Selling your home can be a stressful process. This is only exacerbated if you feel your estate agent is underperforming or not representing your house properly. At this point you may be wondering if it’s time to look for a new agent and while we don’t recommend you making any rash decisions, sometimes a change of agent is needed.
It’s never their fault
‘The market’s slow’, ‘it’s the wrong season’, ‘the weather’s bad’, ‘the stars aren’t in alignment’. Are all very common excuses as to why your house isn’t selling. Now, we’re not saying that these never happen. Sometimes, especially with the recent pandemic, the market slows down, and people are more likely to stay home when the weather’s bad and not attend viewings, but if you’re getting these excuses regularly, it could be a red flag.
If you feel like your agent is giving you too many excuses, you’re well within your rights to question them. ‘Can you explain how or why the market’s slow’, ‘what about the viewings that did show up’, ‘can I have a breakdown of how many viewings there were and who didn’t show up, whether that’s the buyer or agent’.
In the meantime, you should take a look at what other properties have sold in the area. Have a look at the listing if it’s still live and see what kind of property buyers are looking for. This can be a great insight into possibly why your property isn’t selling. You can also scope out the agents that sold the properties and see if they’d be a good fit for you.
Why would an estate agent make up these excuses?
We do need to have a bit of empathy here. Being an estate agent is an incredibly stressful job. You probably only have one house you’re selling, your estate agent will have an entire portfolio. Sometimes accidents happen. Paperwork can get mixed up, traffic is a killer or maybe they’re having a bad month. One or two bad months doesn’t mean you have a bad estate agent or that they’re not doing their best.
Your best bet in a situation like this is to talk to your agent. See what’s going on with them and make sure they’re not incompetent. If they get angry or defensive, then maybe it could be time to consider a new agent.
Excuses can actually help you
This probably seems like a clickbait statement, but sometimes your agent giving potential buyers excuses such as ‘we’ve double booked the viewing’, ‘I’m stuck in traffic, we’ll have to rearrange’, can actually help you as a seller.
Your agent might know these people as ‘time wasters’, people who just take up bookings but never commit or even consider a property. Your agent might have also heard about a new set of buyers coming to the agency who are looking to buy quickly. So if you look at your viewing breakdown and think it looks a bit odd, ask them to explain it to you.
What should you do about real estate agent excuses?
You definitely don’t want to become a ‘needy’ homeowner, constantly calling and demanding updates. This can actually damage your chances of selling your house. Estate Agents only have a limited amount of hours in a day and if you’re taking up a lot of their time with unnecessary calls and reports then they’ll have less time to dedicate to selling your property.
We’d suggest limiting it to one call or email a week. This will ensure that you get regular updates but you’re not taking up too much of your agent’s time.
Should you change estate agent?
Changing estate agent can be an incredibly lengthy process. If you find one in your current agency then that’s ideal as you won’t need to relist your house. But if you’re looking to transfer to a different agency then you’re going to be looking at a lot of paperwork and the house will need to be re-listed. This isn’t meant to deter you from doing so, but just to make sure you’re prepared.
Sometimes people just aren’t a good fit, and it’s okay to recognise that. You want to know you have a good relationship with your estate agent and that they’ll represent your house to the best of their ability. We’d recommend talking to your agent before you move to see if you can find a solution to any problems you may be facing.
Adaptability and accountability are signs of a great estate agent so if your agent is willing to modify their tactics to suit your expectations, it’s worth staying with them.
We usually say to follow your gut in situations like this. If you believe your estate agent has been behaving unethically or giving you too many excuses, then you may want to look into other estate agencies.
Dreams Estate Agents is an independent estate agency located in Herne Bay but also represents properties all around the Kent area. Get in touch with us to discuss selling your property.