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Top 5 Common Complaints About Estate Agents

Underhand Valuation Tactics

Some agents will deliberately over value a property in the hope that this will result in winning them the instruction. Other agents, often agents who have a fixed fee, will sometimes under value a property. This could be a property that has been inherited by someone who is perhaps less familiar with the prices in the local area. By advertising the property below market value the agent hopes they will agree a quicker sale.

Hidden fees

By law agents are required to clearly outline to their customers in their agreements any circumstances that would result in the customer incurring a fee. However some agents will deliberately make their agency agreements confusing to customers, with difficult to understand terminology or fine print.

In some cases this results in unsuspecting customers being unaware of additional fees that they may incur such as withdrawal or cancellation fees etc.

Failure to Pre-Qualify Buyers

A good agent should always pre-qualify any prospective buyers when they first enquire about a property. It is common to request details from them about their position; are they a first time buyer or do they have a property to sell? If they do have a house to sell it is sensible that they inform you of this fact when arranging viewings for these buyers. It is also good practice to ask potential buyers if they will require a mortgage to purchase a property and if so, if they have been pre-approved for this.

Unfortunately, some agents in an effort to impress you with the number of potential buyers they are finding for your property, fail to pre-qualify them at all. This can result in you unknowingly wasting your time allowing people to view your property who in reality may be in no position to actually purchase it.

Poor quality Marketing Material

This is one of the most common complaints estate agents receive. Poor marketing can include anything from dark or blurry photographs, spelling/grammar mistakes in advert descriptions to properties being advertised at the wrong price or even in some cases advertising the wrong house for sale! In a technologically advanced age there is no excuse for poor advertising but sadly, it continues to be a common occurrence in the industry.

Lack of Communication

The number one most common complaint estate agents receive is lack of communication. Ideally, the best agents should aim to make contact with their customers on at least a bi-weekly/monthly basis. However it is common for customers to report that more than a month can go by without any contact from the agent. Some customers have reported that they have received no contact from their agents in several months meaning that these customers are receiving a very poor service indeed which often results in them looking for another agent to represent them.

If you are looking for agent who accurately values property, has transparent fees, pre-qualifies buyers, offers superior marketing and maintains regular contact with their customers than speak to Gateshead Property Online.

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