Listing your property Multi-Agency. Is it worthwhile?

Date Published 01 July 2016

Multi-Agency. Is it worthwhile? The short answer is no.

Pre-Internet, it made sense, as the staff in the estate agents were key. Most houses were only advertised now and again in the local paper with just a front picture and a couple of ballet points. So buyers had to register with all the agents, hoping to get the new instructions posted out to them, or better still a phone call tipping them off.

A good agent would get to know their good buyers, their card neatly kept in the 'hot box' as we called it. Max price order, then alphabetical. So if your name was 'Adams' you often got the first call. The 'Youngs' were less lucky.

Agents back then tended to operate three index card boxes. A hot box (ours in shiny red), was for buyers who had sold, first time buyers etc, basically people ready to move forward with their purchase now. Then the local box for locals who needed to sell - we might get their house to sell if they liked it. Finally, the Out of Area, for those out of area and unsold. Agents rarely went through the local, let alone the Out of Area's.

That's when multi-agency made a difference. If you knew your hot box buyers well, you'd call them before the other agent got to them and hopefully get the sale.

The downside of that was that dear Mr. & Mrs Young from Romford, might have sold in the last couple of weeks but you wouldn't know that, unless they called. Because you're always in the hotbox. And the Youngs might be the buyers who would have paid the best price.

Nowadays with the online property portals it's a more level playing field. Most buyers start and continue their search on Rightmove. So now the Youngs have just as much chance as the Adams.

Rightmove is the new shop window and a property up for sale with more than one agent is a lot easier to spot!

As many buyers have said, they don't care who the property is with, if they like the look of it, they'll call the relevant agent whose got it, to book in a viewing

So is there any point these days in instructing more than one agent? The short answer is ‘no'. Here's why:

If a buyer spies your property listed several times, at best it's annoying, and at worst it's misleading, especially if the agents have used different photograph angles and descriptions.

When a buyer does a search, properties appear in a price order list, so properties marketed at exactly the same price will appear in a row, immediately sending out a wrong signal, most likely desperation.

It will certainly hint that you may take a low offer and it could possibly put buyers off altogether, worried they could be buying a property that they could have difficulty selling on in the future.

Finally, there's the fee. Multi-Agency fees in Billericay tend to start at 1.5%, maybe more.

So in summary you could end up selling for less with those negative signals going out and paying handsomely for the privilege!

As I mentioned, Rightmove is the shop window nowadays. So make sure it's in there, and looking good.

If you were advertising your most expensive asset in a window, you would want it looking the best it could wouldn't you?

So choose an agent who will present it in 'the shop window'. the best. Good, professional grade photos, accurate floor plans and a detailed modern write up is a must.

Dark photos looking like they were taken by an agent in the process of falling over, slapdash floor plans with key windows and doors missing, and write ups consisting of a paragraph or two, won't project your property out there well at all.

Being an open shop is also important. So make sure the agent is available for calls outside of hours.

For example, we have our calls diverted to our mobiles in the evenings and Sunday's. Many agents close up and head home at 6 during the week and at 4pm on a Saturday, the times that most people are looking on Right Move. Especially those returning from work accessing it on their mobile.

So in a nutshell, nowadays, Multi-Agency could actually be detrimental to you selling, far better to appoint one agent who will go the extra mile to make your property look the best it can, as well as being available on the phone as well as email, more hours, to deal with any enquiries.