What exactly do estate agents do?

One of the great mysteries of life for many people is what exactly estate agents do for their money.

Conventional wisdom has it that they stick a photo of your house online, put another in their shop window and then make a couple of phone calls – before proceeding to relieve you of several thousand GBPs.

Certainly in a boom market selling houses can be extremely lucrative and doesn’t require stupendous levels skill or effort. But  in slow market conditions, it can be a real slog.

The ‘no sale no fee’ business model can mean a lot of effort for precious little reward. For junior negotiators earning commission-based salaries, this can be a poorly paid job that demands long hours. So to answer the question, let’s take a brief look at the estate agent’s main duties:


*          Valuing the property

*           Advising sellers on setting an asking price pitched to achieve a realistic sale price.

*          Arranging the Energy Performance Certificate (rarely remembering to remind sellers that they’re perfectly at liberty to instruct their own EPC privately – usually at a cheaper price).

*          Taking professional photographs, drafting sales particulars and verifying them with the seller for accuracy.

*          Placing online listings on appropriate ‘trade’ websites – notably Rightmove.co.uk

*          Emailing sales particulars to potential buyers, and following up with phone calls.

*          Vetting potential buyers to assess whether they are genuinely in a position to proceed – ie are either ‘cash buyers’ or have got their existing property under offer.

*          Taking enquiries, arranging viewing appointments, conducting accompanied viewings, and encouraging viewers to make an offer.

*          Providing feedback to clients.

*          Assisting buyers with mortgage finance – some agents make most of their profits from this alone.

*          Negotiating on behalf of the seller to achieve the optimum sale price.

*          Managing the process up to exchange of contracts and through to completion, liaising with the buyer, seller, solicitors, surveyors, mortgage lenders and other parties in the chain



Our next blog – coming soon ……

 Estate Agent Frustrations



Check out our Rightsurvey blog page for more industry tips and secrets written by property professionals to help put you in control.