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My favourite grouse…lazy agents who tout for my properties

As I sit here writing this on the Glorious 12th, I realise I’m going on about my favourite grouse – agents who are too lazy to do anything other than tout for my properties.

It drives me nuts. It suggests agents are bankrupt of ideas and rely on rivals to identify houses that are for sale, generate interest, and even write particulars they can plagiarise.

A good example recently is a house on the fringe of my patch where an agent with whom I’m familiar for hardly the best life experience wrote to my vendor saying they had a buyer and also suggesting there was the possibility of a trade-in against her property.

My vendor was mystified as to why some agent who was too lazy to find business would feel she would be impressed by him. She wanted someone pro-active with good marketing skills for her house, which is pretty unusual because of its particular history relevant to the world of conservation.

There was no warning of jeopardy over dual commission in the touting letter so she reported the agent to the Property Ombudsman. I await the outcome with interest.

Sadly, some vendors can still be impressed by touts and can’t see through the lazy approach. 

They actually believe the 'we have buyers for your house' message, the type of stuff that used to come from the touting agents who found your car on Autotrader, asked for an upfront fee, and then evaporated with never any sign of a buyer coming round to kick the tyres. 

If there really are buyers out there, they’ll be searching Rightmove and Zoopla and will surely turn up the properties you list. They don’t mysteriously hang around one agent’s office or website waiting for their dream home to turn up!

Luckily, with a lot of the postcode areas I cover I can demonstrate that not only the majority of houses in defined price brackets are with me but also I can claim a good percentage of the ones that have sold.

If agents want to be successful, and recognised as such, it’s their ability to sell that will bring them business not some shoddy touting letter that’s devoid of essential detail and smacks of desperation.

With the autumn market opening up, I would encourage all agents to get off their backsides, get out there, and find properties to sell that are not already listed with somebody else. 

At least I won’t be taking pot shots at them!

*Colin Shairp is Director of Fine and Country Southern Hampshire and Town and Country Southern

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