Money for old a**e.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010 by Ed Mead

Most know me as a straight talking agent so it’s difficult to keep my mouth shut when there’s so much utter rubbish being bandied about by supposed “property experts” about how estate agents are all bloody useless and that their fees are money for old rope.

Some of the people commenting are patently obviously out to use various forms of media, like Twitter and facebook, those that many journalists tend to keep an eye on, in order to maximize their coverage. That’s fair enough, so do I. But there was a tweeted article yesterday from someone stating that “agents for the most part only do what vendors could do themselves - list their property online” and this from someone claiming to have founded a successful private selling website. I looked at the site and in the whole of greater London they have four properties for sale. Not exactly a foundation for informed market comment, especially when aforementioned person further claims that “If it wasn't for agents, property prices would probably be a lot lower”.

I wonder if this person, as an industry expert, actually has any idea of how a market works, or how one goes about using that market to best effect, or even why and how people buy property.

Buying a property is, for 99% of the time, an entirely emotional process, and the same model that applies to selling a car will not, and can never, be replicated with property.

Thank heavens for all of us but we live in a free market and a market functions by simple economics, demand and supply. You can’t buck it. If you don’t like it go and live in China or a Country where there is a different dynamic like France and property prices rise less quickly. And just like it says on the packet, the value of your investment can go down as well as up.

What irritates me most is the moronic statement many make about agents doing nothing to earn a fee and that it’s money for old rope. A good agent will spend (in our case many millions) a fortune making sure that their buyer registers are stuffed full of buyers so that when you bring your property to that agent they’ll have plenty of buyers to get round and get you the best possible price. Yes, you can advertise in the back of the papers or online, and you might even get a couple of viewings, but you won’t get the full picture and will almost always lose out as a result.

If you don’t trust your agent to have a long list of buyers and that you think they’re talking bo**ocks, ASK TO SEE THEIR LIST (I carry an weekly updated list to very appointment), it’s not rocket science and don’t be fobbed off.

Otherwise, and as so often seems to be the case, you’ll get the agent you deserve.