Who Is Your Estate Agent Working For?

The other day, I had an interesting conversation with someone who is thinking that they might need to sell their home.

They bought the property through a well-known estate agency in Bristol, and they were very happy with the service they received at the time. The agents ensured that all the demands they made (timescale, price re-negotiations after survey, etc) were met by the vendors. Perfect!

So, they had no reason to think about instructing any other estate agent to sell their home now that they’re thinking of moving on…


A couple of their friends have recently sold their properties through the very same estate agents and both said much the same:

“It seems as if our estate agents are working for the buyers rather than us”.

Looking back, they realised that – as buyers – the agents had indeed been keen to keep them happy, and as a result showed little regard for their clients’ interests.

* * *

The other day, I spoke to some other people who tried to sell their house a few years ago. At the time, they hadn’t secured anything to move to, but were nevertheless persuaded by another well-known Bristol estate agency to put their home on the market.

Their chosen estate agent found a buyer quite quickly. Great! But then they rang on a daily basis to attempt to persuade the vendors to forget about trying to find a property to buy, and to move into rented accommodation (which, in a rising sales market, may not have been the wisest decision) until these good people had finally had enough and withdrew the property from the market. And from their prospective purchasers.

What a shame, for all concerned.

Can estate agents please remember who they are working for? It’s not the buyers, or themselves, or their employers. Estate agents should be working for the people who will ultimately pay their keep: their clients, their vendors.