Should you change agents if you haven't sold?


Q. My home has been on the market for quite some time. My current agent is now recommending cutting my asking price. Should I change agents – or maybe go multi?

A. If you originally chose your agent because they quoted the lowest fees, or produced the highest valuation, then it may well be that they have not been doing a good enough job, and a change may in order. However, if you are going to do that, then I strongly urge you to opt for another sole agency agreement.

The argument in favour of multiple agency, of course – and the reason why some people are prepared to pay higher fees for it – is that with several agents working on your behalf, your home will reach a greater number of potential buyers. In reality, however, this doesn’t stack up – particularly these days, when the majority of people start their house-hunting online. In fact, when you thing about it, the only real difference with multi is that your property keeps cropping up time after time. And, human nature being what it is, that’s not actually a good thing.

Nevertheless, the real problem with multiple agency is its winner-takes-all ethos. Yes, a participating agent might succeed in securing the sale and earning the commission. But they might equally well find themselves pipped at the post and wind up with nothing at all to show for their efforts. That’s hardly much of an incentive!

So, sole agency is almost always the better bet, because 1) it’s better to have a single, highly motivated agent on your case than half a dozen who are just going through the motions, and 2) because it’s cheaper. (Better still, choose an agent belonging to Team, and get the best of both worlds – several agents across the area, all equally incentivised to work hard on your behalf, for the price of just one!)

However, this may all be academic, because if you originally chose your existing agent on the strength of their professional reputation and their track record in successfully selling similar properties in your area, and if they can demonstrate that they have done everything possible to sell your home, then there’s every reason for sticking with them – even if it means biting the bullet and accepting their advice on pricing. After all, good agents do know what they are talking about!