The problems with (some) estate agents

Unfortunately for the industry, many people hold a somewhat negative view of estate agents – often due to a previous bad experience – which can lead to them being pessimistic about their upcoming buying or selling experience. While there are many great agents out there, there are some common problems that sellers and buyers experience which need to be fixed.

Looking to buy or sell in Fulham and want to avoid a typical estate agent experience? Get in touch with us at Invisible Homes to find out how we can help.

Sellers

One would imagine that estate agents always prioritize their sellers, and ensure that they deliver them a first-rate experience. However often this is sadly not the case. An all to common example of this is the ever-changing point of contact for many sellers, and the feeling of being passed around between different agents.

What do we mean by this? Well, typically a prospective seller will meet one of the more senior agents, agree to instruct them as their representative, and then for the majority of their selling journey will have very little contact with that first agent. Instead, they will be delegated to different agents who they may never met or spoken with, who are often hard to get hold off, leading to sellers not feeling truly valued.

Furthermore, it is often the case (especially with online agents) that the agent who shows the seller’s home to buyers and conducts viewings hasn’t in fact seen the property before, and so doesn’t know its best assets, the finer details, and what makes it a great purchase. Not only can this compromise the chances of a sale, but it can also foster further poor relations between seller and agent.

Receiving irrelevant buyers through the door is one of the biggest pain points for sellers. Sure, it’s an agent’s job to drum up viewings for a property, but usually this is done with a quantity over quality approach. The reason why this is a problem is that it often is a fundamental waste of time. An agent may persuade droves of buyers to look at a property that’s ‘ideal’ for them, yet in practice, it’s not even close to what they’re looking for -an exhausting exercise for all. It can also lead to sellers being confused and wondering if there’s something wrong with their property that is putting off buyers who view, yet the fault lies with the agents who are bringing the wrong buyers to take a look.

To compound an often poor service, estate agents levy on sellers a very high fee that seems relatively unjustified. For many sellers, this is the final nail in the coffin of their estate agent experience, following inconsistent communication, being passed around, and receiving the wrong buyers through the door.

Buyers

One would expect that agents would also operate with buyers’ best interests at heart but unfortunately, this too often doesn’t happen.

A barrage of irrelevant properties. As mentioned previously, most agents are predominantly concerned with organising as many viewings as possible for a property. To achieve this, agents have to persuade buyers who’ve already indicated their preference, that there’s another property that’s ideal for them which isn’t quite what they’re after, but they still need to see it. Although this can sometimes work out well, generally this hard sell approach is a nuisance for buyers, as the majority of these suggested properties are not really what they’re looking for.

To make matters worse, buyers are usually hassled relentlessly with phone calls from agents as soon as they register their details after interest in a property they’ve seen online. The problem with this is that firstly this is perceived by buyers as an invasion of privacy. Secondly, these calls usually aren’t related to the property that a buyer is interested in, but rather function to suggest other properties to the buyer, which as previously mentioned, are often irrelevant.

How does Invisible Homes address these problems?

For sellers…

We don’t think it’s fair for sellers to feel neglected, and so we provide them with a dedicated agent to be their single point of contact throughout the whole process. From valuation to completion, our sellers have a single representative to sell their home, communicate with, and offer guidance throughout.

We don’t believe in irrelevant viewings which waste time, and so we only show our sellers’ properties to the right buyers who are actually interested.

Finally, while we offer a great service, we don’t feel that this should come with eye watering fees. This is why we offer a 0.75% commission rate to our sellers – approximately half that of most estate agents.

For buyers…

We believe that relevance should be prioritised. By finding out exactly what our buyers are looking for, we match them with only relevant properties that they will actually be interested in which avoids time wasting for all.

We don’t think it’s right to cold call our buyers, and hard sell properties they’re not interested in. This is why we communicate through email and our internal messaging system, allowing our buyers to communicate with us on their own terms in their own time, rather than being hassled.