Get preferential treatment

Legally an estate agent owes any buyer a “duty of care.” That is all. Buyers do not receive uniform service. A buyer’s agent will increase the chances of a proactive response from the estate agent and that crucial first telephone call.

If you have ever had dealings with estate agents, you may be familiar with the experience of telling them what you are looking for, only to find your ideal home listed as “sold” in their shop window a few weeks later. Inexplicable? Well, no. Estate agents grade both their buyers and sellers. How much time, effort and money an agent puts into both parties will depend upon a number of factors. It all ends up with you, as a buyer or seller, fitting into a pecking order of service.

Of most interest to the estate agent are those buyers who will sell the property within, say, two years, raising the prospects for a second fee. Of less interest are those who want to live in the property long term. Buy-to-let investors who have a large portfolio and retain the same estate agent to manage their properties are likely to be higher up the pecking order: the management income often keeps estate agents in business if their sales department is struggling.

Appreciating where you fit in, with the help of a buyer’s agent, can in turn save you time, effort and thousands of pounds.