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Any fool can sell a house...

Fri 05 Feb 2010

Its true. However, thats the straightforward part. The role of your estate agent is not just to sell your property but to use their marketing capability and knowledge to obtain the very best price that the best buyer will pay and that is absolutely NOT straightforward.

Here is the first paragraph of a letter I received this week from a delighted client:

"We exchanged contracts on our house last Friday at more than 10% over the asking price, having instructed Marsh & Parsons only 10 days before. As the property had been on the market with another agent since the previous September, we were delighted with this result."

She was especially delighted as the value of the house was substantially in excess of 2,000,000 and after finding several suitable buyers, we actually achieved nearly 20% more than the best offer obtained in December last year by the other agent.

I hope this doesnt sound too conceited, it isnt meant to. What I am trying to say is that not all agents are the same. Just like not all restaurants or builders are the samethere are good ones, average ones, poor ones and, by and large, the average or poor tend to be cheaper than the good unsurprisingly it is the same in our business.

One of the main reasons this particular client hadnt instructed us before is that we were a little more expensive than a competitor and we wouldnt cut our fee to match them. My view is that, as an agent, if you cant even negotiate yourself an acceptable fee, what chance have you got of achieving an excellent price for your client?

In this case, as in many others, we already knew the buyerwe were selling their flat in Notting Hill and because of this it was simply a matter of encouraging them to pay what they had to in order to buy the housein the first week of marketing the property, there were 19 viewings and competing offers from three other buyers. This is Local know how, better results in action.

There seems to be continuing interest in the 'Sell your home for free' type websites which have now been around for years. If I was a buyer then I would be very tempted to find a property through one of these websites. There is a good chance that, as youre not dealing with a professional negotiator but the owner who has emotional involvement, you may get a bargain. Great news I hear some of you think and perhaps it is if youre the buyer. The thing is, as agents, we act for the seller and they pay us a fee (still the lowest in the developed world) to achieve for them the most amount of money for their biggest asset.

As Red Adair once said in an often used quote "If you think its expensive to hire a professional to do the job, just wait until you hire an amateur." I feel confident that our client mentioned above would agree.

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