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    • sidewinderflame
    • By sidewinderflame 15th Mar 17, 1:35 PM
    • 23Posts
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    sidewinderflame
    Chasing up Estate Agents when selling
    • #1
    • 15th Mar 17, 1:35 PM
    Chasing up Estate Agents when selling 15th Mar 17 at 1:35 PM
    I've been trying to sell my flat since last August and despite varying interest it's still on the market. I changed agents in the New Year (last agent were very disorganised) and in the first couple of weeks my new agents got me about six viewings but that seems to have tailed off now and I haven't had a viewing or any contact from my agent for coming up to three weeks now.

    What I want to know is how often you all chase up your estate agents to find out what is going on and what do you even say with regards to the lack of viewings? I read conflicting info online and I don't want to irritate them to the point that they just don't want to deal with me.

    I've had about 12 viewings in total between the two agents, I had an offer of the asking price in the first few weeks which unfortunately fell through as their buyer pulled out (they still haven't sold either). I had a further offer some months later which I declined (it was a bit too low and they never improved on their intial offer) and a couple of weeks ago a gentleman had shortlisted mine with one other but went with the other. I am in London and the market is slow, there are quite a few flats round here that are still on the market and went on at a similar time to me. I've revisited the price issue several times but it seems to be about right and my agents are insistent that I don't drop it any further plus it's not something that has come up in feedback.
    The only negative I've had a couple of times is that the main door of the property is up some stairs and some of the older people that have viewed have said it could be an issue. Other than that I haven't had any bad feedback.

    Anyway as I haven't heard from my agent for a few weeks I thought I would contact them at the end of this week so wanted to know what stance people take and also how "on" your agents you all are?
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    • cooltt
    • By cooltt 15th Mar 17, 1:52 PM
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    cooltt
    • #2
    • 15th Mar 17, 1:52 PM
    • #2
    • 15th Mar 17, 1:52 PM
    It's good that you're listening to feedback, that's a step in right direction but last August? Hello? cobwebs!

    Never ever, ever, ever trust a word that comes out of an estate agents mouth even when they work for you (but even then it's all about their commission).

    If there's no movement with an agent for several months they simply aren't pushing your property its as simple as that. Change them.

    "Don't drop the price" no? It's the number 1 deciding factor as to why most people won't buy a property if it's merely "ok".

    It's almost impossible to compare like for like properties in the same area as everyone has a different idea of what little things matter to them. The bare bones of it is your property at present just isn't doing it and you need to find out why but i'd hazard a guess your asking price is a big factor.
    • sidewinderflame
    • By sidewinderflame 15th Mar 17, 2:14 PM
    • 23 Posts
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    sidewinderflame
    • #3
    • 15th Mar 17, 2:14 PM
    • #3
    • 15th Mar 17, 2:14 PM
    Thank you for your comments.

    I do agree that the price could be the issue but having spoken to other estate agents around here they have all said that the market is still very slow and difficult so I'm wary about dropping the price in case it's more the market. I could drop the price and it still sit here doing nothing.
    In fairness to my current agent they have only had the property about 7/8 weeks and they have it for another 4 before I can change. Also the other two bedroom flats on the market in my area (there are about 4) have also been on the market since last year, some from June so it's not just mine that isn't selling. I will contact my agent again though to have the price conversation.

    Aside from that how often would you chase your agent or would you wait for them to come to you?
    • G_M
    • By G_M 15th Mar 17, 2:31 PM
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    G_M
    • #4
    • 15th Mar 17, 2:31 PM
    • #4
    • 15th Mar 17, 2:31 PM
    .... having spoken to other estate agents around here they have all said that the market is still very slow and difficult so I'm wary about dropping the price in case it's more the market.
    Originally posted by sidewinderflame
    If it IS 'the market' then that means that properties (including yours) will only sell at a lower price. Markets rise and fall. Where the market is 'slow', only lower prices will get buyers to buy. You're over-priced.

    So you have a choice. Either wait for the market to 'pick up' and for buyers to be ready to pay what you are asking, or drop your price to where the market now is.

    depends how urgent selling is to you.

    The other thing todo is review the marketing material. What are buyers seeing? Are the photos good? Is the property clean, tidy, attractve in the photos? are there enough photos? Is the description accurate, and does it include all the plus-points of the property?

