So, what do traditional estate agents and letting agents actually do to earn their money?
If you are working at the coalface, you will already know. But do your customers?
More to the point, do your potential customers know – the ones who are being tempted on a daily basis to use a cut-price, or even ‘free’ agent on the basis that the main job of any agent is to get the property on Rightmove and Zoopla, and the rest is simply money for peanuts.
A new article by Jane Gardner of Sewell & Gardner draws up an impressive list of the basic tasks that a letting agent does.
Interestingly, the piece was brought to Eye’s attention by another agent, Tony Szabo of 2-Move, who was able to add to the list a few points of his own, and come up with a list of basic tasks undertaken by sales agents.
Here’s Szabo’s list of basic tasks that an estate agent does. The link to Jane Gardner’s piece is at the end of this story.
And we bet you could add to both their lists!
What do we actually do?
Pre and at the appointment
- Provide an accurate valuation taking into account our market knowledge as well as using insights from major portals and comparable evidence of recent transactions from the wider market place.
- Explain all of the client obligations and contract terms in detail.
- Provide a comprehensive marketing pack and brochure detailing the above.
- Answer any and all questions.
- Assist with any onward move advice. As part of the Relocation Agent Network, we can offer assistance in this regard on a national level as well as, naturally, on a local one.
- Provide/ organise any relevant additional advice required including financial advice from our in house Independent Financial Adviser or legal advice from one of our Legal/ Conveyancing Partners if required. We can even arrange a removal/clearance or storage quotation.
- Discuss a marketing strategy to suit the client and/ or tenants circumstances/ lifestyle. This could include open days, block viewings, accompanied viewings (in pretty much every case).
- Prepare a full set of property particulars including detailed and quality photography, floor plans, energy performance ratings and area guides.
- Ensure that the above are approved and signed off by the client to ensure complete satisfaction.
- Telephone our database of applicants who have been vetted and are ready to view.
- Email our entire database as above.
- Ensure that the property is included within the pages of our own monthly e-magazine.
- Place the property on Rightmove, Zoopla, Prime Location and our own 2-move website.
- Advertise the property in the local and wider press.
- Organise all viewings to the property as per our client’s requirements and instructions.
- Keep our client fully appraised with all development on a minimum weekly basis.
At point of offer
- Negotiate offers, explain all of the legalities of renting or buying to the tenant or purchaser (and secure a holding deposit whilst references are taken and contracts prepared if a rental property and ensure a full and thorough check on the entire chain including the purchaser’s financial position and ‘ability to proceed’ before taking the property off the market).
- Proved written details of all offers received.
- Complete the referencing process on every tenant if a rental property including a full rent guarantee insurance policy for every tenancy produced.
At acceptance of offer
- Ensure a comprehensive memorandum of sale is issued to all parties in a timely fashion, including details of any special agreements reached at point of offer.
- Ensure that all details are available to us including the details of every estate agent, solicitor and/ or mortgage adviser throughout the entire chain both above and below.
- Maintain regular contact with all parties involved on a minimum weekly basis as part of our Sales Progression Service Standard.
- Update all parties regularly with information and monitor the entire chain, not just our own transaction.
- Advise our clients accordingly of any changes.
- Take action where required to re-market a property if progress is not to our client’s initial expectations.
Progress the chain accordingly ensuring all key points are reached throughout the entire chain including:
- Solicitors instructed.
- Issue of contracts.
- Survey instructed (if required).
- Survey booked.
- Survey report received.
- Completion of preliminary enquiries. Assisting with addressing of any issues or queries as required.
- Addressing any points required following survey e.g. renegotiation, damp reports, electrical reports, etc.
- Mortgage offer (if required).
- Assist in address any points conditional with the mortgage offer, e.g. retention for works to be completed.
- Completion of searches. Assisting with addressing of any issues or queries as required.
- Monitor the fact that all in the chain have signed contracts, returned them and transferred any exchange monies as required.
- Assist in agreeing a completion date.
- Advise all parties once exchange has been effected.
- Provide a detailed exchange letter to all (providing key information to the purchaser including utility suppliers etc).
- Manage the handover of keys.