Choosing the Right Land Agent

21st July 2017

The top priority of any professional selling agent is undoubtedly to achieve the best possible price for their client.  After all, in most cases their fee will be based on the selling price in the form of an agreed commission.  Therefore it is important to ensure that an agent’s desire to be seen to have a high number of properties available at any one time does not compromise the best interests of vendors; especially those that made the decision to sell in the autumn and winter months, and when there is a recognised scarcity of available property for buyers to consider.

Agents should discuss with their clients the potential impact of delaying marketing an instruction taken in the winter and autumn months for six months when it will potentially be competing with many other properties for buyer’s attention. We want to prevent the perception that we are only able to market properties in the summer months and in order to achieve this we need to broaden the appeal of the option to sell during the rest of the year. A good agent will be in close contact with buyers and will be aware of their requirements. Access to this knowledge is what vendors should be gaining from an instructed agent but this interest is not seasonal so why are we telling vendors that their property can only be marketed seasonally?

Imagine you are a buyer in the market at the moment: what would your reaction be to the current influx of new property being marketed, particularly when agents are stating they have more to bring to the market?  Surely you would choose to wait and monitor before deciding which properties merit further investigation or attention? You may even prefer to wait and see what impact there may be on values as a consequence of all this additional property being brought to the market. Where is the benefit of this to existing clients/vendors?

In light of Brexit, and most recently the outcome of the General Election, the sector as a whole is grappling with more than enough uncertainty.  My advice to vendors is to have detailed discussions with their agents in order to be aware of the impact on expected sales price that various marketing strategies may have and then choose the one that fits their requirements, rather than stick slavishly to the only marketing strategy being actively promoted. A broader marketing strategy offering vendors more flexibility can only be of benefit to all participants and should be actively encouraged by all of us in order to maintain a healthy and active market in Scotland and the north of England.

James Murphy, Managing Director

H&H Land and Property is one of the largest firms of chartered surveyors and specialist rural advisors in the region, with farming clients across southern Scotland, the North West and North East with a number of farms and parcels of land currently on the market.