    Get someone objective to review it all, and if necessary, instruct the agent to amend/improve it.
    Last edited by G_M; 15-03-2017 at 2:34 PM.
    • Surrey_EA
    • By Surrey_EA 15th Mar 17, 2:31 PM
    • 1,317 Posts
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    Surrey_EA
    • #5
    • 15th Mar 17, 2:31 PM
    • #5
    • 15th Mar 17, 2:31 PM
    I'm increasingly of the opinion that feedback from viewers is largely useless. Unless the feedback is "I would like to make an appointment for a 2nd viewing" or "I would like to offer £x" then I wouldn't worry too much.

    The chances are you won't be able to do anything about overcoming these rejections, even if you get told the real reason in the first place, which is unlikely.

    Ultimately whether a property sells or not is entirely down to price. Somewhere between £0 and whatever your asking price is there will be a buyer for your property. Make it cheap enough and you'll be flooded with offers.

    Obviously everyone wants to sell for as much as possible, but the trick is not being too optimistic that you put off prospective buyers. If you've not had a viewing for three weeks it seems like your price is putting people off even coming for a look.
    • ACG
    • By ACG 15th Mar 17, 2:31 PM
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    ACG
    • #6
    • 15th Mar 17, 2:31 PM
    • #6
    • 15th Mar 17, 2:31 PM
    If the agents are not calling you, it probably means nobody is calling them.

    I put my house up for sale in January for £165k (which I think was too much but 2 agents said it was right), I was happy to accept £150k. It went up for sale and I had around 4-5 viewings the first week and nothing came about. 2 weeks later we had another 2-3 viewings and nothing came from them either - nobody had anything negative to say infact it was the opposite everyone had nice things to say but nobody was making an offer.

    So I reduced it to £155k, I had 3 viewings. All 3 of them had seen it on £165k but did not make a viewing as it was too much. 2 of the 3 made offers for £155k the same day as their viewings.

    I suppose really my point is that if people are not making offers it is up for too much. Even if you are happy to take an offer, people are not always willing to make one (which I found a little surprising). Had I not reduced the purchase price I would probably still have it up for sale now.

    One of my neighbours put their house up for £165k before I put mine upfor sale, mine is nicer/better - theirs is still up for sale 2 months down the line where as I am about 2-3 weeks away from completing the sale.

    I do not think agents always get it right. If there are plenty of similar properties up for sale for a similar price, there is a reason for it. Unless HS2 is being built in the back garden or something similar it is because the demand at that price is not there.

    You know the area and the prices I imagine as you appear to have done some research. I have no idea if you can afford to knock £5-10k off but if you can and are happy to, it may be worth testing the waters OR asking the agents to call the previous viewers to see if they would like the first opportunity for £10k less than it is on for before you reduce the purchase price publically?
    I am a Mortgage Adviser
    You should note that this site doesn't check my status as a mortgage adviser, so you need to take my word for it. This signature is here as I follow MSE's Mortgage Adviser Code of Conduct. Any posts on here are for information and discussion purposes only and shouldn't be seen as financial advice.
    • sidewinderflame
    • By sidewinderflame 15th Mar 17, 3:52 PM
    • 23 Posts
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    sidewinderflame
    • #7
    • 15th Mar 17, 3:52 PM
    • #7
    • 15th Mar 17, 3:52 PM
    This is all very useful stuff, and much appreciated for all your contributions. It all makes perfect sense so I've emailed my agent to ask about dropping the price and to open a dialogue to see what the best way forward is. I really need to sell soon as I can't go through yet another Autumn/ Winter of sitting here waiting.
    • ReadingTim
    • By ReadingTim 15th Mar 17, 4:15 PM
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    ReadingTim
    • #8
    • 15th Mar 17, 4:15 PM
    • #8
    • 15th Mar 17, 4:15 PM
    I think you need to be a bit more assertive with them - they work for you after all! They can think of you what they like, but if they don't deal with you, they don't get paid - it's as simple as that.

    Therefore, you need to phone them up and tell them you're dropping the price - either to a figure of your own determination, or to a figure they recommend to ensure a "quick sale". You should also tell them you're considering changing agents following the end of your lock-in period.

