It’s hard to imagine dipping a toe into the water but selling and letting can be a refreshingly pain-free process if you choose the right agent. Our clients tell our story far better than I ever could. Opt for local expertise, genuine knowledge, an honest, professional approach, a company with integrity that keeps you at the heart of the process – the diamond in the rough. Whether you’re looking to buy or sell property in West London, we’re at your service in 2018. Contact our team of property experts today.