Unless buying yachts and helicopters is something you do in your spare time, purchasing a home will likely be the most expensive transaction you’ll ever make. It’s not a decision to take lightly, and the right help and support can prove vital for making smart decisions. This is where a good estate agent comes in, as they’ll be able to provide insights and offer advice about how to approach buying a home, especially when making an offer. Here, we’ve got the traits you should look for in an estate agent.
But wait, doesn’t the estate agent work for the vendor?
Good guess. Estate agents are indeed instructed by the seller and work on their behalf. The agent aims to get the best price for their client, but they are realistic and understand it’s a two-way dance between the buyer and vendor.
The agent has their clients’ best interests at heart, advising them about realistic offers and staying in constant communication with genuine buyers. An estate agent might not be able to give you every single detail about a seller, but they will provide enough information so you can start to understand what’s required to buy the vendor’s home.
What makes a good estate agent for buyers?
The best estate agents are transparent. They let you know about the seller's profile: eg, if they are eager for a quick sale, if they’re happy to wait and get the asking price or if there’s room for negotiation.
Estate agents can still provide you with advice, especially regarding aspects like mortgages and solicitors. Good agents have connections to professional teams that can help you with the property purchase, whether a mortgage lender or conveyancer. Even better, these teams are usually local, meaning they understand the dynamics of the local property market.
Good estate agents don't wait around, hoping a deal will sort itself out. As soon as the vendor accepts an offer, they constantly communicate with all parties – from the vendor to the buyer and legal teams. If something is taking longer than expected to sort out, the agent will be on the phone with the aim of speeding up the process.
You don’t want weeks to pass without hearing from the agent, wondering if anything has happened to the potential deal. Whether it’s confirming the viewing or following up with any of your queries, a good estate agent is always communicative and available.
Technology is helping drive the house-buying process, and the best estate agents embrace different forms of tech. From being able to make an offer on the property on the listing page to agents communicating through different means – email, phone, WhatsApp, text and specialised platforms – technology can speed up the buying process. The agents that use tech know this, and they welcome forward-thinking solutions with open arms.
Rolling the dice
Finding a good estate agent can be tricky for the buyer. You don't have any say in the acting agent because the seller instructs them. You view the property and have to work with the agent marketing it.
There’s an element of rolling the dice when you’re a buyer, hoping you’ll get an estate agent who’s proactive and transparent. But even if you can’t control who is in charge of the listing, you can still identify the traits in an agent that shows they’re good at their job.
What about a buying agent?
Of course, there's always the option of using a buying agent. They work for you specifically, intending to secure the best deal. In some scenarios, a buyer will even find the home for you, tapping into their contacts to see if any off-market properties are available. You can find out more about using a buying agent here.
Final thoughts: the best around
Estate agents have such a pivotal role to play in the buying process, and you want to work with one who is at the top of their game. While you don’t have control over the agent in charge of the listing, you can quickly recognise if they’re a good agent and prepare accordingly to ensure buying your new home goes off without a hitch.