    Ultimately, they're your employees not your mates - treat 'em as such.
    • eddddy
    • By eddddy 15th Mar 17, 4:27 PM
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    eddddy
    • #9
    • 15th Mar 17, 4:27 PM
    • #9
    • 15th Mar 17, 4:27 PM
    I'm increasingly of the opinion that feedback from viewers is largely useless....
    Originally posted by Surrey_EA
    I agree. When I've viewed properties (to live in), I weigh-up the pros and cons of each property. Some of them are very subjective.

    When an EA asks for my feedback, they don't really want a detailed, considered appraisal - and similarly I don't want to give them the opportunity to recite pages 7 thru 56 of "Objection Handling for Estate Agents vol 1" to me.

    So I just give them a couple of lines to put in email to the seller - like the 4th bedroom is bit too small.
    Last edited by eddddy; 15-03-2017 at 4:29 PM.
    • Cakeguts
    • By Cakeguts 15th Mar 17, 5:56 PM
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    Cakeguts
    People are not going to give you feedback that says that your flat is too expensive for them or that they don't like it. All that will happen is that they will buy something else instead.

    If people are not viewing your flat that is because they feel that they can get a better one cheaper.
    • sidewinderflame
    • By sidewinderflame 19th Apr 17, 2:55 PM
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    sidewinderflame
    I ended up dropping the price about four weeks ago and unfortunately I've only had two viewings in that time. I've also had all the photos retaken by the agent but clicks are low on Zoopla. I am now though cheap compared to other flats in the area so won't drop it any further and there's only a few available so competition isn't high. I appreciate that price can be a factor but if I go any lower I would be selling below market value and properties in less desirable areas are actually more expensive right now.

    Having monitored my competition in the area for the last couple of weeks I can also see that they're not getting many clicks either so the market is very slow. The last viewer really liked the flat and commented on it but said that they didn't like it being by a main road. Unfortunately the location seems to be a bit of a problem as the feedback my EA has had is that people don't want to view as it's near this main road (btw it's off a main road not on the actual road itself and you can't hear anything from inside so it's a v quiet flat). It seems to be a real sticking point but being in London I'm surprised people are focussing so much on the nearby road and the fact that the property is a minute from the tube doesn't seem to be a selling point.
    • Lokolo
    • By Lokolo 19th Apr 17, 3:10 PM
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    Lokolo
    Is it on RightMove? Low clicks on Zoopla doesn't mean much I'd say, as most people use RightMove!
    • sidewinderflame
    • By sidewinderflame 19th Apr 17, 5:11 PM
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    sidewinderflame
    Unfortunately not, I'm with one of these agents who do zoopla and OnTheMarket neither of which Id use. My previous agent did have me on rightmove but all enquiries were from their database never rightmove or zoopla. I may go multi agency when my current contract expires and I'll use an agent that does rightmove again.
    • Surrey_EA
    • By Surrey_EA 19th Apr 17, 5:14 PM
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    Surrey_EA
    Unfortunately not, I'm with one of these agents who do zoopla and OnTheMarket neither of which Id use. My previous agent did have me on rightmove but all enquiries were from their database never rightmove or zoopla. I may go multi agency when my current contract expires and I'll use an agent that does rightmove again.
    Originally posted by sidewinderflame
    Multi agency makes the seller appear desperate. If the current EA isn't performing approach a different EA to act as sole agent when your current contract expires.

    However, if you've tried one agent, now on your second, and thinking about going to a third, perhaps it's not the agent and the price is still too high?
    • saajan_12
    • By saajan_12 19th Apr 17, 6:12 PM
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    saajan_12
    I ended up dropping the price about four weeks ago and unfortunately I've only had two viewings in that time. I've also had all the photos retaken by the agent but clicks are low on Zoopla. I am now though cheap compared to other flats in the area so won't drop it any further and there's only a few available so competition isn't high. I appreciate that price can be a factor but if I go any lower I would be selling below market value and properties in less desirable areas are actually more expensive right now.
    Originally posted by sidewinderflame
    By definition, 'market value' is the price properties of that type/size/area are trading at (i.e. being bought / sold). If as you say other similar flats in the area are the same or higher priced but not being sold, then buyers are not willing to buy at that price, so the 'market value' must be lower. Property buying is a compromise, so most properties will sell at a price, you just have to find it.
    • Cakeguts
    • By Cakeguts 19th Apr 17, 7:17 PM
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    Cakeguts
    The market value of a property is what someone will pay your for it. It isn't some imaginary number that an estate agent has come up with or a value that other people have put on similar properties. It is only what someone will pay you for it.

