This caught our eye, a technology company called Global Noticeboard have conducted a survey of 2,000 property applicants. They asked them, “Which of the following, if any, do you consider to be the most frustrating when dealing with estate agents whilst either buying or renting a property?”
In descending order the answers were:
29% - Inaccurate representations of the property you are interested in.
20% - Finding a convenient time to view properties.
17% - The amount of time it takes to go to property viewings.
15% - Having to register with several different estate agents.
In addition to the above, 16% said “None of These” and 30% answered “Don’t Know” which we’d like to give a positive spin to and interpret as “Nothing”!
So in looking at the four main frustrations, we wanted to offer the estate agents perspective and make sure that we’re not guilty of any of them.
The challenge is always that we’re employed by our vendors to show their property in the most favourable way possible. The vendors like the glossy brochures and the buyers expect to have available lots of information on the property to look at online.
Accurate representation of a property is a legal requirement, but estate agents are not guilty by omission. That means if we mention the electricity pylon overhead then we need to describe it accurately; but if we don’t then that’s fine. If we take a photograph from an angle that doesn’t include the light industrial unit next door, that is acceptable, but if we doctor the photograph, then it’s not. Equally, there is no benefit to our vendor, to the estate agent or to a prospective buyer the brochure creates an expectation which isn’t met when they turn up for a viewing.
It’s our suspicion that property particulars are less likely to be wholly inaccurate but instead are actually only trying to show the property in its best light. That’s the same for any commodity. There are reasons why show homes always have the upgraded kitchen and bathroom and why car showrooms always have the top spec car with every conceivable extra.
Frustrations two and three can be lumped together under the heading of ‘viewings’. It shouldn’t be difficult to find a time to view. We have keys for most of our properties so you can view any time of day...oh....you’re at work too...so it’s looking like an evening or weekend...and you’re looking at a couple of different villages...and dealing with six different agents...and you want them all on the same day…
We know. We understand. We have been there too. Which is why only this weekend gone we were carrying out Saturday night and Sunday afternoon viewings. We genuinely try and accommodate any viewing request so long as these also meet with our clients own arrangements We can’t say fairer than that!
The ‘having to register with several different estate agents’, constantly repeating where you live and what you want is a bit of a chore. We think this is one for the main property portals (Rightmove, OnTheMarket etc) to address. You should be able to complete your details once, select the agents and properties you want and hit the button and it’s all done. Sadly you can’t - or at least not yet.
The challenge is that rarely if you are buying and selling or looking to rent a property do you ever deal with just one estate agent.
At an individual level, we think Waymark mitigates against all these frustrations. Nobody has ever said our property particulars are inaccurate, nobody has been turned away for a viewing and once registered, we’ll look after your information, knowing what you want, so you’ll never need to tell us twice.