Anthony Wood of Samuel Wood & Co gives some timely food for thought to those thinking of selling their homes this spring.
The belief that roughly 20% of producers are responsible for 80% of production has been widely held for over a hundred years. It is called the Pareto Principle.
It is just as valid when selling your home. Roughly 20% of estate agents handle 80% of the sales. So the first thing you need to know when putting your property on the market is which are the top 20% firms in your area. Nothing is more important than this. Employing a lesser firm effectively means your property will become a bottom category seller.
Less effective firms in the 80% group almost invariably include those that offer temptingly low fees. However there is another widely held principal that if something sounds too good to be true then it probably is. There will always be those who choose their estate agent on low up-front cost. But how sensible is this? Savvy sellers choose their estate agent on the basis that great contacts, extensive marketing, well-developed negotiating skills and sales management, prominent offices and long histories of success may well help them secure a higher price for their home and to a better buyer.
Cut-price estate agents seem to have just one selling point – they are cheap. Well cheap is okay for a wear-once piece of clothing or household basic from a discount store. But cheap is not good in surgeons, dentists, stockbrokers, lawyers and parachute manufacturers. Nor is it good in estate agents. To sell your most valuable asset wouldn’t you rather hire the best people rather than the cheapest?
So if you are thinking of selling your home this spring it is worth weighing up what an 80% group agent may save you in commission against what a 20% group agent could well gain you in the price of your property, saved time and peace of mind. The choice is all yours but remember what ace oilrig fire fighter, Red Adair, said, “If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur”!