Managing director of BDI Homefinder, Tracy Kellett, gives her advice on how to work with estate agents in the form of a quiz.

Tracy Kellett  - pictured above - has moved 26 times in her life so far and was an Estate Agent before setting up BDI Homefinders. You can also find her on twitter.

With her valuable wealth of experience we asked her to blog for us and share her wisdom and advice.

Rather than write a list or top tips, she has created a quiz for us. This is what she had to say:

If you are going to pay someone in the region of 1.5% of your major asset, you really need to know how best to work with them. Buying and selling houses is all about people and relationships – I should know. How you handle those relationships is the key to a stress-free moving experience. Well, let’s be honest, it will never be stress-free but you can minimise the accumulation of grey hairs.

Remember why you have instructed your estate agent. It should be for these main reasons:

Marketing – a great marketing reach, so your home gets to as many potential buyers as possible. Maximising your market means maximizing your price.

Negotiation skills – you rarely buy or sell a house. An estate agent will have sold hundreds. A good one will have the experience to negotiate a much better price for you than you can.

Management of the sales process – having an agent liaising between solicitors, mortgage companies, chains and buyer should make the process far more watertight. The more watertight the deal, the less worries you will have along the way.

So, onto our quiz and we are focusing on Graham, a rather good Estate Agent. You like him, you trust him, you have instructed him. If you don’t like and trust him, stop reading now and go and get a different one.

Graham and you discuss the asking price. Do you?

A. Look carefully at his comparable evidence (as well as having done your own research on Zoopla.co.uk) showing homes just like yours and what they sold for. Reach an asking price that you are both comfortable with.

B. Point out forcefully that you spent £12,000 on the stone-cladding, so yours is worth more.

C. Kick him out with a flea in his ear for insulting you.

Graham suggests a quick once over with a lick of paint. Do you?

A. Spend a couple of weeks sprucing it up so it’s clean and tidy?

B. Tell him people will just have to look through the junk and dirt to find the hidden gem.

C. Ask what the he’s on about – keeping chickens in the kitchen makes your house stand out from the crowd.

Graham wants to put a sale board up. Do you?

A. Listen to the statistics of how many more people may be aware of your property as a result.

B. Tell him no, because the neighbours are so nosey.

C. Have a hissy fit because your house is far too posh for one of them.

Graham wants a set of keys. Do you?

A. Have assurance they will be kept safely and get them to him sharpish.

B. Refuse to let him as you will ALWAYS be in.

C. Peer at him suspiciously, say ‘I know your game mate. You’ll be having parties here’. Refuse point-blank.

Graham calls and wants to do a 9am Saturday viewing. Do you?

A. Have an early night and clear off out.

B. Leave the kids in bed and the take-away all over the kitchen.

C. Say no, because you’ve got a really ‘heavy’ Friday night.

Graham is coming around at 12. Do you?

A. Pop out with the dog and wait until he’s finished

B. Leave the dog loose…he’s great with strangers.

C. Stay in and closely follow Graham and the viewers around the house.

Hurrah! Graham has an offer. Do you?

A. Consider the buyers position, the price offered and discuss whether he thinks he can get you more?

B. Loftily dismiss it out of hand, saying ‘there will always be another one’.

C. Berate him and the buyers for daring to insult you with such a derisory offer.

Graham has sealed the deal. Great buyers and good price. The buyers want to bring the in-laws around. Do you?

A. Use it as an opportunity to develop a friendly relationship with your buyers.

B. Refuse, until they exchange. ‘You can’t trust anyone these days. I want to see the colour of their money’.

C. Use it as an opportunity to tell your buyers about the hideous racket the neighbours make.

Graham rings to tell you that the survey has come back with ‘a few things’. Do you?

A. Consider the points carefully, if necessary have your own specialists look at the issues, then reach a grown-up compromise with the buyers.

B. Metaphorically throw your toys out of the pram and tell the buyers to put up or shut up.

C. Tell Graham, to tell the Buyers that all Surveyors are rubbish.

Graham rings to say that as you are near to exchange and the buyer wants to set a completion date. Do you?

A. Ask when the buyer wants and try your best to make it work

B. Tell them the date you insist on is non-negotiable due to your nephews up-coming Birthday

C. Tell Graham to tell buyers you couldn’t care less if they are getting married the week you chose. ‘It’s my way, or the Highway’

It’s human nature to take any criticism of your home personally. Do try to put the ego away and look at the end goal which is a move to a nicer place. And as stress-free a move as possible. Sensible compromise, without of course being taken for a mug, is the way to achieve that.

By the way, if you haven’t worked out that you should have ticked all the A boxes then I shall bow out gracefully….whilst hitting my head against the stone-clad wall.

Some information contained herein may have changed since it was first published. Zoopla strongly advises you to seek current legal and/or financial advice from a qualified professional.

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