Conveyancing How to Guides...

Working With Estate Agents as a Buyer

Reading time: 3 mins

Carrie Tennick, June 24, 2021

Sellers have to trust them. Buyers tend to dislike them. Estate agents are on occasion a controversial group of sales pros, but the house sale market generally wouldn’t work without them.

They could be the key to you securing the house you want at the price you want. But they work for the seller and their aim is to get the highest price possible for the home they’re marketing.

So what do you need to do to get in an estate agent’s good books as a home-buyer?

Register with agents

One of the first things to do when you’re looking to buy a new home is to register with your local estate agents. This will help put you at the forefront of their mind when they receive a new listing.

In non-pandemic times, a physical visit would have been the best way of doing this – it puts a face to the name and allows for more effective relationship-building. At the moment, though, a phone call might be the best way of registering with an agent – but be prepared to visit if the agent thinks it’s a good idea.

Have a mortgage in principle

This can be both a benefit and a disadvantage when trying to win estate agents round. A mortgage in principle shows that you are a serious buyer with the means to proceed.

But it can also be an issue for some agents with in-house mortgage advisers. Agents try to push buyers towards their own advisers, which can often mean they get commission. Remember that you’re not bound to use their mortgage adviser, despite what they might say.

Stay polite

Estate agents may try to lull you into a sense of security, which they then use to find out just what your budget is, how desperate you are to move and what your true feelings about a property are. But they do it cleverly by being friendly and conversational.

Even if you know what they’re doing, don’t give them what they’re looking for. You’ll want to keep certain things to yourself, but make sure you’re doing it politely. Match their friendliness and don’t make it seem like you’re hiding anything.

Keep in touch

It can help to keep in regular contact with an agent you’ve registered with. If they don’t hear from you, they might assume you’re no longer looking and send promising properties to other buyers.

And make sure you’re responding to any of their suggestions or queries promptly. It shows that you’re still interested in working with them – even if a suggestion isn’t right for you.

Come without a chain

If you’re a first-time buyer or you’ve already sold your house, you’ll be a much more attractive proposition than another buyer who’s caught up in a chain.

Of course, being chain-free won’t be the only reason you’d be the best option as a buyer, so don’t use that fact to make an unrealistically low offer. And doing this risks turning the agent against you, so is likely not the best move.

Have a solicitor

Having your conveyancing team in place can help you look like a serious buyer to the agent you’re dealing with. It shows that you’re ready to proceed and can work to the seller’s schedule, which can be a real benefit.

When you’re looking for the right legal advice when buying a home, talk to First4Lawyers to find out how we can help. Give us a call or try our simple conveyancing calculator.

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