The day the Agents came

It’s been a long time in the coming, but we finally had our 3 estate agents visit last week.

We had been speculating about what the valuation might be, going insane thinking about the disappointment at what we thought we might get and what it will buy in Hampshire and generally worrying over something we hadn’t even been told was a problem anymore.

So first up was a local agent. One who sold our last house and even sold us the one we are in right now.  He’s a good egg, but he’s still an estate agent.  He made all the right noises when he came in the house (hubby was home, so this is what I was told).  He commented on what a good job we’d done on the house.  The new flooring, the layout, the new kitchen, the decoration.

He then dropped the bombshell – since we bought the house 4 years ago, it had gained 100k.  Even in the outer suburbs of London, in a less sought after area, the market has gone a bit bonkers and we could (possibly) be in a situation where the sale could go to sealed bids.  More on that later.  He told us he’d do us a deal on the commission. 1% for under one figure and 1.2% if the price was higher.

The second estate agent was on my watch. They originally didn’t get back in contact with us after we filled in their online form, but I decided to ring and they were very professional and apologetic and told us they had not got it, but would look into why.  The guy who came was chatty, he gesticulated alot, he was a little annoying, but he asked a lot of questions about living in the house and what we had done to it. He made out that he was interested in our home.  He gave us a 1% commission too (no deal required) and suggested an open day.

The third estate agent started really well. Very professional. Was the manager and talked really well to me.  However, he treated the house like an asset not a home.  I started repeating what I’d told the 2nd guy (who had asked) but clearly he wasn’t interested in why we had redesigned the kitchen units.  I pointed out the chickens as we headed out to the garage (people usually find it amusing) but he barely acknowledged them.  Too busy calculating the square footage of the garden no doubt.  He offered us 1.5% commission, open to negotiation, and suggested an open day.

Both of the last 2 spent most of the last 30 minutes of their visit “dazzling” me with all their brochures and the “sales” they’ve made.

I eventually managed to get the last guy out the door with the truth that I had to pick up my 3 year old from nursery.  We were supposed to leave immediately but Pickle was watching Andy’s adventures with dinosaurs and there was 15 minutes left, so we stood and finished watching then left.  That’s when I saw the agent drive past.  He may have been making a telephone call OR he didn’t believe me and thought I was waiting for another agent

All of them are suggesting an open house.  All of them talked about sealed bids.  All of them banged on about how high we could get a sale for.  Yet, I’ve looked online and yes, there are some properties that went for high amounts and I’ve no doubt it was sealed bids.  However, there is a 4 bed near us that has been on for 3 months and a few 3 beds still sitting about.  Some of them don’t look great, but some do, so who do I believe?

At any rate. The decision is with the first two.  We think we are going with the 2nd agent as they have offices in a couple of nearby locations and we think their reach is a little bigger, but in the world of the internet, I’m not sure how much of an advantage that is.

Decisions decisions.

Cottage and flowers


4 thoughts on “The day the Agents came

  1. It all sounds very exciting nevertheless. I like your pragmatism – ‘He’s a good egg, but he’s still an estate agent.’ That should stand you in good stead! The best advice I ever read (Kirsty Allsopp) is to use an Agent you like because you will have a lot of dealings with them 🙂 Good luck.

  2. To an estate agent it is business, pure and simple – nothing personal in it at all and as you are selling and moving on, may help you to get into this mind frame yourself. Some people will love your home, some won’t. Check out that whoever you go with has an internet presence (ie. Rightmove). Houses are selling themselves at the moment, so personally if I was you, I’d go with the one you know and trust.

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