    As no one has come forward to pay you your price for your flat it isn't below market value because that figure is only an amount that is below what someone has already paid you for the flat.

    A main road will put people off. If they can get a similar flat for the same price or less that isn't on a main road they will go for that not yours.

    The age of the building is important. A flat in a more modern building with a lift and good insulation will cost more than a flat in an older building that is more expensive to heat.

    An ex local authority flat will be cheaper than a non ex local authority flat in the same area.

    When you are doing your comparisons you have got to compare like with like. It is no good comparing your flat on a main road to one round the corner in a nice quiet street.

    So compared to your flat what price are other flats in the same area on main roads and in the same age of building selling for or have sold for? That is your first basis for comparison. Then you have a look to see what it is about your flat that might be making it less desirable. There is a price for everything. At the moment you do not have any idea what it is. When you find out what it is you will sell your flat.
    • Mickygg
    • By Mickygg 20th Apr 17, 7:14 AM
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    Mickygg
    Unfortunately not, I'm with one of these agents who do zoopla and OnTheMarket neither of which Id use. My previous agent did have me on rightmove but all enquiries were from their database never rightmove or zoopla. I may go multi agency when my current contract expires and I'll use an agent that does rightmove again.
    Originally posted by sidewinderflame
    i would never use an agent that doesn't use rightmove. I only use rightmove so would never see your property.
    Change to an agent that uses Rightmove. I would not use more than 1 agent, it comes across as desperate.
    You say yourself you don't use otm or zoopla so why go with an agent that just uses them?
    • sidewinderflame
    • By sidewinderflame 20th Apr 17, 9:38 PM
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    sidewinderflame
    Thanks for all your comments, it's all good stuff.

    Completely agree about Rightmove but no one came through Rightmove before so I thought maybe it wouldn't make much difference, stupid on my part.

    I understand what everyone is saying about price but what one person is happy to pay for a property isn't necessarily the same as someone else and it doesn't mean that everyone who is looking has actually seen my property. For instance I accepted an offer last year below the asking price at £30,000 higher than I have the property currently marketed at, unfortunately their sale fell through so were unable to proceed (they still haven't sold). If they had been able to then I would have got a good price and all within the first couple of weeks and would have thought this selling lark was easy.

    I also got an offer about four weeks ago from a couple that visited but before I got the chance to return my agents call they had retracted it as a previous property they had just lost out on had come back on the market.

    The only negatives I have had are the stairs (first floor flat and these have been elderly people that have mentioned this) and the main road nearby. I'm not sure if I mentioned it but I had a viewing a couple of days ago, they liked the flat, the layout and decor but didn't like the road nearby.

    Speaking to various agents around here they tell me that the market is very very quiet. With regards to other properties, you can't get a similar property for cheaper. If you paid less then you'd have to go to a cheaper area or get a smaller property. This flat is in Hampstead which is an expensive area to buy and itself brings a premium. It's not on a main road but near a main road but I understand that that is an issue for some people. It is though a couple of minutes from the tube which for the right buyer would be an asset.

    Last September a flat next door (exactly the same layout) went for £50000 than I am selling mine for now and their flat was really old and dated and needed a lot of work whereas mine doesn't so I feel that the price is appropriate really.
    • PeterPanic
    • By PeterPanic 21st Apr 17, 8:25 AM
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    PeterPanic
    The agent can't make somebody buy a property so I suspect it is over priced. Personally I only ever use rightmove and I couldn't care less which agent it is on with. As far as I am concerned the agent is there purely to arrange the viewing time, they have no influence on whether I am likely to buy the property or not. For this reason I think multi agent is a waste of time.

    You mention you are not on Rightmove, for me this is the goto website so I would never think of looking anywhere else. You mention in your post that the market is slow, if you really want to sell then I think you are going to have to reduce the price more I am afraid.
    • Niv
    • By Niv 21st Apr 17, 8:57 AM
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    Niv
    I cant believe people use agents that are not on Rightmove. As far as I am concerned that was the first thing I checked when picking an agent. Everyone I know that has looked for house uses rightmove the others don't even get mentioned in passing. Especially in a slow market I consider this your biggest mistake.
    YNWA

    Target: Mortgage free by 58.
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