Why Don't You Have a Buyer Yet?

Is your agent performing? A successful sale usually means the best possible price in the shortest possible time. There are lots of agents out there that can sell your property, but to ensure the sale is successful you need your agent to be better than average; you need an agent that will pay attention to every detail and make sure that your property is the one to stand out from the crowd and achieve the best price.

If your property has been on the market for a long time without a successful sale that might just be bad lack, but it might be because your agent is just average and isn’t doing everything possible to secure a sale.

Here are some tell-tale signs that you are dealing with an average estate agent:

1) The agent has taken the photographs themselves – We understand why agents do this; it’s cheaper. It certainly isn’t because it helps to sell the property. Perhaps your agent is a decent photographer, but it’s unlikely they’ll be up to professional standards.

Outlook understand that quality photography is essential in today’s market. Nine out of ten buyers will see a property online before they decide to view it, so you have to ensure your property stands out from the rest. That’s why Outlook offers professional photography with every sales listing completely free of charge!

2) No floor-plan – Why not? It’s well known in the industry that property listings with floor-plans attract more enquiries than those without, and many buyers will refuse to view a property until they’ve seen a floor-plan. It’s also useful for buyers to have a floor-plan after they have viewed a property so that they can remember the shape and layout of the rooms. If they can’t, they probably won’t make an offer. If your agent has neglected to produce a floor-plan ask them why? They are probably just being lazy.

Outlook will always take measurements of your internal floor-space. Not only does this mean we can produce a floor-plan, but it also helps us to ensure our valuation is as accurate as possible.

3) Boring, uninformative property description - Okay, you don’t expect your estate agent to write like William Shakespeare, but they should be able to write enthusiastically about your property and its location. If the agent has only written two lines about your property and hasn’t even bothered to spell-check them, then they probably aren’t feeling very enthusiastic about the prospect of selling it, and if they aren’t enthusiastic about your property why should buyers be?

If your agent has poor local knowledge then they will find it difficult to highlight all the benefits of your location. This is particularly true of online agents whose descriptions often read like they’ve been copied and pasted from Wikipedia.

Outlook is a small local chain. We know our area, many of our staff have long-standing family links to the area they work in, and we’re enthusiastic about selling the area and your property. Our descriptions are carefully considered to highlight the benefits your property and location offers to buyers, and they are all spell-checked!

4) Lack of feedback - There is no excuse for this! Your agent should be able to give you feedback after every viewing, and certainly by the next working day at the latest. If your agent is telling you they are unable to contact the buyer to get their feedback, ask them why they didn’t get it on the viewing! A good agent will attend the viewing and obtain feedback during and afterwards, whenever possible. If your agent doesn’t know what buyers think of the property then they are going to find it very hard to sell it.

Outlook will always seek to attend a viewing unless otherwise instructed by the vendor. This gives us the opportunity to answer questions, overcome objections and obtain honest feedback that will help you to sell your property.

5) Recommending a buyer who fails to proceed due to insufficient finances – This is more common than you might suppose. Obtaining a mortgage these days can be complicated - more complicated than many buyers understand until they attempt to get one! An average agent will ask a buyer a few standard questions about their finances and take the answers they receive on face value. A good agent will go further than that.

Outlook work closely with independent Financial Advisors. Anyone who wants to buy a house through Outlook will need to speak with one of our associate advisors so we can make a proper assessment of their financial situation and make an informed judgement about their ability to complete a purchase. If a buyer is paying with cash we’ll make sure we have evidence that funds are in place and immediately available.

6) Does your agent have a branch network, and are they utilising it effectively? Perhaps your agent only has one branch – that’s fine, small agents often have excellent local knowledge, but if your property remains unsold perhaps you need an agent who can give the property more exposure. Maybe your agent has a branch network but isn’t using it effectively – some of the high street’s most recognised estate agencies are actually franchised, and offices that are fairly close geographically may have very little to do with each other. If your agent has told you that your property is being marketed by more than one branch why not call the next closest office and find out what they know about your property?

Outlook is an independent chain – we’re all part of the same family, we all know each other, and we all work together. Because our branches are all closely linked geographically, we can give your property better coverage than any other agent in our area.

7) Inflated valuation, then pressure to reduce the price - This is the most common problem of all. An agent who has very little to offer in terms of service will often fall back on giving an inflated valuation. They know that if they give a higher valuation than any other agent they have a chance of winning the instruction. These agents often give their valuation within minutes of walking through the door and don’t take their time to properly consider all the various factors. The agents will often ask for a long contract so they have plenty of time to convince you to drop your price to a more realistic level.

At Outlook we understand the importance of a carefully considered valuation. Valuation isn’t an exact science, but a good agent takes their time to look at a valuation from different angles and provide evidence to support the valuation. We always put our valuations in writing in a detailed Market Appraisal Report like this one.

8) Allowing online advert to go stale - Every agent knows the importance of keeping online adverts fresh, but not all of them can be bothered to do it! If your property has been languishing on the market for weeks without the advert being updated, that shows your agent is not thinking hard enough about how to sell your property. Perhaps they’ve forgotten about it and moved on to something else that’s easier to sell.

Outlook won’t just sit back and hope that the right buyer walks through the door. We regularly refresh our adverts by re-arranging photos (or taking fresh ones if appropriate), re-writing descriptions and keeping information up-to-date and relevant.

9) Does your agent use print advertising? Yes, we know, everyone uses the internet these days! But print advertising still has a place in a comprehensive marketing strategy. Every agent is on rightmove, so every property is on rightmove. Print advertising is more expensive, so many agents neglect it, but it can really help to make your property stand out.

Outlook advertises properties that require enhanced exposure in the O1 lifestyle paper, which is delivered to 120,000 households, and businesses in North and East London.

10) Is your agent using Premium Listings? – Almost every property on the market is listed on rightmove, and it can be tough to make your property stand out. An average agent will just accept it and hope for the best, but that isn’t how you get the best possible price for a property!

Where a property requires enhanced exposure Outlook will use Premium listings on rightmove, which are proven methods of boosting enquiries. What’s more, we’ll pass this benefit on to the vendor for no additional cost!