If you haven’t sold a house before, or if you haven’t moved for a long time, where on earth do you start?  The thought of it can be daunting.  The decisions you make could save or cost you thousands of pounds. How can you be certain of the advice you’re given?  How do you know how to choose the right person to act on your behalf?  How do you trust an estate agent when the industry is synonymous with distrust?

Trust is the most important factor in any relationship, personal or professional, and it’s vital to trust the person you’re about to commission to take charge of what is likely to be your greatest financial asset.

Good estate agents play a crucial role in the process of selling a home.  But there is too large a gap between the services a good agent plays, and the very average service others provide.

So how do you choose your agent?  In order to answer this, it’s important to look at how the property market has changed over recent years.

In the past, if you were looking to buy a house, you’d visit the towns and villages closest to where you wanted to live and register your interest with the local high street agents.  You were totally reliant on them to alert you to any homes they deemed would interest you.  Not so anymore!  Rather than being led by the estate agent, the market is now led by the properties themselves.

The advances in digital technology have taken over!  Over 99% of buyers now search for their new home by area, by price and style from the comfort of their own homes, or indeed on the move, via their computer and phones!

One of the decisions to be made therefore, is whether you choose a modern online business or a traditional high street one.  So, how does an agent sell a house?  We all value homes, we provide photographs, floorplans and Energy Performance Certificates where necessary, and we advertise houses on the internet.  You could therefore argue that the basic functions of estate agency are similar to all.  However, and importantly, many online agents will not negotiate on your behalf nor ensure that your potential buyer can afford to buy your home.  Many will have taken their fee upfront and you would question how motivated they then are to see the best possible price achieved for your home, and further, to work hard on your behalf to ensure that your sale proceeds to completion.

The old adage that people buy people should never be truer than in estate agency.  If you accept that the basic functions of the job are similar, I think that a “gut feeling” has an important part to play in who you choose to represent you.  This is the same feeling you get when you walk through the front door of your next home: often you just know it’s the right one.  So, put aside all the comparisons and fact-finding you may have done and be confident that choosing an agent, like choosing your house comes from an intuitive place.  You know it just feels right.

That decision will be based upon the conversations you have with the right agent.  Consider how confident you feel in the person who will be acting on your behalf.  Ask to meet the person or people who will be responsible for the successful outcome of your sale. Ensure you are comfortable with all the members of the team if there is one.  In larger agencies it often happens that the person who negotiates on your behalf just happens to be the person who accompanied your potential buyer on their viewing – and it may be the most junior member of the team!

Negotiating is rarely taught to estate agents and many believe it is enough to pass offers back and forth, often by email.  Negotiating is far more than this. It is about understanding people.  It is recognising the buying signals of people and fully understanding their budget and buying potential long before offers are put forward.  It is about clear and confident communication and it is being clear that the estate agent works for the client and remembering that it is the agent’s responsibility to do the best they possibly can for their client.

So, selling houses is more about the people you choose than anything else.

Penfolds was launched in the Summer of 2018 by Becky and Helen, a mother and daughter team with many years of corporate agency experience and with the clear aim of providing an estate agency service that we could be proud of.

We build lasting relationships with our clients who trust our advice.  With knowledge and experience we’re able to foresee potential problems and deal with them before they impact a sale.

But most of all our family business is run with openness and honesty as core values and we will show you, from the very start, that you are in safe hands with us.