An estate agent’s duties and responsibilities can be broad. There are so many facets to buying and selling property that the full depth of ways in which an estate agent can specialise, and add to their professional skillset, is too much for one person.
As such, the role of an estate agent can be hard to pin down precisely — but there are some common services and duties that come with the job, and there are lots of ways an estate agent can help you with a property purchase, let, or sale in the future.
So, what do estate agents do?
What do estate agents do? The role of an estate agent
In a nutshell, estate agents help facilitate a property transaction. This might be helping you to sell your home, assisting with buying a new one, or supporting you with managing a rental property.
Estate agents in the UK often endure a bad reputation, likely stemming from bad experiences that many people have had when being shown around a property in the past. Becoming an estate agent is easy, but being a good estate agent that puts customers first is something else entirely.
Almost everybody who has dealt with estate agents in the past has encountered one who doesn’t know the property they’re showing and can’t answer basic questions it.
However, the help of a focused and professional estate agent makes the process of buying and selling property as easy as it should be.
Estate agents want sales of their properties to succeed, so they will put everything they can into making this happen and ensuring interested potential buyers are satisfied.
Estate agent responsibilities
Estate agent services are varied and they can be somewhat customised according to the needs of the customer. For instance, one landlord might want a fully managed letting service to help with their property, whereas another may only need help sourcing tenants to live there and nothing else.
An estate agent’s responsibilities often grow and diversify as the agent themselves becomes more well-versed in the property sector and gain experience in the various aspects of buying and selling homes.
These responsibilities might include:
- Receiving customer queries as they come to the agency, taking details and understanding what people are looking for when they approach the business
- Conducting property viewings, meeting customers at properties and showing them around with enough time to inspect and ask questions
- Visiting properties that customers are looking to sell, valuing the property and giving the most reasonable and accurate sale price based on local knowledge, current housing market data, and taking the condition of the property itself into account
- Marketing the property and listing it on prominent property websites to increase visibility, taking professional photographs and making a floor plan to give viewers an overview of the property
- Liaising with prospective buyers and acting as a point of communication between buyer and seller, communicating any queries or offers that come through
- Negotiating sale price and overseeing the sale itself, often communicating with conveyancers and ensuring that the transaction flows in a way that benefits everybody involved (this is essential as many property chains are highly time-sensitive)
- Drafting and circulating a memorandum of sale once an offer has been verbally accepted. This is a document that evidences the acceptance of an offer and the amount that is expected to exchange hands
There are many other ways that estate agents may prove themselves helpful in their work. They may draw on experience to give you advice that helps you as a seller, such as advising you to adjust your asking price if necessary, or perhaps even giving you tips on the best way to increase the value of your home and get it ready for sale.
Ultimately, an estate agent is aiming to see the sale of a home succeed. Strictly speaking, they act more on behalf of the seller than buyers, since the sale of the home is what earns the agency its fees and buyers are typically more guided by their conveyancers.
However, if you’re involved in the process as a buyer, the estate agent will do their part to ensure you’re serious. Nobody can afford to waste time with somebody who makes an offer they don’t have the funds to back up, or chasing an indecisive buyer only for them to rescind their offer later on.
In order to fully help their clients, estate agents may also commonly need to keep a good line of communication with outside parties. This may include another agency, especially in the case of people selling a home in one location in order to move to another one entirely.
Additionally, some estate agencies choose to partner with other businesses such as mortgage advisors and insurance providers, which can provide a more guided and smooth journey for first-time buyers. For the estate agent, this may mean contacting these partners as necessary and setting up the next steps for their clients.
There are many possible responsibilities that fall under an estate agent’s remit, and the extent to which you’ll see them depends on what you need from your estate agent and how willing they are to lend a hand in various parts of your house sale or purchase.
Do you need an estate agent to sell a house?
It’s not illegal to do a DIY sale of your home without an estate agent’s help. In fact, the entire process of selling your home can be done yourself, even the conveyancing, though undertaking this is a big task and it can quickly grow complicated.
Not all house sales are straightforward. They can include long property chains consisting of buyers who are indecisive, or have their own complex situations to deal with, and properties can have obscure or disruptive covenants tied to them from past sales.
This is why many people choose to use an estate agency for UK property sales. The knowledge and experience backing estate agents, and the partners they work with, ensures there’s a person specialising in any task that comes their way, and it takes some of the stress out of your hands when things get complicated.
Estate agent marketing channels are often more sophisticated and possess a wider reach than what the typical individual can manage, which helps to speed up the sale of the home and often target the right kind of buyers.
While you’re not obliged to hire an estate agent, having a good one on your side makes the process of buying and selling a home much easier, smoother, and less stressful. Many estate agents don’t charge a lot relative to the sale of the property, and this commission fee often more than makes up for the saved time and mental stress.
Some house sales can take a long time due to a number of different reasons. Estate agents have a vested interest in selling your home, so you know that they don’t have time to waste.
Additionally, estate agency work is highly competitive, with thousands of estate agencies existing across the UK. Whether you’re dealing with a property agent in London or an estate agency in the North West, your agents should be looking to beat out the competition and offer the best service they can for your money.
Can estate agents do viewings?
Estate agents can indeed do viewings, though you might elect to either take a service that doesn’t include these viewings, or you may negotiate with the agency to do your own.
There are some benefits to doing viewings yourself. It’s your home, so you know the answers to the viewers’ questions about the home itself and the local area. You can also be ready to receive the visitors yourself, rather than finding a way to be out of the house and keep any pets out of the way for the required amount of time.
However, estate agents have experience in conducting viewings and taking questions while they do so, which means they are naturally conversational and confident in leading people on a guided tour. You may or may not have as much experience in this area, which risks leaving visitors with a sense that they didn’t quite get the answers they were looking for.
If you’d rather not show people around yourself, then leave it to your agent and give them helpful information about the property to help them along.
Choosing the right estate agent for you
At Mistoria Estate Agents, we ensure we understand exactly what you need to help the sale of your property succeed, and our expert team commits themselves to helping you achieve that smoothly and quickly.
To find out more about our expert services as an award-winning estate agency in the UK, contact us today.