When choosing an estate agent to represent your best interests in your sale you have a variety of agency styles from which to choose. However, the greatest differentiator is whether you employ an independent agency or one that is a member of a national “corporate” chain.

A recent TV documentary gave an indication of some of the risks associated with appointing an agency, such as the high street corporates featured in the programme, whose agents appear to be heavily incentivised to sell mortgages to their buyers.

Issues raised included preference being given to offers from buyers who took out mortgages through the agency, and properties being withdrawn from the market when under offer to a “favoured buyer” who also received “priority viewings” on new properties. Both practices are unlawful.

Whilst the corporate head office responses were predictably responsible, with individual agents being suspended, it does highlight the displaced loyalties that can be prompted by an overemphasis on the sale of ancillary services.

Whilst a national presence and standardised procedures may appear impressive, are they relevant or meaningful locally? Just like the mighty burger chains – you know what you’re getting, but is that what you really want? Will you regret it?

At Starkey&Brown we never forget who we represent – our client, the seller. We encourage offers from as many buyers as possible to give the best chance of a successful sale. Our reputation in the area is based on fairness combined with proactivity and integrity combined with results. We’d like to keep it that way!

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