Buying a house is an investment in your future, a decision that you will either celebrate, or regret, for a very long time. It is for this reason that people use Estate Agents – they want to put their trust in another human being to deliver the goods and provide them with peace of mind; peace of mind they deserve considering these agents take a fat commission off the hefty price you will eventually be paying.
The prevailing thought is that, considering the monetary incentive that is being provided in the form of commission, these agents would do their very best to get you the best possible deal. You’d think that. However, as many people would, I’m sure, testify, it’s not always the case. The problem with incentives is that they are often easily and wantonly abused.
Take Agent A for example. He knows that he will get a large commission for making the sale, he wants to maximise the number of these commissions he earns in a month. If he can make a sale quickly you can bet your dollar he will. However, is this always in the best interests of the client? No. Agent A is in a position of power which gives him a certain amount of sway over the client’s thought process. “He’s bound to know what he’s talking about”, “He wouldn’t try to convince me of something I wouldn’t want” are common client thoughts. The fact of the matter is, Agent A is aware of his unsuspecting client’s thoughts (as are many Estate Agents for that matter) and knows he can abuse them for the incentive – the commission. If this were a cartoon, Agent A would be seeing dollar signs right now.
Image Courtesy of legit-faith.com
The mark of a good estate agent is whether or not they take advantage of this situation for their own benefit.
1 – Genuine
Ok, that is admittedly a difficult trait to measure. Basically you have to ask yourself whether at any point in the process they have misrepresented facts and then doubled back on those facts. In addition, do they hit you with the cheesy salesman pitch every time you talk to them – you know that they are an estate agent, you have gone to them already, they don’t need to sell themselves to you again. If they are doing this, I wouldn’t consider them genuine and trustworthy.
The final conclusion on this point is really up to you. Is your gut reaction to trust them? If it isn’t then save yourself a lot of trouble and financial mayhem and find another agent.
2 – Punctual
Never underestimate the power of punctuality. If your estate agent is late frequently, or even at all, then you should move on. Tardiness is a sign of disrespect, and can even be used as a negotiation tactic in some rare instances. Have the self respect to walk away if you find yourself in this situation.
If your agent is late, not only are they wasting your time, they are consciously missing out on a sale; this begs the question, do they actually care about you? Refer to point 1.
3 – Patient
People know when they are being rushed into a sale, and it can be a large contributing factor to them walking away. If your agent is shoving the sale down your throat, phoning you at 3 in the morning telling you “the time is right”, it’s pretty clear that they are interested in making a quick sale and not in your best interests; you should take a second glance at the deal.
If you’re one of the lucky few whose estate agents have these traits, then you are in the clear. However, if they are lacking, I would look elsewhere before things turn sour for you.