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Don't fall for the Seller's Trap!

Thu 04 May 2017

Do you want the best results from your estate agent? Are all estate agents equally good or equally bad?  Should you use an estate agent that charges you the lowest fee? Do estate agents charge too much?
Have you ever tried to `haggle` with an estate agent in an attempt to pay less for the sale of your home?  What was the outcome?
We live in a world where everyone is after a bargain, attempting to save as many pennies as we can to secure the cheapest possible price for goods and services.  Is this, however, the best course of action that will get you the best results?
Presumably, the result you want is to sell quickly, for the least amount of hassle and of course, for the most amount of money. Correct?

In my opinion, there are some things we should try and save money on, and some we shouldn’t… selling houses being one of them. With so much money tied up in the value of your house, falling into this particular trap is very likely to cost you thousands!

It’s a myth that good estate agents earn a small fortune for sitting around ‘waiting’ for a sale.  It couldn’t be further from the truth.  Selling property is a difficult industry to make a living in, and one which is constantly under extra pressure from bad press and horror stories.  Most good agents have gone into this business because they love property and enjoy meeting people, and a good agent works extremely hard for a living. The process of securing a proceedable buyer, negotiating the best possible price and seeing things through to completion is not simple. It takes experience, skill and a significant amount of effort….

So, you’re probably wondering what the ‘Seller’s Trap’ is?…

Let me explain all; the seller’s trap is when sellers attempt to knock down the price that their estate agent charges in an attempt to cut costs. Let’s say, for example, that your agent charges 1.5% for the marketing and sale of your property; what most people don’t realise is that this figure has been carefully thought through and covers the extensive marketing expenses and professional time that is laid out when selling a home properly.  This figure is representative of the amount for the work that the agent plans to put in to selling your house – which is not an easy job!

So, getting back to the point of this blog, it’s important that you understand why you really should not try to ‘haggle’ the price of your agent.

Selling houses is as much about the person (and company) selling them as the house itself.  Would you buy a brand-new BMW from a ‘dodgy’ backstreet car lot and pay the asking price?  I’m hoping your answer to that is NO!  If you find the cheapest agent, or you pay a good estate agent a discounted fee, there is only one outcome… a less attractive marketing package, less effort and less for your home. Think about this…. You are forcing your agent into a position where they will have to cut costs somewhere. You may end up with photographs that are unprofessional and ‘dark and dingy’, or your brochure may be printed on A4 laser paper rather than as a glossy and eye-catching professionally printed brochure.  Also, from a ‘motivation’ point of view, your agent’s staff are only human. They should of course deliver on their duty to you, but are they going to go that extra mile in their own time for you at a discount? Would you?

The bottom line is, if you cut corners, then you are forcing your agent to cut corners too. This will lead to less viewings, less offers and a lower eventual selling price.

Here are what I consider to be the 3 main marketing tools when selling houses:-

  1. ALWAYS use professional photography. The photos are the most important marketing tool without question, and no corners should be cut here. Does BMW use iPhones and sales staff to photograph their cars for their beautiful brochures? No. Insist your agent uses an independent professional photographer, every time.
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  2. NEVER negotiate the price your estate agent charges – in fact, this may sound crazy, but if you really want to sell for the highest possible price, you should be asking about what specialist bespoke marketing options your agent can offer. Increasing marketing reach with high quality creative methods may cost an extra couple of hundred pounds but will get you thousands more!
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  3. GLOSSY BROCHURES are a must – and they really do sell houses for more money.  No one wants to see an A4 stapled paper brochure on cheap paper these days, and you shouldn’t accept this level of service (unless you are under-paying your agent, of course!). Like a car, a house is a considered purchase and takes some time. Do you want someone having to return online, to remind them of your property’s finest attributes? Or do you want a professionally printed glossy brochure sitting on a buyer’s coffee table at home – reminding them how nice your property is?

If you follow these golden rules, you should ‘come up trumps’ when selling, and get the viewings and offers you deserve.


Is your property on the market right now?
Are you happy with the fees your estate agent is charging for the service you are receiving?

I’d love to hear from you with any feedback, thoughts or ideas you have. Please feel free to send me an email anytime to: ma@markantonyestates.com

In the meantime, all the best!

p.s.  Are you curious what your house could be worth? Find out in around 53 seconds. Click here.

p.p.s. Download my eBook on how to get the best selling price for your home by clicking here.