Some people suggest to me that as an Estate Agent, properties sell themselves and that our role is overpaid and unnecessary.

In some senses I agree that a well presented correctly priced property does sell itself.  A good property in a fine setting at the correct price will generate a lot of interest and therefore sellers are able in some respects to settle back and let the buyers compete for the property.

However, what I do know is that properties whether houses, flats or land will not just glide their way through the conveyance process without the hard work and leadership of an Estate Agent.  There are always too many challenges whether from the seller, the buyer, the chain, the Solicitors or Lenders to have such a laid back attitude.  An Estate Agent’s role will vary from sale to sale but over the last few months the biggest challenges have been getting the properties to exchange of contracts.

Challenges & solutions

We experience a range of problems which all require different solutions.  In addition we have a very wide range of sellers and buyers all of which need handling in different ways.

The biggest challenge is normally managing the chain, here communication and trust is needed to ensure that everybody’s intentions and timing are the same.  This takes time and skill to keeping everyone together is sometimes equivalent to herding cats.

Finance is the next biggest challenge. Arranging, verifying, renegotiating and reappraising of finance has all been undertaken with sales over the last few months.  Highlighting market conditions, discussing comparable properties and working with Valuers and Surveyors are all skills needed in this area.

Missing paperwork such as consents and warranties all take up time.  Such paperwork is necessary in order that conveyancers can fully comply with their obligation to the lenders and the buyers.   Here we need communications to inform people that the paperwork is being addressed and will be either found or replaced as soon as possible.

There are countless other challenges that an Estate Agent faces on all sales and for all the skills in handling people it is perhaps experience which is unique to the estate agent.  So the answer to the overpaid and unnecessary suggestion is that it is only when the going gets difficult (as it invariably will) will you see the expertise for which you are paying.