Work to the outcome, not to the target
There is a common misconception that estate agents just want a sale wrapped up as quickly as possible so they can move one step closer to being paid their commission. The Homeowners Alliance website, dedicated to give impartial advice to homeowners puts the following on its site:
“While the agent works for the seller and is looking to sell for as much as possible, they are often looking for a quick sale without too much effort, in order to collect the commission.”
The truth is that the accuracy of this statement depends very much on the agent and how their staff are managed. If agency staff work purely to targets and are constantly hounded by their superiors for another tick in the sales target column, then this may be true. With estate agency, the result of a target-heavy sales environment means getting a sale agreed becomes more important than the terms of that agreement, and that is not in the best interest of the paying client.
As a first-hand example, we had a buyer who had negotiated hard on a proposed purchase of one of our properties and made their declared “best and final offer” at £355,000, having started considerably lower. The sellers, who really wanted no less than £360,000, were keen to get a sale agreed so decided to concede and accept the buyer’s final offer.
Had we worked to targets, that would have been it – sale agreed and another tick in the target box. However, this is where employing a quality agent really pays dividends when selling your home. At Corley Estate Agents we work solely towards the best client outcome and, although we knew it would be hard work, I felt that if we dealt with the buyer in the right way there was a chance we could get them to increase that extra £5000. I asked the owners to give us another 24 hours to try to achieve this and they agreed. Early the next morning the sellers called and said they had had a sleepless night and asked if we should just call the buyer and take the £355,000 offer. I pointed out that the buyer would have had a similar night and asked them to trust us. A few short hours later, just before lunchtime, the buyer called and increased their offer to £360,000.
This highlights the benefit of working to the outcome and not to the targets, and furthermore illustrates the false economy of choosing an agent based purely on the fee they charge if working to target means they don’t get you the best price for your home.
Read the reviews on websites such as Trustpilot and make sure you choose the agent that will go the extra mile.