The perks of knowing a business owner…
I interrogated my friends and family recently, curious about their general thoughts and personal experiences with estate agents – their responses were not at all what I was expecting! I was told things about smartly dressed, well informed, super professional people who as a fact, either sold or didn’t sell my friends and family’s homes. Stories (which honestly, all began to blur into one after the first two or three) about well scheduled viewings and agents arriving on time (in most cases!) with half interested potential buyers who ‘ohh and ahhhhed’ whilst enthusiastic estate agents made normal houses sound like Disney castle’s did sound fantastic at first – and with my home owner hat on I probably would’ve been impressed. With my estate agent hat on, I’m a harder nut to crack. You see, its lovely – for somebody to sound so enthusiastic about the home that you love (let’s put aside the fact that you’re selling up for one moment), but is a well-polished pair of brogues really what’s needed when you’re trying to find somebody interested enough to take that big step and buy your house? All that enthusiasm… its great! It’s probably more than we’re able to muster ourselves – but if it’s an over exaggeration, if the living room isn’t to die for with the largest fireplace you’ve ever seen – then what’s the point?
My very first experience with estate agents as a buyer was with a boy named Jordan. I’m pretty sure that’s accurate – Jordan looked about 17. He was friendly, knew which council tax band the house was and what day the bins went out and I did buy the house because, I just loved it – nothing to do with the agent. It’s the thing most estate agents know they always have up their sleeve – it’s highly unlikely that a property somebody wants to purchase, isn’t purchased as a result of the estate agent. I remember wishing there was somebody there to offer advice from their years’ experience working in the industry or at least experience from buying their own home. Slightly hypocritical really as at that time in my life I was just 22 and also working in estate agency. With a whopping 12 months’ experience under my belt I felt superior but still looked for words of wisdom as I made what felt like the biggest decision of my life up to that point.
Not much has changed… now’s the time for something new!
Over the course of the last 11 years I’ve had many more encounters with estate and letting agents as a customer and as a colleague and to be honest, not including the new addition of online agents a few years ago, my experiences have been pretty much the same. Though not all were 17 and some did offer me advice (some good, some not so good), all were smartly dressed and usually sat behind a big desk in a nicely furnished office situated on ‘estate agents row’ as I like to call it… Its fine – the job generally gets done – it isn’t the way I like to do it but we’re all different and that’s just fine. I’m more local, less shiny shoes and braces and more personal. You’ll find me sat behind my desk, usually a table by the window in a well-known high street coffee shop (my office)!
Maybe I’ll see you there sometime…
Chat soon – Laura.