Metro - 28 November 2014
Going beyond the call of duty
By Jo Eccles
Big Yellow Self Storage recently did a study to find out the lengths that estate agents will go to in order to ensure a smooth viewing and secure a sale. In the 10 years I’ve specialised in the London property market, I’ve seen quite a lot of examples and have carried out many myself.
I know agents who have been called by the seller to apologise for leaving the property in an untidy state and asking them to pop over ahead of a viewing and tidy up. One agent was even asked to change the sheets and remake the bed. With each buyer usually spending no more than 20 to 30 minutes per viewing, these details do count. I myself have viewed properties where the toilet seat has been left up and the toilet hasn’t been flushed, much to the horror of everyone at the viewing! I’ve also had circumstances where the tenants were asleep and we had to creep in and out of each of the bedrooms – all of which smelt like they hadn’t had a window opened for weeks.
One viewing I did was with a client looking for a large family house. The sellers had 3 very boisterous children and didn’t want them to be present at the viewings. Our client could only view the property in the evenings so, at our suggestion, the estate agent took the whole family out for a meal while our viewing took place. It worked and our client bought the house.
In another case, we had a rental client who was moving out of a house and the inventory clerk was turning up later that day to do the check out. I popped into the house to check that everything was as it should be, only to find that our client’s cleaners had turned up late and the team that had been promised was only two people. So I rolled up my sleeves and spent the afternoon ironing the sheets and cleaning the windows alongside the cleaners, to make sure that everything was done before the inventory clerk arrived, saving our client having deductions taken from their deposit.
So, whether you are buying or selling a property, it pays dividends to use an agent who will go beyond the call of duty.