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How to manage your Estate Agent: Stats, Viewings, Feedback

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You’ve picked your estate agent, your spec is up and running on the internet, now what?

Well, you need to be getting as much information as possible during the house selling process in order to make decisions on price and negotiations.

Stats

I’m always hungry for stats. I’m a stat girl. Get stats! I asked for web statistics on my property compared to other similar properties. I didn’t get them, but I wanted them on a weekly basis. It’s quick, easy and definitely possible for your estate agent to get hold of these. You want to know:

  • How many people are looking at your listing both on aggregator sites (Zoopla, Rightmove – this information is available to your agent). Low views indicate either your listing isn’t showing in the right results or the lead paragraph/photos aren’t enticing people to click for more info.
  • How many people are requesting information about your property from these sites. A low ratio of views to requests suggests there is something wrong with your listing. Either it’s turning people off or the wrong people are finding it.
  • How many people are viewing your property on their site and how do these figures compare to those of other similar properties on the market. You need this to ascertain how your listing is performing comparably.

Market News

Your estate agent should be able to give you information about the market in general, whether this be in terms of current peaks and troughs, how national trends have affected the area you’re selling in and how seasonality can affect your type of property. This is useful to know as it may help determine when to drop your house price and whether to put your house on the marketing at all at the moment.

For example, our house was in Cardiff, which has been less impacted by the economy and property has better held it’s price, however, our house was prime real estate for the student rental market, which does affect when people would be most interested in it.

You’re estate agent should also be able to keep you abreast of recent house sales in the area.

Viewer Information

Having as much information as possible on the viewers allows you to understand the market you’re appealing to.

  • Families? Then you need to make your house look like a home.
  • Rental market? Then you need to demonstrate how the house could achieve maximum income, for example, we used a couple of the reception rooms as bedrooms and rented them out and this set up remained during the sales process.

If you can find out their financial situation e.g. cash buyer, have a property to sell, etc. this can also help you with negotiations. We sold our house at a slightly lower price than we would have wanted to a cash buyer with no chain, because there was less risk of it falling through and went through quicker than someone with a chain.

Feedback on Viewings

For me, this was the most important piece of information but it’s what our estate agent struggled with most. After every single viewing I wanted feedback from the estate agent regarding how the viewing had gone, what the viewers had thought and why they didn’t want it. I also wanted to know if it was their first, second, third viewing, etc.

Now, I was selling my house, which was owned between myself and a friend. The estate agency was run by a father and son. We found that between the two of us we were receiving conflicting information from the this father and son duo, which was frustrating, to say the least.

Anyway, by obtaining this feedback you can again understand whether or not you should drop your price and whether or not the current advertising is appealing to the right people.

So, there you go. If you have any tips on how to get the best out of your estate agent, I would love to hear them. Just leave a comment below.

Notes: The author sold a house in February 2013 and is writing from personal experience.

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