Know Your Onions

9th July 2019 by

I deal with lots of other agents here at Baker Payne, and not just from an acquisition and property finding perspective, or joint agency basis, but throughout the course of my daily tasks. So I come across plenty of different styles, skills, and variety, from the 'brilliant', to the 'sit back and hope it happens' to the down right awful method.

Your agent shouldn't be just someone who puts an offer forward and hopes that it is acceptable, raises a memo of sale, and then keeps their fingers crossed everything will be alright.

Some deals happen quicker than others, some deals are more complicated, but one thing always remains the same, your choice of agent is key when it comes to sales progression, knowledge base, and the ability to keep the deal on the rails. Finding an interested party is often the easy bit.

The fact remains that 1 in 3 sales still fall through, and for many reasons, sometimes beyond the vendor and or buyer's control, sometimes because the agent hasn't done their pre memorandum due diligence sufficiently, but I am convinced that the agent you choose can play a huge part in any sales progression, and is sometimes the saviour in difficult hours, and I don't mean just picking up the phone on a mechanically tasked basis, and writing the odd file note, or juggling their nominated batch of case files for that month.

I am referring to actually placing yourself in the centre, being part agent, part conveyancer, part conciliator, making the effort to understand what those legal bits mean and why, "why is it an issue"? "why does it stop the deal moving forward"? and "what can be done to remove that obstacle"? so that the deal can move on.

Is the agent who comes to the valuation, the one who you will be dealing with, the one you build up the trust and relationship with, or does it all get passed over? An agent should have a very good understanding of the process from start to finish, and although I am not suggesting we all get law degrees or become licensed conveyancers, surely the agent's passion and drive for the job is what makes them want to understand everything, why? what for? how does that affect the deal? what can I do to solve it? how do I stop this fall through from happening? are the sort of questions they could and should be asking. After all, solicitors all move really slowly don't they! Actually, no, not when you immerse and involve yourself properly, taking the time to understand things, make the effort to be the best 'go between' you can, isn't that what your client is paying you to do, not just find a buyer!

What seems to have happened over the last couple of decades, is that processes have gone upstairs, or moved too centrally. I am all for 'hub' agency, it makes sense and it is definitely the future, but only from a geographical and coverage perspective, satellite operating. The people in that hub should still be experts in their field, property gurus, able to undertake each other's daily tasks without fear or doubt, willing to jump in when needed, highly trained specialists, property experts who understand the intimate details of how a sale works, or the mechanics of getting something from draft papers to exchange of contract, and they definitely shouldn't be side tracked by filling their time undertaking the roles of the majorly important yet more recently redundancy targeted administrator roles.

Good agencies employ singular style, quality, all encompassing people as their agents. And if they can't, their senior staff impart the know-how and knowledge on to new blood and fresh starters.

Maybe because of this, companies like Christie & Co, Savills, and the market leaders in their field who have been doing it for decades on the hub based model, will continue to successfully do so, and why the successful new breed agents such as Hilton Smythe will lead the modern era, and perhaps also why LSL, and Countrywide have more recently dramatically floundered.

On a LinkedIn forum, I recently heard my opinions referred to as mid 90's agency, as if it were a bad thing. The issue vendors and buyers have in modern times, is finding an agency that is a quality mix of all things internet, embraces technology, but hasn't lost the use of a pen, the old school techniques, or the knowledge and personal input at a regional and local level.

Baker Payne is proud to be 'just so' … (see some conformed recent feedback from our clients)

"we would rather use you guys to be honest, can you put a bid in on another one for me" | Buyers Horse & Jockey, Wrexham, & Queens Arms, Rossendale (Multi Agency Sales)

"upon speaking to Richard Payne I immediately felt there was a good repro, he done his upmost to complete the purchase with his continued feedback throughout. Therefore, I am completely satisfied of the work Richard has par taken in and I would not hesitate to use his services again" | Buyers Park View Tavern, South Wales (Multi Agency Sale)

" I've been impressed with your advice and assistance" | Seller, Children's Soft Play Business, Somerset


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