You’d be forgiven for assuming that as the ultra-luxurious end of the British property market is somewhat on the niche side of things, you’d be hard-pressed to find an estate agent that wasn’t above board. After all, it’s a very specialist area with far fewer clients and customers on a national scale, so surely only those with a real passion for what they do would get involved, right? In reality, things aren’t quite as black-and-white as they appear to be. As is the case in most trades and industries, there will always be those luxury property estate agents who do what they do on an exponentially higher level than others. And as these are multi-million pound transactions that are on the line, superior really is the only acceptable standard. That’s why it’s important to know what to be on the lookout for when it comes to spotting the kinds of agents you’d in fact be wise to avoid. According to the experts at www.exclusivehomes.london, dodgy dealers are thin on the ground to say the least, but semi-lacklustre agents exist in surprisingly large numbers. Here’s a quick look at a few warning signs to watch for:
1 – Overly Ambitious Prices
First of all, it’s standard practice to speak to a minimum of three agents when it comes to having your home valued in line with the value of comparable properties and recent sales. In doing so, you’ll find that most agents will be realistic with the proposed price of your own property, while a select few will be overly ambitious. Those who quote the highest prices should be avoided because a) a higher price means you’re less likely to sell the place and b) the longer it goes unsold, the more people will start to wonder if there’s something worryingly wrong with it.
2 – Part-Timers
In the world of luxury real estate, you need to have your finger on the pulse of the industry all day and every day without exception. Again, with hugely expensive investments on the line there’s really no room for dipping in and out of the game as and when required. Part-time real estate agents will naturally miss the very best buying and selling opportunities from time to time, simply because they were beaten to the punch by their full-time counterparts. So unless you want this to happen, go full-time or not at all.
3 – Friends and Relatives
Admittedly, this is a subject of some debate to say the least, but luxury real estate gurus tend to advise that you never, ever hire a close friend or family member to be your agent for a sale or purchase. There’s just too much chance that the relationship between the involved parties will in some way sway the behaviour, attitude or general approach taken to reach the required deal. And if tensions ever become frayed…well, that’s the end of that friendship!
4 – Insufficient Local Knowledge
When looking to purchase a luxury property in London, the difference from one end of a street to the other could mean an extra zero added onto the value of any given property. As such, it’s not enough to be an expert in luxury real estate in general – you need to hire an agent that knows every in and out of the real estate landscape in the area of your choosing. Of course, it might be tricky for you to test them on this personally, but you can still quiz them on what they know and why they think they’re the best choice.
5 – Unusually Low Fees
Depending on what it is you plan to buy/sell and the area of your choosing, there will be a standard commission or overall fee you can expect to pay. This can of course vary exponentially, but what should never swing too wildly in either direction is the fee structure quoted from one agent to the next. Paying over the odds is never a good idea, but if for example you find an agent that claims to offer world-class service for 75% less than everyone else, chances are the former half of the promise will not be delivered.
6 – Pressure Tactics
Last but not least, when and where a luxury estate agent tries to pressure you into making a decision and signing them up, this is indicative of one thing and one thing alone – desperation. Well, that and the fact that they don’t respect you enough to let you take your time with what’s clearly one of the most important decisions you’ll ever make. If you ever find yourself facing any pressure tactics, walk away.