Being part of a new company, I am forced to work hard for my property listings; completely understandable as we work and live in a reputation-based society and it’s our job to ensure that clients see how we differ from other companies. This means that a large percentage of the properties I market have already been advertised with another estate agent for many weeks/months before I can begin the relaunch process. When building a marketing plan, one of the first questions I ask is regarding the previous feedback provided by the current estate agent. I do this for two reasons – the first, to understand if there’s something property related that can be resolved by the vendor (minor decorative work or a de-clutter to effectively show the available space), to positively impact future photos/viewings.
The second reason is simply for my own entertainment. Having been in this industry for many years now, it appears that too many estate agents are happy using the same, lazy excuses every year as justification for the lack of interest rather than creating a bespoke feedback report, highlighting the areas of concern and offering suggestions on how to improve the marketing moving forward.
I’ve selected my favourites – how many of these are your current agent guilty of using in the time that your property has been for sale?
Here is the Calendar of Generic Estate Agents’ Excuses.
I know I assured you that January would be busy after a quiet Christmas time, but buyers are still recovering from the festive period. Let’s see how February goes once that has worn off.
There are too many properties available for sale, as EVERYBODY decided to sell in January. Hopefully the saturated marketplace will realign in March and we’ll be able to get your house sold. Maybe reduce the price if you want to sell quickly?
Still too many properties up for sale. We’ll continue to use the photos with your Christmas decorations in, but we should look at bringing that price down to maximise interest.
Easter. (I’m not entirely sure how anyone believes this has a negative effect on the property market, but I’ve had vendors tell me that’s their Estate Agent’s reasoning!)
Two bank holidays in quick succession? It’s like Christmas all over again – reduce your price and wait until June for the market to pick up again, with the same wet, winter photos that we’ve been using for months.
It’s getting warm. Why would anyone come and view when they could be getting a head start on their summer tan? Let’s see how this month goes.
Last year, it was the World Cup. Nobody buys houses when football is on. I’ve also heard the tennis at Wimbledon being used as an excuse. People don’t buy houses when major sporting events are on! August should be different as people look to secure their moves in time for winter.
Nobody is buying houses because they’re abroad. The entire population is away on holiday in August, so we’ll have to reduce your price and wait until September for viewings.
It’s back to school time for kids; viewing houses is on hold as parents’ lives are dictated by school runs.
The clocks went back. It’s too dark to view properties in the evening.
*Not regular feedback, but I recently had a client tell me that their current agent blamed the lack of viewings on Halloween.*
It’s Christmas next month, it’s the only thing on anyone’s mind. We’re on RightMove and we’re still not getting any enquiries, so there’s nothing we can do. Reduce your price?
NOBODY views houses in December, Christmas is the only thing that happens. Let’s relax for a few weeks and consider reducing your price in time for the January peak.
It’s very important to not forget the word Brexit at some point in every month too, and this should be expected even more prominently in the coming year. The word ‘Brexit’ will usually be followed with the suggestion of yet another price reduction.
This blog is a little bit of fun, but unfortunately, it is inspired by the laziness of established estate agents who are unwilling to work with their clients’ best interests at heart. How long your house has been on the market will determine how many of these you will have heard. Some clients tell me that their employed estate agent hasn’t contacted them with any feedback at all throughout the entire marketing period – probably better than being pacified by the same twelve excuses used tirelessly on an annual basis, but nowhere near the constructive marketing plan that was promised to you when you first invited them to your home.
Each property introduced to the marketplace should be marketed slightly differently – it is the responsibility of your chosen estate agent to find you a buyer willing to pay the amount of money you are asking for your home. You are not paying them to feed you excuses; you’re paying them to advise you of what’s steps are necessary to achieve your sale price and get you moving. Taking a handful of photographs and advertising on RightMove may tie up a sale within the first two weeks, but what if this isn’t the case? Does your agent have a plan, or are they just following the calendar above?