11 things that irritate property buyers and sellers

Private Property South Africa
Lea Jacobs

Buying or selling property is fraught with uncertainty and an estate agent is expected to provide excellent service and reassurance through this time. Some agents however, upset their clients by making these customer service mistakes.

It takes a special kind of person to be a real estate agent. Think about it, they have to deal with all sorts of personality types and, if they want to build a successful career, they need to keep all of their clients happy, all of the time.

To be fair, there are those who won’t be happy regardless of the level of service they receive, but most buyers and sellers the world over want the same thing - to be listened to, responded to and respected.

If a client feels that they are being neglected or ignored, they will soon move on to an agent who gives them the appropriate level of care.

The type of behaviour that will aggravate buyers and sellers includes:

  • Lack of response or not responding in a timely manner.
    Buying a home is a stressful, often emotional experience. Buyers and sellers dislike being ignored and yet, some agents don’t bother to respond to sales enquiries or take their time in doing so.
  • Not making an appointment before bringing buyers to view a home.
    Likewise, notifying a seller that a buyer wants to view the home at a moment’s notice generally puts a seller on the back foot. Experts maintain that ideally agents should give sellers at least 24-hours’ notice before bringing buyers around. However, if this isn’t possible, they should give at least a couple of hours warning before knocking on the door.
  • Running late or not keeping appointments.
    Life happens and there are often good reasons why an agent can’t make it to an appointment on time. A simple call explaining why you’re running late will generally help. There’s absolutely no excuse for missing an appointment entirely without letting both parties know.
  • Not listening.
    There is nothing more irritating for a buyer than being shown unsuitable properties. Simply put, it doesn’t matter how urgent the sale - if the house is out of a buyer’s price range or doesn’t fit their requirements, don’t waste their time.
  • Failing to update their listings on a website.
    This irritates both buyers and sellers. Buyers are going to become frustrated if every second listing on the site has already been sold. Sellers on the other hand are going to rethink their choice of agent if their home doesn’t get listed in a timely manner.
  • Uploading substandard photographs.
    Anyone who is serious about selling their home is going to react badly if the home isn’t portrayed in the best possible light. First impressions count and many buyers won’t waste their time enquiring about a home if the photos are blurred or don’t show off the home to its full potential.
  • Not providing a proper description of the home.
    Errors creep in which is why agents need to keep a close eye on what’s being uploaded to their website. Listing a three bedroom home as a two bedroom dwelling (and yes, it happens) is not only embarrassing, it’s going to annoy a seller and affect the number of buyers who respond to the listing.
  • Failing to keep the buyer in the loop.
    Not informing buyers of new listing is often the death knell in the working relationship, particularly in areas where property is in high demand.
  • Pushy salespeople.
    No one enjoys being manipulated or pushed into buying an unsuitable home.
  • Not reporting back to sellers.
    This is a common problem and possibly one of the biggest gripes sellers have about estate agents. Sellers need to know what buyers are saying about their home and every viewing should be followed up with a phone call discussing what the buyer liked or disliked about the property.
  • Post and pray.
    Agents have a variety of ways to sell a home and although listing the property on Private Property is a no-brainer, there are agents who believe that their job is done once they’ve completed this task. The Americans refer to this as ‘post and pray’ because in these instances agents just post the property online, and prays it sells.

A good estate agent from a reputable agency will provide much needed guidance through the buying or selling process. It's important to keep the lines of communication open and maintain a good working relationship in order to make the process as smooth as possible.

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