Tenancy break clauses

Q: What is the best approach to deal with estate agents?  I’m finding them uncommunicative and I’ve missed out on viewings because they haven’t got back to me in time.

A: The importance of building a relationship with estate agents shouldn’t be underestimated as they usually sit in between you and your future property purchase.

A lot of home search is electronic these days, so you can be kept fairly up to date on new properties coming to the market and price reductions if you are signed up to the estate agent’s websites and property alerts. However, building a relationship with individual negotiators within each estate agency office will give you a significant advantage.

As a buying agent, this is one of the advantages that our clients are accessing when they retain our services. Because we know the estate agents personally and we have a track record with them, we will usually be prioritised ahead of other buyers. Once you know which areas you’re looking in and who the key estate agents are for the type of property you’d like to buy, you can start to build a relationship with them.

It’s very obvious, but people do business with people they like, so if an estate agent likes you and you can give them a clear brief of what you’re looking for, they are more likely to work harder for you. Or if you’re unsure about exactly what you want, the more responsive you can be with feedback from properties they send you and viewings you do with them, the better.

What a lot of buyers don’t realise is that many estate agents will have visibility of their new property pipeline weeks or months before a property comes to the market. So, if you’re able to build a very good relationship with them, they will be much more proactive with you. We regularly have calls from estate agents as they’re leaving a valuation they’ve just carried out to give us a head’s up on a property which could be perfect for a client of ours.

So, if you’re finding that estate agents aren’t being communicative then perhaps evaluate how you come across to them and whether the property you’re searching for is realistic. If you’re pleasant and efficient to deal with, and what you’re looking for is achievable for your budget, then they should be responsive to you.

If you have a question you’d like Jo to answer please email jo.eccles@eccord.com or tweet her @joeccles.