Is your Buyers Agent really looking out just for YOU?
I had an interesting conversation with a potential client the other day. Her name was Karen. She was shopping around for the right buyers’ agent to use and she had a list of questions to ask (always a good start and essential in this industry). We’re well-versed in being able to answer the most common FAQ however one issue that is popping up more frequently is one that I believe warrants special attention and one that Karen was keen to discuss. It’s not a question that many ask, however, on reflection, it should be a mandatory one for every buyer’s list:
What happens when you have one great property that would suit more than one of your clients?
Here at House Search, it has always been our policy not to take on two clients with the same brief, and we know that this is the same policy with the majority of reputable buyers agents in the marketplace. If we already have a buyer with an identical brief and budget, we inform would-be clients of this and that there will be a wait period. Most choose to wait for us whilst others ask for a recommendation of another BA. This is fine with us. We are not about being able to help everybody at all times. It’s simply not viable and not the way we operate. We have always prided ourselves on providing a very personalised service to our clients, in order to ensure that we don’t experience conflict at any time.
However, this personalised approach to service is not the case with some agencies. Karen went on to tell me that one buyers agency she spoke to boasted of their multiple clients, whilst at the same time letting her know that it would be “tough going” in this marketplace at the moment, as they already had “about 6” buyers with the same budget and area as her. When she then asked the question above, she got a vague response and subsequently didn’t feel comfortable with the process offered by their agency. Though we weren’t able to assist her (though did refer her onto another BA who hopefully should be able to help) it got me thinking…What would happen if a buyers agent had 2+ buyers with the same brief and area? Which buyer gets the first right to choose? How would you know if your BA wasn’t presenting or showing you a property because they chose to present it to another client on their books?
Our buyers place an enormous amount of trust in us in searching, locating, assessing, negotiating and securing property on their behalf. As part of our processes and systems in place, we saturate the market as completely as possible and present shortlisted properties to buyers. Sometimes this can take longer than anticipated, but in the meantime we turn clients away as we simply choose not to put ourselves into a position of conflict. It’s an important point of difference, that really should form part of every buyers agents policy, however it is certainly a question to ask to ensure that the service you are paying for is tailored for you and you alone as buyer.