Three ‘automatic’ signs you shouldn’t trust your estate agent – ‘you’ll end up settling’

Phil Spencer outlines questions to ask estate agents

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Selling and buying a property can be stressful, but choosing an estate agent to help will make it much easier, right? Sadly that’s not always the case. Anyone who has braved the housing markets will know that choosing an estate agent can be a bit of a gamble. They are all smiles when you first meet them but not all of them will generally be out to help you.

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The right estate agent can make selling simple and stress free.

On the other hand, the wrong estate agent can cause untold stress and misery.

It doesn’t matter whether you are a buyer or seller, you can still get a slippery estate agent who doesn’t have your best interests at heart. 

So how do you spot when you’re working with one of these rogue agents?

These are the three key signs to look out for if you’re wondering whether you should ditch your estate agent for a better one – and there are some decent ones out there.

One of the first worrying signs is when an estate agent asks what your bottom line or maximum price limit is.

This is a way for them to take you out of the best possible deal.

Property experts at the Home Owners Alliance warned: “Never let them know your bottom line (if you’re selling) or your maximum price (if you’re buying).

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“Otherwise, the chances are you’ll end up having to settle for it.”

If you catch your estate agent pushing you for this information, this is a sure sign that they are just looking to get their commission for as few hours work as possible. 

You want an estate agent who is going to work to get the best deal for you, especially as a seller.

If an estate agent doesn’t pick up the first time when calling, this could also be a signal not to trust them.

This might seem a bit picky, but Adham Sbeih, the CEO of Socotra Capital insists that you should start shopping for a new estate agent if they fail to pick up their phone immediately.

He said: “When it comes to real estate agents, the first impression is always telling.

“If an agent doesn’t pick up the phone the first time you call them, that’s an automatic thumbs down.”

He explained that buying a house is often a time-sensitive situation, where you need estate agents to respond quickly. 

If they don’t pick up on that first ring they’ve already shown themselves to be unreliable.

According to a buying agent, if an estate agent is relying on price per square foot to convince you to buy, this is not a good sign.

Henry Pryor, buying agent, explained: “If an agent starts quoting price per square feet you know he’s on the back foot.

“I know there is a wall of money trying to commoditise second-hand homes, but if I told you that the house you wanted to buy was worth more per square inch/foot/meter would you pay more? Of course, you wouldn’t!”

When it comes to buying or selling a house, size isn’t everything, you need to factor in location, specification, natural light and condition to work out the best price.

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