For all sports aficionados, 2014 was the 40th anniversary of the ‘Rumble in the Jungle’ when George Forman and Muhammad Ali gave the world what has been described as, “arguably the greatest sporting event of the 20th century”. Not only did it produce a gladiatorial contest of skill and fortitude, but in the course of 8 rounds (referee Zack Clayton stopping the fight two seconds from the bell in the 8th), it also gave the world some classic one-liners, including Ali pulling an exhausted Foreman off the ropes to inform him that, “This is the wrong place to get tired George”.
Some may be wondering how, (aside from slightly nerdish hero-worshipping), this has any relevance to the noble art of being an estate agent? (Yes, I do know the meaning of irony). To answer the incredulity; I was this week called out by two previous clients who wanted me to take on their property to market. Both parties had looked at properties via other agents and quite rightly, the said agents had tried to obtain the instruction to sell the properties of the potential purchasers. When asked why the parent agency of the individual showing them round the property should be used (instead of Cheshire & Co), they were told amongst other reasons, that their agency was open on Saturday afternoons, would produce a sparkly brochure to out-sparkle all other brochures, and more pertinently, “Whatever Chesh says that he will charge, we will beat it”. Without wishing to align myself with a sporting god (although I must say that I look mighty fine in a pair of budgie smugglers and if I hadn’t had a nasty cough, I would have won Wimbledon/scored the wining try in the Six Nations/England wouldn’t have gone out on penalties again), it does fall upon me to ask, “That all you’ve got insert name as appropriate?”
Testosterone-fuelled chest-beating aside (and indeed the waving of other parts of the anatomy), there are-when choosing an estate agent-certain requirements that should be satisfied before any potential vendor enters into any kind of agreement for their property to be marketed.
- The ability to meet your actual requirements (not impose their own).
- A clear interest in meeting your needs-the client.
- Positive word of mouth and testimonials from previous clients.
- Knowledge of the area in which the property that you are hoping to sell is located.
- Knowledge of the price bracket that your property is likely to sell in.
- Commitment to frank, realistic dialogue about the market and your situation.
In meeting the above criteria, an agent may not be the cheapest in the area, but there is more than a modicum of truth in the maxim that you get what you pay for.