What are some of the common questions that people ask?
Myth buster time!
I thought it would be helpful to cover a few questions ive been asked recently, in the past 10 days ive been to meet some fantastic clients but naturally, they ask a multitude of questions, so I will try and cover as many as possible for those I haven’t had chance to meet just yet!
We will start with the most common one!
“How many people do you have on your books looking for a property like ours?”
My answer to this is always zero. And it should be zero, the truth is, how do it know? I have only just seen the property and to find out the answer to this question I would need to speak to some of the people registered through my agency, give them some information and show them some pictures to find out the real answer.
It’s a easy one to answer, however so many agents will answer with “loads” or “X amount of people” or more recently I heard “I have 6 people I know will immediately want it” … it’s just sales pitch and rubbish.
You can guarantee the moment you start ringing through those on the ‘books’ the first thing they will ask is “have you got any pictures”. There will be some who want a similar property, but the location may not be ideal, or they may of wanted a bigger garden, or for whatever reason not want it.
In short, the answer ‘should’ be ZERO, none, zilch, or just saying “I will need to go and speak to a few people before I can give you the answer to that question”.
Like any property, there will always be people ‘looking’ for that type of property. But the common myths of ‘mailing lists’ and ‘books’ are so outdated.
This is a great question however to work out if the person sat in front of you is being truthful, or just trying to pitch themselves to win your business, at any cost.
“how quick do you think my property will sell”
A bit like the above question, this one is unanswerable. Us agents have a glass ball we pull out, which we ask the question and it always gives us an answer. Ok, that’s not true.
It is impossible to tell, something at market value should sell fairly quickly, something overpriced will take longer and something under-priced will be quickly. Its common sense so far, right?
The problem is, it is impossible to tell until you are on the market and can evaluate the listing and interest after a few days.
But this is a great question to work out how ethical the agent is you about the instruct. If they tell you they can sell it in a couple of weeks max, and then ask for a 12-week contact, normally no alarm bells go at this point.
However, think of it this way, IF they can ‘sell it in a couple of weeks’ why do they need to keep you into a contact for 12 weeks? … just food for thought there.
Back to the question, it is impossible to answer.
“should I do anything to my property before putting it on the market”
This is always an awkward question for an agent to answer, they don’t want to sound rude by pointing out the handprints on the walls up the stairs, or the door handle loose on the bathroom, so often they find themselves not suggesting anything to be polite.
The best way to answer this is get a family member. Mum or dad maybe? Brother or sister? Someone close who isn’t worried about upsetting you, let them take a walk around the whole house and ask them what they feel would need doing. They will ALWAYS see things you won’t, and best of all? They aren’t worry of upsetting or offending you!
“what is best, the owner doing the viewings or the estate agent”
This is a double-edged sword, I have spoken to loads of people in the past who argue both sides. My opinion. It should be the agent.
When people view a property and the homeowner is there, it is awkward. There is no doubt in that. They are not going to give honest feedback (as they don’t want to offend) and the viewings are often very quick, and they spend ages listening to the homeowner about why THEY love the property.
The agent talks about the property (because nobody is interested in what the agent thinks of the property) they will spend a bit more time looking at the property. There is also the other additional benefit of people really not caring what the agent thinks, honestly.
So, the feedback is a lot more helpful and constructive as it gives the agent clear indication of things which may be putting people off, or issues with the value.
Plus, your paying them for a service, aren’t you? Imagine taking your car in to change a tyre and they hand you the wrench to take off the wheel? Would you do it? Of course not.
“Should I stay here while the agent does the viewing”
No, just no. its very simple, no. its mega awkward, for the agent AND the viewer. Viewings work with the agent being present or the homeowner, but both is just awkward.
Now, nobody like to feel like they are being kicked out of their home, BUT you will thank me later for it. Give the agent a key and arrange a suitable time for you to make yourself busy. Go and do the weekly shop, go to costa even! Walk the dog, just go and chill out and let the agent deal with it, ask the agent to call the second the coast is clear and then you can head home.
IF it is a case of you don’t trust the agent with your home, then the fact is, you have picked the wrong agent.
I met a vendor once who put his property on the market with another agent, installed a CCTV camera up in the house and then sat in the garage and watched the viewing, it was mega awkward when the agent and viewers walked into the garage… the only thing missing was Ant and Dec! (I’m a celebrity get out of my ear reference there!).
But to summarise, get the agent to do the viewing and go out. It is always the best way.
“Have you sold many down this road” or “have you sold many on this estate”
This is a question I hear a lot. And the truth is it is irrelevant, the process of listing and selling a property is the same, it doesn’t change street to street, town to town, even county to county, it is the same process.
It would be worth asking instead for some fact, like what is the average price they are achieving on the asking price of their last 10 sales, what is their average time on market? Ratio of viewings/offers. Things like this which ultimately will make a different to picking them as your agent.
“How well do you know the area”
knowing information about the location is vital. Although they may not know everything like the local shop, they should know the local school information, local stations etc as these things are important.
I would be worth asking them, “what is the closest station” and “how long do you think the walk is” … “what is the closest primary school”… these are all basic things the agent SHOULD have researched before coming round (if they don’t know the area) or, they should already know.
Ultimately, the agent not knowing this information doesn’t mean the agent is a bad agent, but I will show how prepared they are, and how much research they have completed before coming to see you.
SO there are some of the most common questions answered, I hope you have found it helpful. If there are questions you can think of that you feel I may have missed please let me know! 😊