In this digital age, with so much information readily available, it's easy to decide you no longer want pesky face-to-face interaction. After all, why go to all the trouble of tracking down an estate agent and hiring their services when you could enlist the all-knowing Google to your cause? Well, you may be able to search for houses online, but there's a lot more to the buying and selling process than that. Here are just some of the services online and high street estate agents offer that make them invaluable allies in the property market.
You may be able to find a good deal on the internet, but estate agents can help you negotiate the best deal. Not everyone is comfortable putting their communication skills to the test; but if you have an estate agent operating on your behalf, you can rest assured that the negotiations are being conducted by a consummate professional. Furthermore, their knowledge of the property market can help put you in a stronger negotiating position than you might otherwise have been.
It takes a great deal of expertise to navigate the property market, so if you aren’t familiar with the territory, doesn’t it make sense to hire someone who has spent several years acquiring the necessary training and knowledge? You don't have time to do all the research needed to prepare yourself for all the technicalities, admin and red tape related to property sales. For example, do you consider yourself to be sufficiently knowledgeable about:
• Property valuation: How can you be sure what buyers will be willing to pay for your property, or whether a seller is offering you a property for a higher price than it's worth?
• Market conditions: Macro- and micro-market conditions affect the sales value of a home.
• Legislation affecting the property market: UK property laws impact on any deal you're looking to make with a buyer, seller or mortgage lender.
• Local property markets: There may be better deals on nicer houses in the area you're investigating, and do you have the time to find information on nearby schools, hospitals and transport links, etc.?
These are all areas in which an estate agent will have specialist knowledge. Through each step of the home selling or buying process, they will be able to advise you on the best course of action.
Dotting i’s and crossing t’s
Buying or selling property involves a lot of admin. Do you have the time and energy to sift through reams of paperwork, to market the property and showcase it to potential buyers, or to find properties to view? It's true that even with an estate agent you'll have to deal with some admin, but it’s mostly signing papers rather than sourcing and delivering them and making sure everything is presented in order and on schedule. An estate agent will significantly reduce your workload, freeing you to focus on other matters, like preparing for the move.
Pursuing your interests
The fact of the matter is you need someone to watch your back. All the parties you're dealing with, whether they’re banks, mortgage lenders, buyers or sellers, will have their own representatives operating on their behalf, and they will take no prisoners. So you need to have someone looking out for your interests, with the skills and knowledge to strengthen your position.
That's something that all types of estate agents offer. And if you're worried about whether they are actually looking out for your interests, know that the majority of complaints regarding estate agents are to do with admin errors, with very few being a result of dishonest behaviour.
Buying and selling property rank among the most important life events, with significant financial resources at stake. So don't disregard the benefits of having an estate agent operating on your behalf. It’s important to remember that even if you’re cutting costs and are using an online estate agent, that you can still benefit from expert advice and guidance regarding the pitfalls of the property market.
The internet is indeed a powerful tool, and one that is revolutionising the property market as estate agents take to the web. Online estate agencies like Tepilo make getting the help you need even easier.
Featured image "Couples in Real Estate Agent's Office" via pallspera.com