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What is an Estate Agents Role

What is an Estate Agent?

This maybe a strange question? But I think you may ask 20 people and get 20 different answers, I asked google and I got even more answers. The most basic answer is someone who "Sells, Rents or Manages Property". This statement represents the majority of companies, they do the bare minimum or they offer the full service, but each aspect is done by a different department or person, sometimes not even in the same city or country.

I really do prefer an academic answer, "Estate agents liaise with clients, solicitors and other property professionals to negotiate sales and lettings on residential or commercial properties. Working as an estate agent, you'll usually specialise in either sales or letting of residential or commercial properties, businesses or land on behalf of your clients." This represents companies which really do care.

An Estate Agent has many roles in assisting you to sell, rent or purchase a property, from advertiser to negotiator.

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The first role is to assist you in Valuation and their opinion of valuation, Overall the decision is Yours. There are many online valuation models which do comprise of many factorial algorithms, but they can not see what we can see, all the special characteristics which makes your property a home.

Even Agents can get it wrong or purposely over value your property in order to gain your listing, therfore it is best practice to ask at least 2 agents to value your home.

If a property is just simply over valued it will just sit there on Rightmove or Zoopla, falling further down the searches until every potential buyer dismisses it as 'There must be something wrong with it', so let's not bother looking. So it is important to weigh up the Valuations, I believe in 'Fair Market Value' and if your property is valued right it will sell quickly.

We know the market is extremely bouyant at the moment (June 21), since 2019, in Dn9 (for example) the average house prices are up 10% which is excellent (given what we have just gone through), and the time on the market has been slashed from an average of 275 days to just 73 days. Normal laws of 'supply and demand' indicate the prices will rise when demand is greater than supply. Average time on the market is a great indicator for demand.

The next role of the Estate Agent is to Market your property, once upon a time this was where the real skill came in. You needed a tech savvy agent who could sucessfully market your property as well as multiple media advertising outlays. Fortunately there are just 2 goto places, Rightmove and Zoopla, everyone in the market searches here first and every agent has to advertise here. If your choice of agent does not have a Rightmove and Zoopla accounts then unfortunately walk away.

Accompanied Viewings

The next role is to answer and pass on all the marketing queries and organise viewings. 'Accompanied viewings' were once compulsary and built into the selling %, but now it is an optional extra with most agents and others do not offer this at all. The best offer I found is: Unlimitted viewings @ £360 for 12 weeks, I am very happy matching this deal if you require this service. But you can also choose to host viewings yourself, if that’s what you would prefer. If you do choose to do them yourself, I will give you guidance and tips on giving a tour to prospective buyers. Estate agents also collect feedback from viewers which buyers would not disclose to yourself, which can help make the next ones even better.

Negotiating Offers between the buyers and sellers is one of the joyous roles of the Estate Agent. They will act as a go-between / organiser once an offer has been accepted. They will liaise with both sets of solicitors, chasing up relevant paperwork and dealing with any problems which may occur throughout the sales process. Once everything is prepared, both parties will be invited to 'Exchange Contracts' and the deposit is paid by the buyer.

Once you get to the point where you have exchanged contracts, this means that the offer you have made which a vendor has accepted is now legally binding. If you as the buyer were to pull out at this stage, you would forfeit your deposit and the vendor is within their rights to sue you for breach of contract so you must ensure that you have all of the necessary funds/and or your mortgage in place before you sign on the dotted line. The situation would also be the same in reverse if the vendor pulled out of the sale at this stage.

Legally, this is the final stage of the Estate Agent: the contracts have been signed, exchanged and a deposit has been paid, technically the Agent has successfully sold your property.

But I know you want to know, what happens next? Your solicitors will make the necessary arrangements with the Land Registry office to transfer the property deeds, the buyer needs to arrange the appropriate buildings insurance so that it is in place for the date of completion. The seller will cancel or transfer services such as Electric, Gas and Water etc.

On the day of completion, the buyers solicitor will make the necessary arrangements to move the funds and ensure the mortgage lender is satisfied and you will recieve the balance including the deposit. With most cases this will be transferred into your new property and then you will be able to collect the keys to your new home. Sounds so simple, but this is the most frustrating period if there is a chain, if one party is not ready, the whole system breaks down.


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Jon Gibbons | 07706 413 904 | jon.gibbons@exp.uk.com | https://jongibbons.exp.uk.com/

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