In this Section
Introduction – and a Tip
Most houses are sold through Estate Agents. They will be much more interested in you as a serious buyer if you’re clear on what you want ie have a specific location in mind, an idea of the house’s size and the price you can afford.
Having a mortgage in principle will reassure them, and their clients, the sellers, that you’re a serious buyer worth spending time on.
Tip: You’ll probably find your properties on the internet. Bear in mind that online enquiries don’t seem to always get responses (Few Estate Agents would win awards for being well organised – bless). So you may want to phone aswell and and ask for the agent who’s dealing with each property
Make a note of who you’ve spoken to because often you’ll have to chase them up.
Understanding the Estate Agent
Estate Agents generally have a bad reputation. But consider how many other professions would share their fate if they were constantly in the middle of the nightmare that home buying often is.
The fact is Agents can either be pleasant and easy going or people you’d rather not sit beside on a long journey – in other words a fairly normal cross section of humanity.
People say that anyone can be an Estate Agent; that they’re unqualified and their job’s a doddle. Well up to a point perhaps. But “never underestimate your enemy”. The good ones are very very good. The bad ones probably won’t survive the next recession.
When times are good ie the market is “hot”, and there are more buyers than sellers, Estate Agents may treat you badly ie not return your calls or send you the promised information. However, when the market slows, the good ones’ will be a model of cooperation.
Estate Agents have seen many buyers and sellers come and go, while we, the punters, usually have very limited experience of them. So don’t try any tricks – emotional or otherwise – on them. They’ve seen it all before.
Like any humans, treat them positively, with respect and they’re likely to respond more favourably to you than to someone who talks down their nose at them.
Don’t alienate the Estate Agent. They have some sway over their client and you don’t want to be bad mouthed unnecessarily.