A prominent housing expert says estate agents must not merely sell homes but should become “lifelong consumer property advisors.”
Kate Faulkner - creator of Propertychecklists, a consultant to Belvoir and adviser to consumer organisation Which? - says in her latest Designs On Property newsletter that current housing market conditions show even more local variations than usual, meaning those agents who understand their patches in great detail are most likely to succeed.
She then goes on to say: “It’s also vital that agents realise the need to encourage clients to take independent advice when it comes to property, checking they are on the right mortgage rate, and making sure, especially if they are a landlord, they are getting good financial advice on things like tax and inheritance.”
In a section labelled ‘The Future of Estate Agents’ she writes: “The days of just selling or letting homes has gone; a local agent should be as important to people’s property decisions as a financial advisor is to people’s overall wealth – and one of the biggest opportunities for agents to establish themselves as lifelong consumer property advisors is by working to help first-time buyers onto the ladder.”
She says that a more mature approach exists in the public domain when it comes to house price movements. “Culturally, we do seem to be developing a more sensible approach to house prices, realising that growth isn’t always good and that a slowdown can be healthy for everyone, as long as it doesn’t lead to panic buying or selling.”