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Estate Agency Branding – Is it reliable?

Regular blogger Chris at Agency Negotiation talks about brand awareness in the world of moving house

Consider this, if you will.
In a recent survey, 73% of homeowners only call one estate agency when deciding to put their property on the market and only a further 14% chose to invite two agencies. That’s 87% of vendors that aren’t maximizing their chance for a successful sale.  The reasons for this are unclear, but my guess is that brand awareness is the No: 1 factor in deciding the estate agency to invite and , IT SHOULD NEVER BE!

The large corporate estate agencies have a huge marketing budget to attract potential vendors through brand awareness.  What that doesn’t ensure, though, is whether the competency of the staff matches up to the hype. Of course the staff at the large corporate agencies will all be qualified and like every other estate agency, will be able to sell your home, but what you need to look for is an estate agency that can sell your home for the highest price, in the shortest possible time and provide the best possible service. You will not find that if you rely on brand awareness to choose the agency. What you will find are the estate agencies that promise more than they can deliver.  So when deciding on how many agencies to invite, the considered rule is to invite three.

It’s unlikely that all three will come up with the same valuation, but it does provide added reassurance, if the valuations are all in the same ‘ball-park’, that the price is fair.  The important step is to ask the highest valuation agency to justify how they expect to achieve that price.  Unless their response differs substantially from the other two, it is possible, even likely, that they are over-valuing simply to get your instruction.  There are, however, agencies that fully understand the principles of marketing to achieve a premium price for your home.  It’s worth paying them more to achieve a higher price and ,in future posts, we will look at how to structure the commission to ensure the appointed agency is fully motivated to get you the best offers.

For now, the first question you should be asking any estate agency is this:

“What is your average % of asking price achieved and can you provide evidence?”

The answers you are looking for are 100% and Yes.

If the agency has a key performance indicator of 98% on asking price, it signifies that they are at least reasonable at negotiating and competent at valuing the property. When property is scarce, as it is now, then offers should be at or above the asking price and the % achieved by the agency should rise accordingly. Conversely, if their is a glut of property on the market and buyers can be picky, their offers will probably be lower and this is reflected in the agency % asking price achieved. This is also the time when you need a really good negotiator on your side and not one who is keen to obtain a sale at any price.

Next time, we will be exploring the other questions to ask of any estate agency and why these are important in choosing the best.

If you are thinking of moving in the next 12 months and want to achieve a premium price for your home, do get in touch. We would love to help. Our web site is or follow us on twitter @chris_agency

Thanks for your interest.




Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at

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