Property for sale? Phil Spencer reveals his top tips for dealing with estate agents

Selling a home is not always easy, but following a property expert’s advice could give homeowners an edge to sell their house as quickly as possible for the best price. Phil Spencer, the property guru, co-founder of Move iQ and presenter of Location Location Location on Channel 4, has shared his top tips on dealing with estate agents when selling or buying a home exclusively with Express.co.uk.

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He said: “We all know buying a house can be super stressful, but I have one top tip that can transform the process: make friends with your local estate agents. It might not be revolutionary, but it’s simple and it works.”

According to the expert, there are a few tried and tested tips to give would-be property buyers or sellers the edge when dealing with estate agents.

1. Build a relationship

“Develop a good working relationship,” said Phil. “If you can get an agent onside, they’re more likely to tell you earlier about any good properties they take on, and they could give you vital extra information when it comes to making an offer.

“While estate agents work for sellers, not buyers, if they like and respect you, your chances of getting the home you want will improve,” he added.

2. Get clued up and gather your own facts

Phil advised: “Swot up about each property the agent sends you and ask plenty of questions before you agree to a viewing.

“Estate agents may try to take you to places you can’t afford or pressure you into spending more than you wanted,” he explained.

He continued: “Stick to your guns and remember information is key; find out about the area, what’s happening with local prices and get clued up on the whole property-buying process and you’re much less likely to be led astray.”

3. Don’t give too much away

“Keep your cards close to your chest,” advised Phil. “Although you want to have a close relationship with estate agents you need to be cautious about how much you give away,” he cautioned.

“Don’t tell them too much about your financial situation as this could be used against you when it comes to haggling on price.

“Estate agents are skilled salespeople and are trained to win your trust – but never forget their job is to get the best possible deal for the seller, not you!”

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4. Ask a direct question

“If you are worried about something, ask the agent a direct question, if you are still unsure or unsatisfied with their answer, ask the vendor or ask your solicitor,” he said.

“By law sellers don’t have to point out defects or problems, but they must answer direct questions accurately.”

Phil continued: “A good question to ask is what are the weaknesses of the property, as they will have to talk about its faults.

“It is best to ask them all your concerns and queries upfront and before you make an offer.”

5. Keep a paper trail

Phil said: “Make sure all your questions and anything you agree with the agent is laid out in writing.

“If you agree anything with the agent on a phone call or in person, follow up with an email to create your own electronic paper trail.

“Any verbal understanding with the agent that relates to the purchase process, whether it concerns an offer, price, timescale or fixtures and fittings, should be confirmed in writing.

“If you’ve laid a paper trail of what’s been agreed, there will be no room for misunderstanding.”

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