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Every prospective buyer or renting tenant will have their own set of criteria that they deem to be essential towards finding their new home. The estate agent will talk to these people and compile a list of homes that suit their needs whilst taking into account their budgets to either buy or rent.
The estate agent will then contact the owners of the house who want to sell or rent it out to inform them that they have some interest. The estate agent must ensure that the owners or landlords have the property in its best possible condition to enable a sale or let. It really is true and particularly with homes: first impressions count!
The estate agent will conduct viewings of a number of houses he feels may be suitable for his prospective clients looking for a new home. During all meetings with clients the estate agent must be friendly, confident and know all he can about the house and the local area. Try and think about it as if it was to be your home. What would you want to know? Where are the nearest local schools, supermarkets and shops and public transport links? These are all valid questions and all questions for which the estate agent needs to have an answer.
Once the first round of viewings is complete the estate agent and prospective buyer or tenant will compile a shortlist of their favourite houses and study the ‘asking prices’. These are set by both the estate agent and the owner or landlord who is selling/renting and are calculated at being at a ‘fair market value’. This is compiled by using comparable evidence and a general reading of the current housing market conditions.
The estate agent will inform the landlords whose houses are shortlisted that they have interest and say what price the prospective buyers/renters are willing to pay.
Once the second (and subsequent) viewings have been undertaken the estate agent comes into his own with negotiation skills. Of course any buyer/renter will want to pay less and on the other side the seller/landlord will want to ask for more. It is the estate agents job to try and match the offer of the buyer and the offer of the seller so that both parties are content with what they are paying and what they are getting respectively.
Be warned: it is not up to the client to push either party too hard; it is up to the estate agent.
Should an agent manage to marry up what both parties want, they must then get the deal towards a successful conclusion in the fastest and fairest possible time.
It is worth noting that estate agents may also be asked to manage properties. This is mostly the case for landlords who have vacant premises that they want kept in good order. Some estate agents also specialise in auctions whereby houses are bid for in an open floor.
Estate agents are usually paid on a commission basis depending on how many sales or rentals they make per month or per annum and at what price. For a letting, estate agents usually receive 7 to 8% of the first years rent paid by the tenant. For a sale estate agents are usually paid 1% of the sale price.
It is easy to see estate agents as only being associated with cities. However, think of every house in the country. All have a value and there is every chance that each one will change hands within the next generation. Estate agents are by no means stuck to their desks. They can be involved with country houses, castles, cottages, flats and tenements.
Estate agents can choose to specialise in areas which interest them the most.